March 29, 2017 Scribble

Worse than letting everything I write drop in the wastebasket, the blog deleted some posts. Some really good stuff too!

Reminds me of the time I wrote 2,500 words for a magazine only to have the computer flash and die. All of those thoughtful words were gone. I madly wrote it again and the second time it was better; Less superfluous verbiage and more succinct in style.

This is a space to write, explore, and make mistakes. I just wish the electrons felt as highly about my writing as I do.


A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

To switch and scriggle and unruly wiggle.

For mischief playing or a glancing Lear.

My cat uses those muscles to make me giggle.


No owls exist on Antarctica. No snow owls, nor great horned owls. So to find Athene cunicularia, the burrowing owl, on the beach near Palmer Station startled Betsy Granger. The owl looked nearly dead sprinkled among debris from last night’s storm. It must have been caught up in the wind and tossed from Argentina. Betsy chocked up the find up to serendipity. The Gentoos eyed the owl with skeptical glances. For its part, the stranger just sat on the rocky beach as if to ponder it’s new home.


The pedicab driver begged the couple to take a ride with him to Fremont Street. Of course, they were uneasy. No pedicabs lined the street and they didn’t know what to think of him. They declined the ride. He turned around on the one-way street and peddled back up the bicycle lane opposite the traffic. Maybe if he got closer to the Container Park he might find a fare.


Water leaked out of the cliff forming a irrigation waterfall from the alfalfa and corn fields north of Hagerman. The photographers pushed off from the shore in a long boat headed toward the island in the middle of the Snake River. The mayflies rose up in the spring sun darting around the passengers. A single fly landed on Tom’s cheek. He brushed it away in a casual sweep. He pulled his green hat down as the boat skied across the water. A few yards from the island the boat slowed. On its starboard, a group of nesting grebes rested in the water lilies. The birds dipped below the water in an uncomfortable dance between avoiding the boat and protecting their nests. Tom lined up the birds taking closeups of the water nests with his Nikon. The boat slid across the water with the current. Soon, it reached the island and the passengers climbed onto the shore.

The island covered in cottonwoods seemed primordial. Wisps of grass hung from the bottom of the trees. The air carried a distinctive muddy smell. And then the prize; hidden among the trees hundreds of Great Blue Herons made their nests. Each bird stood stoic among the lower branches hidden as sticks. Their eyes bubbled out from their beaks. But otherwise, they stood still. The photographers took time to capture each bird. They stood silent too. Then the photographers left as the melancholy of the birds was too great. The boat skid back across the water toward the far shore.


© 2017, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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