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All of a Sudden
Bob Bradshaw

Those gray lifeless sticks of branches have mysteriously come alive; they are not dead after all. Having despaired over these past months asking, what could have caused that lovely tree to give up the ghost; now it will have to be cut down; what should be planted in its place? Not so fast there - wispy lime green leaves have all of a sudden appeared. In the distance, across the valleys and up the hillsides, stretches of green sombreros are adorning those tired and naked skeletons, brightening the horizon.

How could this be? We have had no rain. Nothing but hotter and sunnier days followed with star studded nights; sure a bit of evening dew, but not enough to fill a thimble. One thing we Gringos know for certain, nothing - absolutely nothing - can even contemplate starting to grow without 'those April showers.' Right when those of us fortunate enough to live out in the sticks, away from the hum and hustle of towns and pueblos with running water, (here it might be well to add running and often wasted water), we find ourselves conserving every last drop from our weary wells - life springs eternal! Who could be creeping about in the wee small hours, providing that elixir, giver of life, to our flora and fauna? Whoever, whatever: WELCOME!

Otra pregunta, another question, why have the birds suddenly taken to song? What are they so chirpy about? Not that they are mute the rest of the year, but it seems that they are overcome with new inspiration. Where normally they have been happy to wait their turn, singing when another has run out of song or wind, now they are all at it at the same time. A variety of unrehearsed and original choruses must be the cause for all those trees leafing out. And can you tell me this - what is it with these birds anyhow. How come the plainer the bird, es major para cantar - the better the singer?

Without a doubt, the best examples are those little parquets that zoom and swerve about in droves at something in the range of Mach 1; not one of them could carry a tune in a bucket! What the hey; they are attractive and fun to watch, and their colors - the greens, yellows and blues - make up for their squawking. On the other hand, those tiny little gray chaps and chappitas - is that a Spanish word for lady chaps? - can they ever sing! How do they do it? Their lungs must be half the size of angel hair spaghetti and, yet they hit notes from another planet. Ahh...los pájaros, those birds, surely one of God's most precious gifts to man.

Having softly drifted off into that quiet peace, that dividend of contented life style that we have come to expect, (one hopes, that is equally appreciated and respected), being the business end of 'why we are here'...ka-boom, the heavies arrive: the B-57's of the airways. Here they are known as Guacamayas Verdes; the Gringo's bird books call them Military Macaws. In somewhat sloppy formation, three squadrons, initially audible, then visible, cruise onto the scene. Having set out from Central or South America, they are here to get on with life; their mating season and, where better to do just that? We learn one thing for absolute certain; those pesky parakeets are family.

While parakeets may squawk, these magnificent magna-arrivals make a chain smoking goose with laryngitis sound like Bocelli! So much for the bad news! The sun highlighting their wings and fuselage, a cacophony of colors erupts, displaying electric blue-greens with the intensity of summer lightening. Words cannot describe the mixtures of hews and ranges of color that combine to give all who are so fortunate to be part of this new dawning, a reason to count one's blessings.

All of a sudden, all on her own, nature has reasserted herself, reassuring anyone who stops to take notice, that, in spite of our awkward and thoughtless ways, she is granting all, yet another opportunity to enjoy. One should "listen up," as they say, and, if we dare, all of a sudden, we will begin to appreciate just how fortunate all of us really are.

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