Saturday, November 14, 2009


Photo by Laitche

Photo by Paul Lomax

The windows run with rain, though I do not see it falling through the air. Little brown and white birds with slightly pink heads sit on bare branches beaded with rain drops, flapping their wings and hopping to dry themselves, their little tails twitching in and out for balance. Then they flit in the direction of the bird feeder on our front balcony, but I see them stop on the railing, perched on the cold metal in a row, waiting.

Another flock is arriving from the sky and settling near the feeder, big, speckled fellows with long, sharp beaks. I can't see the feeder from this angle, but I imagine they leap at it, their weight causing it to sway so they fall off, knocking seed down onto the wet ground for a group of them to grab at. When they are done, the little birds are allowed to take over, perching gingerly or picking with care at leftover seed on the ground.

I look back out the window after my imaginings. Both kinds of birds rest in the dripping tree now; sometimes a big bird shares a branch with a little bird. The little ones still fluff and flap, and the big ones do, too, their greater weight shaking the water from the branches and making them sway. One big bird alternately flaps his wings and pokes his long beak at the branches that surround him, as if to distract himself from the cold and wet.

Will they sit until the rain is over? What if it rains for days? Do they enjoy the bath or resent it?

Now only one little bird and one big bird are left in the tree. More flocks fly overhead.

The grey clouds press low, and it feels wet even in our warm, dry home, and I feel happy.

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