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My friend Clark is a Nutcracker, a mountain bird of poise and style forever formal, dressed in gray. His feathers somehow form a freshly pressed tuxedo never ruffled, never stressed. He sings no songs and whistles not but nags, chats, caws, scolds, and kraas a warning din of clatter, averring his proclamations constantly. Although Clark prefers pine nuts he is forever famished and eats anything. Eggs, insects and even nestlings fall victim to his long, black, overpowering beak. Surely hunger is a constant companion in this all consuming quest for sustenance. His beauty well worth our lengthy admiration. Clark is a breathing Ansel Adams piece, with none of Van Gogh’s hummingbird or oriole colors splashed across him. These winter-like colors camouflage a springtime heart and summery disposition that eagerly greet each dawn. He lives in the krummholz of timberline where severe weather keeps predators at a minimum, as well as comforts. Sociable with his many peers, eternally faithful to his mate till death do they part... Together they roost respectfully on a foxtail branch, earth’s oldest living thing. A mystical tree that attracts and lures nutcrackers for long rest periods and shared secrets of longevity. Somehow they know the magical uniqueness of this most ancient life on earth, sacred bristlecone... Only the luckiest of humans view in awe this sight of sights. For Clark, it’s time to move along once again he’s insatiably hungry.
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