February 13, 2010

Dirty Dog

The robins like it and so does Opal.
Dirt, mud, muck, ick.

Being the good hound dog she is, Opal must snuff and sniff the whole property, inclusive, to keep up on the going-ons, robins being one of those. Hound ears drag along supposedly gathering scent and huffing it up to that amazing nasal machine: hundreds of thousands of scent detectors. Snail manure here, robin manure there, oh, and her own disgusting scent over yonder. She's a busy thing.

Mud accumulates on her lip flaps. Flews to be more accurate, they're call flews. Mud sticks to her deep low keel; sternum, and mud oozes between her webby toes. It's disgusting. Bath time for Basset.

Now she's as sweet as new mown hay. For this brief moment, for now, before dinner, before outside sliding time. Sliding the top of her head; dome, her ears, her forehead through the mire to feel truly fresh. For a basset, anyway.

Robins are fighting for the right to own our front lawn. According to Birds and Blooms magazine, the male robins show up first to scope the place out and stake their land claim. The womenfolk robins fly by later to check out the real estate. Real Estate tends to be of utmost importance. Mate comes second, but looks count.

At our house the menfolk robins are just about worn out. One or two are still hassling the winner, but he's stalwart. Sparrows, get out of the way, he's got an interloper and must run, run, run to chase him off.

Funny how they run and hop, then stop, then tilt the head for a better look or listen. With beak flipping away dead detritus, the russet breasted robin eyes the muddy ground. What he's looking for is a mystery. Maybe, like a clam in the Bolinas mudflats, there is a giveaway hole designating a worm home. Slam; the beak goes for the worm...or the grub...or the bug. A beak-length pyramiddle hole left behind. They are plump these resident robins.

Between the running, snuffling, slopping, hopping and hop-claw fighting, the front mud has become a place of interest.

The binoculars are at the ready as is the camera. Simple pleasures, I'll be satisfied for now.

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