Yesterday a flicker landed on the fig branch next to our little dangling bird feeder and promptly set about pecking the living daylights out of it as its tiny feathered brothers and sisters looked on in admiration and dismay. The feeder was swinging, and with it in a strange way our kitchen window world, as if the house were a ship at sea, or an ark, which of course it is, especially this year. Since the beginning of record-keeping in 1846, this has been our wettest February here in Salem, Oregon, dripping in at 13.41 inches. Where I grew up in Central California, our annual rainfall averaged eleven inches. I suppose it still does. I remember raindrops there as big as quarters, landing two or three feet apart, allowing me to stay dry through an entire storm. Of course I exaggerate. The drops were the size of nickels — but they were ten times as heavy. O Lord, have I come this far just to be a blowhard? Apparently so. Apparently so.