Sunday is usually my day to sleep in, and by sleep in I mean get up around 7 to take the dogs out and give them breakfast, then go back to bed. That’s usually the plan, anyway, and this morning was no different.
Even though the dogs were still quiet, not “hounding” me for their morning out and breakfast, I knew it was only a matter of minutes before the plaintive pop barks started, so I dragged my morning self up.
Jocko was just waking up and Tanya popped awake as I neared, as she usually does. Even at 12 she doesn’t like to be “caught” sleeping. I prepared their breakfast and took them outside. As they ate I listened to the quiet world around me. Off in the distance I could hear the deep hum of the raging brook nearby, the ever present rumble sound with the occasional roar of the wind behind it.
It was early on a Sunday and it took a moment for me to realize …. We don’t live near a brook, and it wasn’t windy out.
As my sleepy morning fog still held tight to my mind I strained to hear the ever-present sound that a moment ago was assumed to be part of my every day life. What was it?
I was easily distracted by the dogs who were perky in the cross-over late winter warmth, preening for attention and play. From inside I heard Lucy, our Macaw awaken with her startling screech. I wasn’t sure what got her attention, perhaps just a need for a loud hello.
Still in the back was that sound that I just couldn’t place. It seemed to be growing louder, or was I just settling into a more complete state of awakening?
A gush of the sound of a strong wind rose up and I braced for the blow to reach us, but it didn’t. At that moment Tanya calmy walked to the edge of the dog pen and watched, not overly tense or on alert, just watching. I went over to where she was and saw the source of the noise.
It was no running water, no gushing wind, no strange morning machinery.
Up in the field at the end of our block was somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand black birds. There was always a group in motion and slowly the packs moved down the block. They moved into the neighbors yard and across the street. They were so close even Jocko, who at almost 14 has bouts of not seeing or hearing the world around him, took notice. Lucy was silent inside. Something clearly had gotten her attention.
Looking across the street, next door into the neighbors yard, and even into our back yard, a blanket of black birds covered everything. The gush of wind sound was them taking off in groups and moving to the next yard.
It was fascinating. Part of me grabbed the obvious thought from the sky about Alfred Hitchcock, and in the distant corners of my mind the combination of this many blackbirds on a Sunday morning began to form, but a lack of caffeine limited the completion of the connecting ideas.
It was a while before all the birds systematically flew and landed to every yard, front and back, entertaining and amazing both us and the pets.
By that time it was too late to go back to bed.