Friday, May 12, 2006


To complain, to grumble; a cause for complaint.

But, also, a chicken-like bird of the pheasant family. And I have to ask, why was there a ruffed grouse in my yard this morning? I was on my porch--stalling, not writing--and saw a big bird halfway down the hill, posing in the shadow of a dogwood. Too big for a robin; too small for a wild turkey (and, anyway, what would a turkey be doing in the yard?). I went outside and approached cautiously. I noticed its crown, its tawny coloring. As I neared it began to "display," its tail with the black band fanning, its breast swelling to make the bird look larger (but not intimidating, although that must be nature's intent, no?). It began to move away and I, not wishing to frighten it any further, retreated to look it up in my Sibley's. I'd never in my life seen a ruffed grouse before. What a treat!

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