According to twice-wrong Harold Camping’s most recent prediction, the world will end on October 21, 2011.

If that isn’t a good day for you, how about October 16? I was recently alerted (by a caring friend who was quite serious about this) to the impending destruction of the earth by a small, nondescript assemblage of ice and dirt that is currently heading for the core of the solar system. That’s right. On October 16, 2011, on its way out to space again, the comet Elenin will pass by Earth at a distance of “only” 21 million miles. (By comparison, Venus is 23.7 million miles away.)

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May is migration month for many birds, and I’ve spent a significant amount of time outside lately, watching them fly north.

It truly is an amazing spectacle. I’ve seen tiny warblers (like the Yellow Warbler at left), five inches long and weighing about the same as a dime, who are working their way north from Central America to the boreal forest where they’ll nest and raise their families in the 24-hour sunshine.

Turkey Vultures soar along, perhaps from Texas or further south. Flocks of swallows return to build mud nests under our bridges and the eaves of our houses. You can see them filling intersections in town, swooping after flying insects.

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Where Is Our Focus?

Western Bluebird @home 2008jun03 LAH 015rThere is a Western Bluebird throwing himself against the screened window in our dining room. Actually, he’s been here for over a week, from dawn to dusk. While I’ve never heard of bluebirds doing this, they are members of the Thrush family, as are American Robins. Robins are notorious for attacking their reflections in window in a futile attempt to drive off the “intruder” in their territory. I can only assume that this bluebird is doing likewise, and vigorously attacking his own reflection.

It seems like such a waste of time. Shouldn’t he be courting a mate, building a nest, raising a family? Summer is short, and for a bluebird, there is only one item on the agenda. Yet he spends his days at our window, fighting… nothing. A mirage. A figment of his imagination. How sad.

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