Posts Tagged ‘vertical blinds’

Everyone was woken up this morning, at seven o’clock, by Kenshin. He ran across the bed.  He pushed aside the vertical blinds. And he pawed at the closed windows. Then he talked and talked, and talked. Siamese talk a lot. They are very vocal cats…

I crawled out of bed and looked out the bathroom window.

  I saw the dark grey sky. I noticed the reddish color of the decks railings were topped with an icing of snow.   And then, I become aware of a slight movement near the bottom section of the deck. I scanned the lower deck for the rats.  I assumed,  the rats must have gotten Kenshin all worked up.  

But, it wasn’t the rat!  It was a very large hawk perched on the railing, just above the rat’s habitat.  This Buteo was not amused! I disturbed him!  It could have been the Red-tailed Hawk…  But, he looked a lot like the Swainson’s hawk that lives around here.

His breast feathers were puffed up, mottled white and reddish orange, mixed in with brown and black.  His deep rich colors blended in with his beige, downy winter feathers.  

The feathers on his head were slick dark, with browns and blacks. I didn’t notice the color of his tail feathers.  They were hidden by the decks railing. And I couldn’t see the color of his eyes. But I felt his gaze when he turned his head slightly.  He ruffled his feathers, in an irritated matter. His beak was hooked and sharp, thick and dark in color.

His stance was of pride.  A Buteo!  It radiated from him. He was beauty.  Beyond everything that was around him. He lived in this moment.

 I wished that I could be that self-assured, and free… There is irony in that word, “free.”

While he watched me, I saw a flicker of concern flash over his eyes. He stretched out his wings and jumped, and glided effortlessly along the ground.  Then he swooped upward into the trees.

I watched him spin and settle on a thin branch.  I immediately thought of how this hawk lost another nesting tree.

The past few days, the air has held a sweet, woody scent. Yesterday I saw what made that smell.

A few miles from my home, there is a grove of Oak trees.  Their ages ranged from seventy to hundred-fifty years old, craggily towering giants.

 I drove past those old trees yesterday and I saw empty spaces and tree stumps.  The Oaks were being cut down. I saw neatly stacked coffins waiting to be carted away.

Why cut down the trees during an ecological crisis?  Shouldn’t we be conserving nature? 

I find all this all very heartbreaking.  

A few hours later, I stepped  out on my deck. The clouds hung heavy and grey.  

In that muffled, snow covered silence.  I heard the hawk’s high pitch screech…


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You can hear the call of the Swainson’s hawk, and other birds here;


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I opened the vertical blinds and sat down at my computer and started typing. Tomoe my husband’s cat, silky black with yellow green eyes, saunter into the room. She called out with a cheerful chirping hello, and rubbed against my legs.  With one fluid leap, she was up on the desk and staring out the east window into the dog kennel.

She was sitting there only for a few minutes when she started making odd noises, a cross between a sneeze and a cough. I never heard her make that noise before.  She was staring intently out the window.

 I leaned over her to look outside; a rat was climbing the chain link fence attached to the dog kennel. Right next to the window!  It was weaving in and out of the holes.  He stopped and looked straight at me and continued its upward climb.  Then he crawled along the top of the cage.  Again, he stopped and leaned forward hanging upside down like an acrobat on a trapeze. Here’s the kicker!  He was looking in the window at me, looking at him….

Tomoe was shaking with excitement. I grabbed her, “Come on sweetie, let’s head up stairs and get mommy some coffee” She leaned backwards, and looked towards the window as I quickly carried her out the room.

Once in the kitchen, I pulled out my coffee cup and set it on the counter.  Tomoe had gone over to the sliding glass doors, and stuck her head between the vertical blinds, trying to look outside.

“Hang on, I’ll open them for you.” She made her little squeaking excited sounds and glided around my legs as I pulled the cord and opened the blinds.

Tomoe started pawing at the glass. I looked outside on the porch and saw that rat was climbing up the deck.  He ran over to the sliding door, looked right at me and stood on his hind legs….

I was not amused! Tomoe was ecstatic! Her happy sounds brought, PJ and her brother Kenshin running into the kitchen.  They all sat at the window, tails flipping with excitement, staring at the rat.  Who in turn, was stared at them.  I smiled, all they needed was popcorn!

A couple of years ago, somewhere around Christmas, I had made a big bowl of popcorn I didn’t finish. So in the spirit of giving, I took that popcorn out back with me, when I went for a walk. I sprinkled it under a large tree at the east end of the path. I assumed that with it being under the tree, an animal, or bird could safely eat it. A good deed for the holiday, feed the starving birds….

Come on! No laughing from the peanut gallery!

Well, I thought it was a great plan! The next day I walked out back expecting to find the popcorn gone.

Around the base of that tree it looked like a war zone!

Yes, animals and birds came to eat the popcorn. What I forgot, is this wasn’t a watering hole in Africa. Drink your fill and move on. Those rules don’t apply here.

Whoever showed up must have thought I set out a Smörgåsbord. There were feathers, parts of wings, odd bones, and fur, and drops of blood everywhere.

The popcorn was gone…

So, standing here today,  with that little rat staring at me through the door had me thinking.  I should pull out the popcorn maker and set up a pile of popcorn in the middle of the yard.

What do you think I should do?

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