Redención seven: Andar conmigo

I first trapped #15 two days ago.  She was unbanded as was the male with whom she was trapped.  During that afternoon I also trapped five mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), one desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), two California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) and two Western scrub jays (Aphelocoma californica).

The male, #14, unfortunately broke the feathers that were growing in on his crest.  When feathers grow in, they are vascularized and when they break, they bleed.

Despite this or because he is beautiful or just because.

And he has big eyes.

There is no other life, only the one

The fact that they were trapped together is one data point.  If I observe them in association, that will be a second point.  Birds have to be observed together, in proximity, engaging in associative behavior (following, calling, certainly copulating though this is hard to see) in order for me to be confident.

They come and talk to me/just the same

But speaking of feathers.  Here are some feathers that fell off of #14—

 I stand and look at them and long. 

Feathers are such strange and marvelous structures. Birds are the only extant lineage of dinosaurs.  This is surprising to many people and some have had trouble believing it.  However, now that the remains of extinct feathered dinosaurs (here meaning the dinosaurs that people believe are dinosaurs) have been discovered, the belief is a little less hard to come by.  Or so I suppose.

File:Feather stages diagram.svg

Xu, X. and Guo, Y. (2009). The origin and early evolution of feathers: insights from recent paleontological and neontological data. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 47 (4): 311-329.

Of course, there are all the myriad of folks who do not believe in evolution at all.

These are their fears:

because it means that we are not a pinnacle.

because it means that randomness results in exquisite complexity.

because this randomness removes any intelligent hand of God from the mediation of life on earth.

because it means that we are related to all living beings on the planet.

Including this lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), our ancient sister.


Photo credit Mark Robinson

This interweaving, this relationship between me and the California quail #14, between me and the lamprey, this is to me cause for rejoicing.

I, however, seem to be one of those in the minority in this.  It is apparently extremely disturbing to a large proportion of people that we are true kin with the Escherichia coli bacteria inhabiting our large intestine.

Can she contain that many animals?

I did not plan to find myself discussing the implications of evolutionary theory—nor did I set out to dig into a place of understanding of those who would reject the theory of evolution especially as it pertains to humans (Homo sapiens sapiens).

The resistance of being to purity

it becomes/possible to give the illusion a logical form

My plan was to tell you about the quail I caught today and the quail I saw today and much of my recent field experiences.

Subtle structures of organisms, restlessness,

That will have to come later.

hidden passages between life and death

a sufficient foundation of randomness

call this monster


Quotes are from Kristen Kaschock, Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams


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