Birds of Springtime, Losing Things, Bumble Bee In Hand, The Smells of Springtime, Panther Piss & Billy Beer

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing,

One of the true pleasures of life is watching the little birds of springtime. If you’ve never fed the birds of springtime, I would highly recommend  you invest in some cracked corn. Spread a Dream Whip Container full of your just purchased crack corn on your front yard, set back and enjoy the show. Mother Nature has a way of entertaining us all. Now those little birds of springtime, well, those little fellers are just the first act of a big time stage show coming your way. All playing out in living color. Right outside your window. Thanks to Mother Nature Productions. It’s better than a Broadway Musical, by a long shot.

They all come, those birds of the springtime. The big ones, the little ones, they all come to eat at the EastWing. Even though they’ve come to the valley for the summer, their food supply has not yet totally caught up with the migration . So they will eat whatever they find. At the EastWing they find a lot. We welcome those little fellers home with a party in the front garden at the EastWing. It’s kinda like the first “cook out” for the birds.  To me it’s only cracked corn, to the little birds of springtime, it food from the Gods. Welcome home, little birds of summer. Me and the She, we’re glad you came our way.

Do you have a wireless keyboard? I do. That, along with a wireless mouse makes the table top at the EastWing  a lot more manageable. It just does. No wires to run all over the place. Wireless  keyboard and mouse are the way to go. Some time back, that wireless keyboard came up missing one of the back legs, the right back leg, in fact. The keyboard legs are the things that put the angle into the keyboard, the angle that matches the natural curve of my fingers when I type. And so the keyboard sagged to the right.  A missing right leg.

I compensated by folding a paper towel a whole bunch of times until it made up for the height of the missing leg of the keyboard. It worked fine. I had no reason to complain. The work around was successful. In  computer talk, when you have a problem, you either solve the problem and understand it’s cause, or else create a “work around”. Hence the paper towel.  The keyboard was once again at the correct angle and at the working height, no reason to complain. I just typed away and continued to tell the story.

Last week, while looking for something in the back seat of Mr. Lincoln, I found, back there  in the back seat floor, behind the front passenger seat, the missing leg of my EastWing Keyboard. I know of no explanation on this planet as to how or why it got there, other than the fact  it got there. Things happen that defy reason. That little piece of plastic that goes under the back right side of the EastWing Keyboard, it was just there in the back floor of Mr. Lincoln, on the passenger side. It’s one of those things that you never try to figure out why, ‘cause you can’t. Things happen in life. Some you know why and some you don’t. Yet they still happen.  That keyboard never left the EastWing. But somehow that little back leg did. And then it ended up on the back floor behind the passenger side of Mr. Lincoln. Creepy things.

Did ya ever hold a live bumble bee in your hand? Yep, I have. It was inside the 2100 hour of cinco de mayo when the bumble bee first  appeared at the EastWing. While setting at the computer, looking into the south gardens of the nighttime and just like that, a bumble bee is up against the south glass of the EastWing.

Mr. Bentley, being in charge of Homeland Security, made a valiant effort to neutralize the bumble bee. After all, the  bumble bee had crossed into the “kill zone” as established by Homeland Security. When the bumble bee flew to a height exceeding the reach of Mr. Bentley, he asked that I establish a “No Fly Zone” inside the EastWing. I declined to do so.

One of my Grandpas was Harlan Fugate, and Grandpa Harlan, he taught me the importance of knowing the ways of the bees, both honey and bumble. Grandpa Harlan was a bee keeper, and every time I was at South Fork, he’d both show and tell me how to live with the bees, both honey and bumble. He’d say “Now BobbyRay just move slow, and don’t swat at the bees. Don’t ever swing your hands at the bees.  If you don’t hurt them, they won’t hurt you.” I learned those lessons well.

To this day, I don’t fear honey bees or bumble bees. Should I encounter either inside a building, I’ll catch ‘em in my hands, and take ‘em outside to freedom. And so it was on that cinco de mayo, inside the 21st  hour, of the 2013th  year, when  the bumble bee climbed beyond the reach of Homeland Security. While the  bee sat at the 7’ level of the south EastWing window, I named the bumble. Then moving ever so slowly I guided Beulah Bumble Bee into the sanctuary of the hands of BobbyRay. And so it happened there in the darkness of night, a girl named Beulah was no longer in harms way.

I yelled for the She to come open the EastWing Door to the East. The She thought I was crazy. Told her I had a bumble bee in my hands, and her name was Beulah, and couldn’t show her Beulah, or open the door myself, but I had to turn this bumble bee loose pretty soon, else she might get mad and decide I was not her friend after all. The She opened the door. Boy, was I ever glad. I’m not sure if I heard Beulah say “thank you” or not as she flew into the nighttime. The wind was blowing that night  and bumble bees do speak softly and carry  big stingers.

Freedom’s  just another word for watching a bumble bee fly away home. It was a bee happy night, that cinco de mayo of 2013. Me and Beulah Bumble Bee, we shared a moment in time. Beulah will probably not remember me nearly as much as I’ll remember her. After all, when you’re holding a Bumble Bee, a girl named Beulah,  in your hands, it’s kinda like lightning in a bottle. And you’re holding the bottle.  You just remember stuff like that. ‘Cause if something goes wrong, you get hurt quick.  Be it Bumble Bee or lightning, either way, ya get hurt quick.

Some years yes and some years no. I’m talking about the blooms of springtime. The blossoms of everything summer. In the early part of 2012 springtime came in February, everything bloomed then all blossoms were frozen before April arrived. The difference a year makes. This year everything blossom, blossomed. The world turned to bloom as April Showers done what they were supposed to do for the month of May.

Crab Apple Trees, Peach Trees, Pear Trees, Apple Trees, All bloomed at the same time. The Maple Trees bloomed along with the Tulip Tree and the Dogwood Tree. The Red Bud Tree added her own special shade of purple to the EastWing World. And all the while that pretty little springtime friend of mine, that pretty little, pretty little, dandelion, accented the green, green grass of home with a special springtime yellow that could only have come from heaven.

Then all the while my nose knows its springtime in the valley. I can never remember more fragrant aromas than those that have engulfed the EastWing during the first 10 days of this 5th month of twenty-thirteen. WOW! The smells of heaven descended upon the EastWing. Thank you God for such an underserved blessing to my sense of smell. Thank you God for giving me a sense of smell. Now if you ever wondered why you have the sense of smell, well, May 2013 should resolve that question.

Sometimes it don’t take long at all for people to get on my case for what I’ve said. Within two days of saying so, I’m being chastised for comparing Billy Beer to Panther Piss. The email said “How dare you to compare Billy Beer to Panther Piss! I happen to like Billy Beer and I’m sure you have no idea what Panther Piss smells like BobbyRay. How dare you say such a thing about Billy Beer. You should be ashamed of yourself!” And it’s right here, boys and girls, that the story gets really interesting, ‘cause I do, in fact, know what Panther Piss smells like.

It was in  the latter half of the sixth decade of the last century when I operated a clinical laboratory at 1150 North State Street in Chicago IL. My laboratory was in very close proximity to the Zoo at Grant Park. It was called the Zoo in the Park. It was then, and continues to be to this day, to be one of the most urban zoos in the country.

At that time the prize specimen at the Grant Park Zoo just so happened to be a very large  Black Panther. By now, I’m sure you’ve already figured this one out, but I’m still gona tell the whole story. One day when the said Panther became ill. Those in charge of Panther Health suspected a urinary track infection. As a confirmation of this diagnosis, and to ensure proper treatment of antibiotics, it was necessary to culture the urine In order to see what, If any, pathogenic organisms were present in the Panther Urine.

Yep, you guessed it, they brought Panther Piss to my laboratory for me to culture. I, personally, streaked the culture plates with the Panther Piss. Streaked six plates, using three different media, and yes I did isolate, and identify the pathogenic organisms making the big  Black Panther sick. So I guess in a very, very small way, I helped save the Black Panther at the Zoo in The Park. While at the same time gained personal knowledge that few possess. Sometimes unique odors and aromas are hard to come by. But once smelled, forever remembered. It turns out that smells are much like memories, on the back roads and all. Just a sniff away, and the aromas connect with memory.

I bring up the Black Panther episode simply to illustrate the point that when I’m telling ya Billy Beer smelled like Panther Piss, I’ve been there, and smelled both. Now me and the panther, we  never met eye to eye. But me and Billy Carter never met eye to eye either. ‘Course I never said anything ‘bout ole Billy’s urine one way or the other.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, Birds of Springtime, Losing Things, Bumble Bee In Hand, The Smells of Springtime, Panther Piss & Billy Beer

I Wish You Well,