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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Twitterpated: Observing Spring by Rose Anderson

Dutchman’s Breeches and Squirrel Corn
Spring is going full bore in my yard. The daffodils are up around the house. In the woods, the blooming Dutchman's breeches look like so many little clotheslines heavy with hanging white and yellow trousers.

It's all I can do to contain our little dog. She goes outside with her muscles tight and eyes darting. Her ears are alert and every hair on her little body stands stiff in anticipation.  It's so hard for terriers to choose between chasing squirrels, rabbits, and robins in the grass you know. The wildlife is more cautious since Maggie came to live with us, which is a good thing because terriers were bred to chomp rats and that urge is strong. But unfortunately, spring makes the creatures we share our space with less cautious. All they can think about is courtship. Spring makes everyone twitterpated. 

I just love that word. (From the movie Bambi) Predictably, I have one crazy robin who challenges his mirror image in my window a few times a day. Other spring birds are so intent on chasing away competition, they'll swoop right in front of your car. Even more annoying, the woodpecker has started on the house again. They love the cedar siding because it's so easy to pound holes into. I saw red-winged black birds doing their mating dance last week. Any day now the woodchucks will meet up in my backyard and sway nose to nose in a push me/pull you dance of their own. Yep, twitterpated. Remember this?

That always makes me smile :)

Just about every species has some sort of dance as part of courtship. You see it all across the animal kingdom. But humans dance too. We call it dating. If gets serious, we work out a way to keep it forever through forms of bonding - living together, commitment, marriage. My romances are all about this happy ever after dance. :)

So I did a little reading up on things we do in our courtship, those rituals we take for granted but whose origins go back to when we were first becoming human. There are interesting things like the correlation

between male sweat and a woman's reproductive cycles getting in sync with his higher testosterone days when she smells it. We give unconscious come-hither signals we don't even know we make like licking our lips, swinging our leg, lust-dilated pupils and desire-warmed skin. Then there's the fact we possess scent-driven desire. We do, the mouth and nose are loaded with receptors for that very thing. Test yourself. Moisten your upper lip and sniff something. You just enhanced your sense of smell didn't you? Moist lips catch scent and send it to the nose. That's one of the reasons we kiss. 

There are hidden mating scents on a lover's face. Kissing fosters pair bonding and that ties it to survival of the species. A good kiss, the kind that leaves you light-headed with longing, actually works on the brain the same way parachuting and bungee-jumping do. No kidding. The brain finds a good kiss every bit as exhilarating because it experiences a surge in chemicals, specifically the happy chemicals called dopamine, norepinephrine, and phenylethylamine. These neurotransmitters attach to pleasure receptors in the brain to create giddy feelings like euphoria and elation. And, because the brain gets high on these happy chemicals, kisses can be very addicting. Seriously addicting to people who are susceptible to other addictions like alcohol, gambling, or drugs. Hmm...I do like kisses. And I just happen to like poker too...

Here's a kiss that kisses my brain every time.
Share your favorite movie kiss in comments

About Rose
Rose is multi-published award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and discovering interesting things to weave into stories. She lives with her family and small menagerie amid oak groves and prairie in the rolling glacial hills of the upper Midwest. 


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Sandy said...

Mating habits of the animal species are interesting, Rose. My little cat, Dory, runs from window to window watching all of the animals in our yard.

Cara Marsi said...

Rose, what beautiful descriptions of the flowers and animals, including Maggie, in your yard. I really enjoyed your post.

My indoor cat also runs from window to window watching other cats and the foxes and squirrels in our yard.

Rose Gorham said...

Great post, Rose. The birds nest in my hanging plants. When their babies are hatched momma dives at us if we get too close.

Tina Donahue said...

OMG, I love the picture of the birds 'kissing'. So cute. :)

Kaye Spencer said...

The kiss scene from Last of the Mohicans may be the best kissing scene of all time. Oh. My. Gosh. Melts me every time. :-)

Paris said...

I actually use the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans to inspire me when I'm writing. I'd never thought Daniel Day Lewis was particularly sexy until that KISS. I smile every time I hear the background music:)

jean hart stewart said...

Loved that kissing scene... can't be beat. Thanks,, great column, Rose.

Melissa Keir said...

Rose, I would love to sit in your yard and watch the animals around you! What a fun place to live. I never thought spring would arrive but the flowers are coming up and we have a nest of baby birds on the porch.

My favorite kiss is the firm one which ends with some nibbles. Of course, you know who does it best!

Carly Carson said...

One of the most interesting tidbits I've read about "unseen courting" is the fact that women when ovulating will pick a male face that is stronger - more like a bad boy - stronger features, bigger jaw etc. When not ovulating, they pick more 'beta' looking guys. Weird. One type to impregnate themselves, a different type to help them raise the kids. Interesting topic.

Gemma Juliana said...

What-a-kiss! Oh gosh, Rose, nothing I can think of beats that one. Now I want to go watch the movie. Do you think it was all acting, or were some of those phermones and scents at work between the actors?

I feel like I just spent the afternoon in your enchanted garden. What an amazing slice of Mother Earth you inhabit.

Sounds like we humans have been well programmed to ensure the survival of the species.

Fran Lee said...

Thank you so much, Rose, for giving us interesting, decently edited posts! LOL! I always enjoy reading yours.

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