Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nature's Circus Comes to Town




(The image above is but one small aspect of the story to follow, but try if you will to let your mind fill the rest of the picture.  And if it does, I dare you not to smile!)



As I lay in half slumber this morning, not yet fully awake yet no longer asleep, I became aware of an angry droning sound originating just outside the bedroom window.  As my mind slowly focused, it appeared that a swarm of hornets had somehow settled upon the front porch – and my curiosity was such that it was enough to draw me from the warm bed toward the cool air of early morning flowing through the window.


I slowly crept forward and crouched low before the bow window so as not to disturb whatever was making such a racket.  Upon first glance, there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary.  There were three tiny, immature brown birds with the general shape and beak configuration of nuthatches sitting in the burning bush just outside the window and a pair of titmice nearby – yet the noise continued unabated.


But as I watched, those three tiny birds began to busily hop from branch to ground to porch to brick arch and back again – mouths wide open as they moved in rapid and apparently random fashion.  And from this trio of less-than-fist-sized wonders  all of that noise was originating.


I watched in fascination as they fluttered and bounced from perch to perch, uttering their most unpleasant cries continually.  What their mission was I can only imagine, but it seemed that their cacophonous ruckus had woken more than just me. For as I looked, it appeared that all of nature had suddenly descended upon my vista:


A chipmunk jumped upon the woodpile and began loudly proclaiming himself its king as he perched upon hind legs and began the continuous clucking sound that requires such force that it shakes his entire small frame with each outburst.  In the woods to the right, I could see two squirrels chasing each other noisily and effortlessly as they zipped from branch to branch and tree to tree.  Further in the distance, the red-tailed hawk’s piercing cry echoed over the treetops.


There were silent visitors as well.  As the eye became more keen and the clutter of life dropped away and allowed the eye to truly see,  the lazy path of the bumblebee came into sharp focus.  To its left, a butterfly gracefully fluttered from marigold to marigold – resting and preening for a moment and gathering the morning sun upon her wide-spread wings before moving further into the yard.  A flash of bright green zipped by and then materialized as a hummingbird, hovering as if frozen in time by the feeder – and then gone again in an instant.  And below the feeder, the tiny toad who lives in the impatiens bed crept back to the safety of his home.


And then, in what seemed the blink of an eye, there was silence - and all the activity, all the commotion, all the glorious clatter was gone.  There was no movement save for the lazy dance of the leaves in a gentle breeze, no sound but the low rumble of cars from the road behind the house, and an occasional solitary cry from a distant chickadee. 


The show had packed its tent and moved on – but it would be back, in endlessly changing configurations.  And what a show it had been.



fitzzer said...

what a wonderful way to wake up! gorgeous picture as always - love the tall ship too

emabecmar said...

i wanna wake up in your house, lol. here in philadelphia i wake up to traffic, more traffic, and talking buses, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I love the pic, it's just beautiful. (((hugs))))

mutualaide said...

My favorite way to wake.  Nature at her finest displaying all she has to offer and having enough time to stop and watch.  Beautiful photo Rob!  (beautifully written as well)

marainey1 said...

Oh Wow !  What a way to wake up.  I live in town and we get a few birds chirping, but not much else early in the morning.  I think I get up and off to work too early for much to stir.  One morning when walking the dog, we spotted a racoon up a telepone pool.  That was very unusual. I love your descriptions and Yes, I was smiling when I first took a look at the picture.  Butterflys facinate me.  'On Ya' - ma

bedazzzled1 said...

I cannot think of anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature or is more richly deserving of the splendid spot of land on which you live than you. Seems almost like God made that place just for you. In fact, I just bet He did.

::big hug::

bedazzzled1 said...

I cannot think of anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature or is more richly deserving of the splendid spot of land on which you live than you. Seems almost like God made that place just for you. In fact, I just bet He did.

::big hug::

midwestvintage said...

 I just found your journal and can only say wow, great photo's.   I love the  doe and fawn,  I love all of them.  


inafrnz247 said...

Beautiful as always.  

nhd106 said...

Wow, in a big way.   I'm glad I found your journal.   Between the photos and the's just wonderful!


dizarra said...

This picture is lovely! I love the way your write, your entry's are ALWAYS interesting, and you have the best photo's-EVER! Looking forward in seeing another entry! I'm behind reading my alerts, but I get the job done! ~Diane~

kaydeejay5449 said...

What a great video that would have been!  I could almost see it from your description!  Love the picture of the butterfly.  Beautiful!!!

mariebm56 said...

Just Stunning, full of color!!!