A short week which means that I am a bit behind on the correct day of the week. It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for three beautiful things from my past week:
1. Last night there was a weird thunk in the window well, which we assumed was a neighborhood rat. This morning, when screeching awoke us, come to find out that it was a fledgling blue jay who might have left the nest a day or two early. After Rudi’s attempts to lift it up to street level were met with vicious attacks by blue jay parents, we spent the day worrying about the baby’s fate. And this evening, when we returned to find it still alive, if a bit groggy, we tried to figure out a way to get it out of the window well without starring in our own version of The Birds. But, come to find out, fledglings often spend quite a bit of time on the ground before they learn to fly. And the Internets suggest that we just leave it be and it will eventually fly out on its own. Yay for learning things — and for education literally in front of our noses!
2. The Fourth of July in the U.S. means fireworks. We took ours with a serving of national monuments and patriotic music. This year’s display was the best we’ve seen in the seven years we’ve been here and Rudi has the photos to prove it.
3. We caught the final hours of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Monday afternoon, where the highlight of the three exhibits was definitely Mexico. We learned about tequila. We watched a craftsman casually insert tiny inlays of cedar along the body of a guitar he’d built, hardly even needing to look at what he was doing. And, at the end of the day, we watched four men climb to the top of a hundred foot pole. One of them stood atop the pole, playing his flute, dancing, and jumping to pay respect to the four cardinal directions and then the four, with their festive pink plumed headgear, attached themselves to ropes and spiralled down to the ground in the Danza del Bixom Tíiw, the Dance of the Hawk, which honors the Lord of the Corn. Hillary got photos of the ceremony earlier in the day. The Smithsonian has a video.