Sunday, May 26, 2013

 This is supposed to be a woodpecker. That'll mean something to you later

 "Rooftop Bird Watch"

    ROOFTOP – It’s looking overcast from up here this morning. In the west it seems almost intimidating. Not to worry, we won’t get a drop of rain.

No telling how many times I’ve waited for approaching dark clouds to bring precipitation. It’s generally just a tease. Our neighborhood has something going on that chases away the rain. My guess is cats.

Speaking of which, do you know how many birds in this country are murdered by cats each year? I don’t either, but somebody does. I read about it. It’s like a kazillion million. That’s just slightly less than the number of chickens we consume each day. If the cats ever figure out how to get to our chickens, we’re gonna be in some deep stuff. 
 It'll mean something to you later.

I can see where my birds down there in the front yard might be easy food for cats. They’re not the smartest. One nut short of a Mars Bar. Hey, I don’t care if they can  hear me. – “You’re not smart! You guys give the term ‘birdbrain’ meaning!”

Do you know who keeps that birdfeeder full, and who cleans the birdbath and refills it? Kay? No, it’s the guy sharing the roof with you. Kay takes care of the hummingbirds. Puts water in the little glass thing once a week. Big whoop.

Me, I’m hauling out the bag of seed and painstakingly scooping it into the squirrel-proof contraption. A job that any team of three able-bodied mechanical engineers could manage.

I’m ever vigilant to make sure the fortress of seed is full. I have to keep lookout ‘cause no one tells me. You’d think onee or two of the little tweeterheads would kindly peck at the window in my study, but noooo. – “Hey, I can’t get any seeds out of this thing. You give it a try.” – “I just did, but I’ll try again. Nothing. Now, you try.”

Crazy thing is, when I head out there to replenish the supply, the lookout bird gives the universal signal for an approaching Bengal Tiger. I’m out there wrestling with the feeder and cleaning the birdbath, and they’re headed for Willis. Unlike everywhere else, there’s never been a tiger loose in Willis.

The point is, the numb nibs don’t seem to realize that I’m the nicest animal around. I’m the one that feeds their rumpled butts! – Please excuse my vile speech.  This is something that just really grates.” – Birds must think it’s some kind of moon god that keeps the water clean and the sunflower seeds coming. And the god only appears after the mean human life form leaves.

Kay’s hummingbirds are much smarter. I was at the kitchen sink Monday replacing the Brita filter. I hate that job. Anyway, there was a hummingbird sitting on the metal post about three feet from the window. He’s looking at me with a stare that could cut okra. I expected it to say – “Hey, what’s wrong with this picture, Mac? There’s no nectar in that weird container with the fake flower petals all over it. Contact the lady in charge and take care of this, you worthless piece of man flesh!”

Hummingbirds are not the most patient fowl in the bird kingdom. They know what they want, how much they want, and that they want it now. And, they’re not too crazy about sharing what they get. Anyway, Kay took care of the little rotor-winged goobers. Was there a thank you? It was more like an “About time!”

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, if you think you’ve got it hard in this world; if you think you’re overworked and unappreciated, you need to take a look at what is making all of that thumping noise. See? It’s up there on top of the telephone pole. That woodpecker is beating the daylights out of the top of a giant pine pole that’s saturated with creosote.

What’s it hoping to find? I can’t imagine. We’d have to call in one of those military drones to find out. There’s probably one in the neighborhood this very moment. You’ve got to admit, some of you look just a bit suspicious up here.

Regardless, that woodpecker is viciously pounding the pole with its nose. You can’t tell me there aren’t plenty of insects on trees that it could peck to death. No, it’d rather keep smacking its head against the top of a treated pole. That’s just sad. 

Sadder still is the reappearance of lovebugs. I haven’t spotted one up here yet, but one landed on the windshield when I stopped at a red light in town. The pathetic bug couldn’t wait for me to pick up speed. It saw a windshield and wanted to become one with it. The thing didn’t have enough spit to hang on when I took off.

And, I think it’s about time we took ourselves off this metal-sheeted rooftop. Hey, I can’t believe it either. It’s actually starting to rain. Where are the cats when you need ‘em?

It will be a slippery dissent, so take it easy, rooftoppers. I’ll need you around for next time. I’ll leave the birds out of the discussion. Promise.


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