Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Covenant of Quails

The quails have just paraded through the patio with this summer’s crop of babies, who look as if they’ve had at least a couple of weeks to mature already.  We hadn’t seen any of them for weeks.  It’s funny how they go and come, according to mysterious quail patterns.  More often than not they prefer to flow along the edge of the tennis court in the next yard, though never across the playing space.  Sometimes they scatter all across our driveway, all two or three dozen of them.  Sometimes a lone two sit on the patio fence, contemplating, clucking.  They only seem to call when they are keeping watch for the others.  I love their ebb and flow, the elegant and comical ways they move, their logarythmic rhythms, their grace.  I'm never sure what collective noun to choose for them, or why I chose the one I did today.  (What is it quails have agreed to refrain from?)  A contemplation of quails would be apt, as well.

[Oddly, after I chose "covenant" this morning, the Writer's Almanac poem of the day turned out to be a poem (unexpected) by Tennessee Williams called "Covenant"!]

image:  California Quail, Stanford University

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