Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Disturbed at Midnight

I stumbled out front door the other night, just after midnight, in need of a lungful of fresh, cold air. It was drizzling, tiny droplets falling soft as a caress, but the stars twinkled in a cut of blackness just above the treetops along the northeast border. All else was clouded.

A female robin flitted down onto the sidewalk in front of me, pit-pit-pitting her disgust at the intrusion. I had spooked her from her comfortable place of nocturnal repose in the arbor vitae at the corner of the house. She cocked her head over her shoulder, with a beseeching mien, as if asking me not to come a single step closer.

I spoke softly to the robin, asking why she had chosen a small shrub right next to the house for roosting. I wondered if it reminded her of where she'd been born--perhaps in a bit of suburban landscaping. We shared a quiet moment, then another. She listened to my heartfelt apology for disturbing her.

Flicking her tail she jumped into flight, bound for the Virginia pines along the drive. Back in 1994 when I'd planted them, these pines were foot-high treelings. Little did I know then that they'd grow so fast, or crowd so close to one another. I had no idea that their needle-clad boughs would someday offer shelter to a weary bird whose peaceful nighttime roost I had disturbed unintentionally. My guilt let up a bit.

In the morning she was gone. Perhaps she had joined the swirling flocks of robins moving along the edge of the east woods. Or perhaps she'd left in the wee hours, navigating by the light of the waning moon hanging low in the inky western sky.


At 7:21 AM, Anonymous FLAMonkey said...

This is tender and lovely. Seems like there's a lot of bird watching out there, but not so much empathy for the bird.

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous [email protected] said...

such an interesting encounter and luckily you were no predator taking advantage of the robin! I think maybe the robin said "O - its just bill of the birds".


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