The birds are up promptly at 4:30 in our Black Forest backyard, and one species in particular gets my attention every time. It calls: “Birgit, Birgit, Birgit.” Although I know my father-in-law could quickly identify it for me, pride or obstinacy or something else altogether prevents me from asking him. Instead, I spent an hour cross-referencing the birds of southern Germany with the (very impressive) sound library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. No match. But while watching the Group A flight of the Women’s World Soccer Championships, I got my answer, or at least a good enough one. In Germany’s match I heard over the broadcast, “Birgit, Birgit, Birgit,” referring to the Deutsche Bundesliga striker Birgit Prinz. I didn’t go back to the sound library. That bird was just another fan.
I am excited to report that the editors at CALYX have organized a reading for some of the writers featured in the upcoming summer issue. If you can, come out and hear me read…along with Lois Rosen, Marianne Klekacz, and Penelope Scambly Schott. The event will be in Corvallis on September 17 at 2 p.m. at Grass Roots Books and Music. Hope to see you there!
I was recently in Novigrad, Croatia on a climbing trip and was struck by the region’s feeling of anticipation: everyone seemed to be counting down the days to tourist season, which officially begins the day after Easter. But there was a greater sense of urgent edginess as the country was busy making infrastructure improvements to prepare for its bid for membership in the European Union. They were finishing putting the roofs on the highway tollbooths while we were there. The highways themselves were empty, as if no one wanted to ruin the surprise.