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Friday, April 24, 2009

No Time to Say Goodbye

It looks like my birds have flown. Saw the last kolea on my street last Wednesday. I was driving slowly along, looking for them to observe closely their breeding plumage because I'm trying to paint them in Chinese brush style, and there are no traditional reference standards for this bird. I thought they were all gone then, until one appeared pretty much right in the road in front of me. I stopped the car and took a quick photo; she seemed to have been waiting for me. Maybe that was her goodbye gesture. I hope to see her back on the street in August. I am calling her The Goodbye Girl. I know she is a female because the males are a bit more dramatic in the white and black feathering.

Since then, I have seen none, but it has been rainy the past couple days so I didn't even see the usual mynahs, bulbuls, pigeons, and doves. Tomorrow is the day the kolea are all ticketed for their Alaska charters. A few of them never leave for the summer, but these are birds that have not achieved their breeding state (as my Goodbye Girl has, judging by the white swashes and the black belly) or perhaps are too old. I wonder how they do it. At a specific mystical moment, do they all flap up to 3,000 feet, fasten their seat belts and just sit back to enjoy the migration flight?

While pondering the missing kolea, I was also thinking about a colleague who is retiring today (leaving me and another woman as les eminences gris in the office, although the other woman is blonde). How lovely to be able to say, today's the day, and just fly away. Although the kolea missed the farewell lei, the potluck and the pau hana* drinks at the sports bar across the street, within walking distance of the airport.

*pau hana (pow HAH-nah). Actual Hawaiian phrase. Means after work. Also after work drink. Junior wen bus up his truck. Get too many pau hana.

1 comment:

sybil law said...

I can't wait to see your drawings/ sketchings/ inkings.
You're gonna share, aren't you?
Also, I wish I could just fly away sometimes!!!