redpolls and high flying kites

by underswansea


The birds have been acting up. This morning a pair of Redpolls got lost in a wagon wheel hub. Perhaps they feel something coming. Frost could be as near as two weeks.

On our evening walk Lisa and I watched three Vauxs’ Swifts sail like kites above the thunder struck timber. We argued about how to say ‘Vaux’. I said it rhymes with ‘fox’. She said it was more likely the French pronunciation, ‘vo’, rhyming with ‘slow’. It wasn’t much of an argument, I conceded she was probably right. I had never considered the French option. It is tough enough keeping one coherent language resounding through my skull without acknowledging another.

When we arrived home Lisa looked it up. The Vaux’s Swift was named after William Sansom Vaux, an American mineralogist. His name rhymes with ‘fox’. I was correct. Lisa said, with a wink, there’s a first time for everything!

Losses stay with me, victory is fleeting. I wondered why such, a fast sky bound bird would be named after someone who looked for heavy metal.