Saturday, August 27, 2011

Where have all the birds gone?

All summer long I've filled the bird feeder every other day--but early last week they ate about a third of the bird seed, and it's remained at that level ever since. I don't see birds around the feeder, in the trees or bushes, and I don't hear them singing. It's kind of spooky, as though they know something about this heat wave we don't, like the zoo animals in D.C. who knew the earthquake was coming before mankind did in spite of all our sophisticated technology. And frankly, I miss them. Please send in the birds!
Sophie the pup and I have been doing battle royal over my bookcase--she wants to chew the bottom shelf on two sections--for some reason, she ignores the other two. I put duct tape down, and she industriously worked to chew it off. I sprayed that stuff that's supposed to repel dogs, and she licked it. Today, having totally lost patience with her when after lots of scolding about the chewing and a firm no about chasing the cat, she chased him anyway, I put her in her crate and took a friend's advice to spray Tabasco on the bookcase. Works like a charm. She took one sniff and hasn't been near the bookshelves again. I think I'll buy a huge bottle of the stuff. Thank you, Sally.
Speaking of mysteries, which we weren't but they're always on my mind, I went to a booksigning at the local Barnes and Noble for Laurie Moore's Couple Gunned Down--News At Ten. I'd read the first in this series, Woman Strangled--News at Ten, amd liked it. Besdes I felt it would be polite to go to a fellow mystery writer's signing since it was so close, and I was glad I did--she seemed genuinely glad to see me. It's the kind of thing that I too often put on my calendar and then just don't do, so chalk one up for me--on another hot day. Now I'm inside for the duration.
And a word on another mystery. I just read Blackbird Fly, by Lise McClendon. Since I read about it on a mystery listserv, I expected a mystery. Instead, it opens as a contemplative, introspective novel about a woman dealing with the sudden death of her husband and the way life can change so quickly. But when Merle Bennet and her teen-age son, Tristan, go to a rural French village to see her husband's family homestead, which she has inherited, intrigue and suspicion build until there is murder and violence. It's all set against the backdrop of a tranquil village that hides many secrets. In spite of that and the ostracism she faces, Merle makes friends and weaves herself into the life of the village until it is a major character in the book. Yes, it's a mystery, but much more it chronicles in a beautiful, haunting way one woman's journey toward emotional freedom, toward learning to fly like the blackbird. I give five stars to this one.
With my computer problems, I got behind on "Potluck with Judy" but I posted a guest blog today. Please go to to see what Pat Deuson has to say about daube. I had no idea what it was--except maybe a daub of paint--until Pat wrote this blog. Her new mystery, Superior Longing, comes out mid-September. Watch for it.

No comments: