Monday, February 28, 2011

Myrtle Warbler at Clark's Oyster House

There was a Myrtle Warbler, named Chip, that spent a cold winter month in a little mulberry tree behind a building where oysters were processed in Port O'Connor, Texas.  There were big piles of oyster shells on the east side of the building but Chip like the west side where the noon and afternoon sun was warm and out of the winter winds.  Chip was not like the town Myrtles in that he never raced around chasing flies and bugs nor did he fly with the flocks there.   Chip kept his secret well and stayed with his mulberry tree.  He was much different in behavior that the other Myrtles and the longer he stayed in his little tree the wiser and wiser, fatter and fatter he became, for just on the other side of the oyster shed there were those huge piles of oyster shells that a conveyor belt brought out.  The grackle and turnstone people came to the piles to glean the scraps of meat from the shells and so did the flies.  Chip never bothered to associate with the likes of those birds but instead knew that by just sitting tight in his little mulberry the very best of the best chow would come his way.  And indeed it did, for once the flies and bees were filled with oyster nectar they flew over the building to rest out of the wind in the bur clover, sow thistle and on the sun warmed walls, sleepy and full.  As they grew drowsy in the warm sun,  in windless conditions, Chip could pluck them from the walls or the weeds as easy as picking ripe grapes off the vine as tasty snacks.  Chip then would then too feel full and sleepy and then just sit for long periods in his little mulberry tree, sometimes not moving at all.  Just soaking up the sun's warmth..  He could watch all the other birds struggle to find chow but he just stayed in his little tree and grew wiser and wiser.  The pelican and gull people came and went so did the heron, egret and shorebird folks, the grackles and blackbirds and all of the birds of winter he could see from his little mulberry tree.  He had to go no where for food, nor did he have to go scramble for food with the silly restless town Myrtles that by then had been reduced to eating Tallow seed or scrambling for midges in the budding ash.  Chip had been on the gravy train for weeks and he knew it. When the fogs of the night came, there was fresh water for him on concrete foundations of the old ice house.   I have never seen a Myrtle Warbler as smart as Chip