Rusty Haggard Blog

Summer: Painted Buntings and Strawberry Icepacks

Memorial Day weekend is, for most of us here in the U.S., the unofficial opening of summer. In Austin, we’re off to a good start – 100 degrees on Friday!

In the backyard on Saturday, I noticed more signs of summer. A painted bunting and his mate! Last summer was our initial discovery of these beautiful, exotic visitors. The bird feeder is about 30 yards from the patio and with binoculars we can really enjoy watching these shy, winged friends.

Of course, I’d rather not be watching them with my ankle wrapped in ice packs. This morning I stepped back to pull the lawn mower over some rough, rocky areas I was clearing and twisted my ankle. Falling to the ground was the result. No one was around to help. Not much sense lying here, I said to myself. Even Rita, our Golden Retriever, was sitting under the air conditioner inside the house. Good dog!

Hobbling inside, I went to the freezer for help icing the old ankle. With material in hand, I  made it to a chair on the patio and pulled another chair around to prop up my injured leg. The ice pack consisted of one frozen bag of spinach underneath the elevated ankle and one frozen bag of strawberries on top, all neatly held in place with a dish towel. That’s when Rita sat down beside me to make sure I was okay. The bird watching commenced. Lucky sighting: painted bunting!

If it wasn’t 9:30 in the morning, I might have taken those strawberries inside and made a pitcher of strawberry margaritas. The thought did cross my mind. This thought also came to me: Heal thyself! And enjoy the return of summer and painted buntings. And strawberry margaritas.

Sometimes I wish I could fly, don’t you?




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