October 14th, 2005

caillebotte_the balcony


A touch of morning haze indicates the onset of those clouds which will probably bring rain tomorrow. It's quite romantically gray out there, in fact. If I didn't need to sleep, it would be a good morning for a long walk. The woodpeckers are already up and chattering. I forgot to mention that yesterday I was awakened by the songs of a mockingbird. They rarely visit this place. When they do, their repertoire is quite different than that of the mockingbirds I used to hear in Los Angeles, where they are plentiful. I don't know what territory this bird had visited, but he had picked up some calls I've never heard before. They were probably the songs of birds that frequent the lower elevations. It was odd to hear unfamiliar bird songs among the squawks of commonplace jays and crows. For a minute, emerging from sleep, I wasn't quite sure where I was. I enjoyed that.


This afternoon, flights of small birds exploded from the dogwood tree, one after another. With much avian chattering, they would veer and glide across the street to alight in a nearby ponderosa. I kept thinking that the dogwood couldn't possibly hold more birds, but they kept emerging, in groups of three or four, until I'd counted more than three dozen. Then I quit counting. What were all those birds doing in that one tree? Conspiring? Engaging in some sort of feathered-friend orgy? They behaved as though they were drunk. They would flutter about in the pine tree for a few minutes, chirping loudly, then depart eastward. Maybe this is a rest stop on their migration route. If I were to examine the dogwood, maybe I'd find its branches coated with droppings. I don't think I'll go over there.

The afternoon sky was luminous gray, the way it gets when a storm is gathering. This evening there is a freshening breeze, and the mulberry branches are scraping the rain gutter, making it groan. There are now sufficient fallen leaves to make a pleasant skittering sound when sudden gusts drive them across the pavement. To the east, the clouds are not yet fully formed, and a halo surrounds the moon where it glows amid bright haze. That persistent cricket still chirps, undeterred by the air's growing chill. Altogether, it is a perfect October evening. Later, there might be a display of moonlight on clouds. I'd enjoy that.

Also, I have this on good authority: Les poulets n'ont pas de chaises. Though I'm not sure why, I felt that this might be important enough that it ought to be passed on.