Car Alarms, Geese and Spring
Spring has finally decided to peek her head out of the “wintery mix” that we have all suffered through during March and the beginning of April. Our patience with Old Man Winter has been exhausted. We demand signs of spring and they are forthcoming. The Geese splashed down in our pond about three weeks ago. Squawking and gawking as they pad about digging their beaks into the saturated grass. They are here for their annual family reunion along with some odd cousins that swallow up the Bluegill and parade around the edges of the pond.
Glowing forsythia are around every corner announcing that at last, spring has come. In addition, the faithful red-breasted robins are singing their hearts out and flitting about the grasses and budding tree branches. One particular little bird runs back and forth on spindly legs. I have no idea what kind of bird this is but they are fun to watch. They charge into the tall grasses when we drive up. They have long discussions with the geese who are trying to nest in the yard. I love to watch the trees break out in buds and listen to the birds, but the car alarm of our neighbor keeps going off. It is so loud that it puts a damper on the immense enjoyment of nature bursting forth from the mountain. I can’t quite figure out why they can’t keep it shut off. I am not even sure which neighbor is having the problem! This goes on for a few days – nearly driving me crazy! – until I realize that it is all of the spring birds making such a cacophony with all of the trilling, chirruping, and squawking!
With the warmer weather, pink cherry blossoms grace the arched branches of their trunk and line the path to the schools. The sun shines hope on us all. One fine day I walked to the end of the drive to wait for the school bus, when our neighbor from up the mountain stopped and I asked him about the little spindly-legged bird running hither thither. I can’t remember their names but I remember him saying that they scratched around in gravel and pebbles making nests. I study the edges of the drive looking for nests. I don’t find one, but I do hear an awful racket night and day that could be interpreted as chirruping and singing. Those tiny birds sure are loud!
The warmer it gets, the louder the racket gets. As I drive in and out I slide down my window to listen. I notice that they are louder down at the edges of the drive where the water runs down the mountain. I make the astute observation that they must be water birds. My husband and I discuss the birds in detail because they sing and chirrup all night long – right outside of our window. We both take note that the loud bird noises can be heard in other swampy areas.
After church one Wednesday night, as we talk in the parking lot with our friends, I hear the birds carrying on. They are cranked up and we can barely hear each other to talk. Finally, I ask my friend, “What kind of birds are those making all of that racket?”
He quits talking, cups his ear, and says, “I don’t hear any birds.”
I am thinking that he must be totally deaf as they are practically drowning out everything else. I say, “Listen. Do you hear that noise right across the highway?”
He turns his head and listens. “I still don’t hear any birds.”
Astonished, I say, “You can’t hear all of that noise?”
He grins and looks at me and begins to laugh. It dawns on him that I might have never heard that particular water bird sing as I hail from West Texas where the dust is thick and there are not many water birds to serenade one to sleep at night.
He laughs harder and says, “Those. Are. Frogs!”
“Frogs!” I scream. “Are you sure?”
He smiled benevolently at me but didn’t get really tickled until I told him that at first I thought it was the neighbor’s car alarm going off.
Isn’t it nice when foreigners move in and make us smile?