A Hitchcockian Nightmare

November 12, 2010

It is an iota less mild today, overcast with a sky that looks like rain and a forecast that does not. The sky has that heavy feel, like it is Right There, low over your head and full of cold water.

I hear them first, whistles that begin low and end high, chirps and calls, quavering amongst the overall din of raucous squawking, unattractive and loud.

Loud and louder and finally deafening. I must be a stop on the migration highway and this must be the biggest travel day of the season. These seem to be starlings, big and shrieking, and quite frankly, ugly ugly ugly. They fill up the pin oak, the honey locust and my neighbor’s trees. In groups, they roost and then whirl in circles, spirals of feathers in designerly rings, to come back and roost again.

And LOUD. The sounds that are bell-like, the twitters and songs, are overwhelmed by the crass and the cacophonous, those harsh caws and cackles. They fill the air and intimidate. Griffey and Lucky are not barking, not jumping; they know they are overwhelmingly outnumbered and somewhere in their ancient canine instincts, they know these are the descendants of those who ripped their own grandfathers to pieces somewhere, sometime in millennia past.

Within hours, they are gone, but the avian invasion continues. Robins flood into the pond, cardinals flash siren-red on top of the fence, on the edge of the stones, goldfinch cover the feeder. Doves walk down the flagstone, heads bobbing in quiet rhythm. Wrens pop and crash into my office window all day, startling me and themselves.

Kind of a freaky day…


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