Saturday, May 20, 2006

On The Parking Meters And Phone Lines

There's a robin sitting on the parking meter across the street. Just sitting there looking around this way and that. Apparently it doesn't have the correct change, but I don't know how the parking enforcement guy could ticket our winged violator; maybe he could leave it between its bill.

...Well, there it goes. I heard on the scanner that the only meter man on duty was down on Public Square, so the bird could have hung out for a long time without being fined.

When I lived off the coast of Connecticut, we had a road that went thru a swampy area that connected us to the mainland. It was a skinny little road, elevated above the water (usually, except for real high tides during storms) and had lots of "No Parking Any Time" signs along it. There always seemed to be Red Wing Blackbirds on those signs, watching the passing scene. Never seagulls, of which we had plenty out there; they would be busy working the many streams which twisted through the "non-reed" part of the area, for obvious reasons called "The Gut." Plenty of fish to keep them well-fed and happy.

Around here, we have a mixture of mature trees and telephone/cable/electric wires. That's like an intricate pattern of Interstate and local highways for squirrels. They go up a tree on the east side of the street, along a branch until it tapers, then jump to a wire that takes them most of the way across the street, off to another wire and, eventually, to a branch on the west side and down the tree. All done with a graceful aplomb (a word which comes from, oddly enough, "perpendicularity," as a surveyor's plumb line).

That robin is back now, walking on the tree lawn, such as it is -- more dirt than grass and probably a robin's buffet line. They have their own menus, as do the squirrels, and there is no competition, no fighting. They get along well.

They carried on their business long before this area became settled and citified. What I wonder is if they even noticed us moving in and whether they will notice us gone if there is another flood and we decide to move elsewhere. Are our buildings and cars mere incidentals in their lives, not worth the bother to note? My guess is that worms and nuts are all that matter; we, and what we have built, aren't even on their bird and squirrel radar.


Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

That is why, probably, that in many towns, parking meters are painted white!

Ah yes, those long stretches of roads in the barrens which have ''No Parking'' signs. I have yet to find a reason why anyone would park there anyway except for an emergency...such as a mechanical or bladder weakness.

Speaking of....On these highways, like out in Nevada, Texas etc, there are signs '' Last Gas For 67 Miles''. It would be helpful if they might re-phrase it '' Last Gas and Restrooms For 67 Miles'', or for the ladies, '' Last Gas and Restrooms For 67 Miles. Last Restroom with Mirrors for 78 Miles''.

May 20, 2006 2:41 PM  

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