Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13: Early Morning Clamor

My niece Fiona slept-over last night--in my bed with me, in fact, while my poor husband (who snores) was relegated to the inflatable spare bed in his office. Because we stayed up so late watching a movie she'd brought, she fortunately fell asleep almost immediately, after my reading only two pages of "Little House in the Big Woods." This morning, we both woke up at 6:00 a.m., but thankfully she decided that was too early to get up and so fell back asleep.

I was almost asleep again myself, when it started: the blue jay racket. Right outside the bedroom window, several jays were yelling loudly and incessantly at something and they were not relenting. I kept thinking that any minute they'd stop, having moved along an intruding cat (usually what instigates such a racket) or hawk. But they kept going, and I worried they'd wake up my niece. Being a good auntie (who wants more sleep herself), I went outside to see what it was and if I could help move it along so the birds would shut up. I was very surprised, when I got out there, to look up and see a young porcupine hanging out in a tree just above our shed. I wasn't going to have much influence with that situation. So I went back in to bed hoping Fiona would somehow sleep through the noise now augmented by a family of cardinals and a couple of crows. Of course she didn't.

But she was very interested in going out to see the baby porcupine. So we watched it for a while, and then began our day. When my husband woke up an hour later it was still there. Two hours later it was still there, only having shifted position a bit. But when we returned from a day's outing with my niece and her family late this afternoon, it appeared to have moved on--from our yard, at least. Since porcupines are slow creatures, it's probably not far away. (My niece astutely compared it to a sloth.)

I'm still not entirely sure why the birds were so agitated about the porcupine, which was probably just looking for a place to hang out and nap for the day (they're generally nocturnal). My husband thinks it would eat birds' eggs if it found them, but I think they're mostly herbivores. Perhaps the birds just don't like a bulky mammal hanging out in their trees.

Real life angry birds
disturbing the porcupine's
sleep and mine--for what?

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