Mornings in Paradise

In my backyard, morning is celebrated by a gaggle of wild things.  Each day, in repetition of the one before, just before the summer sun fully rises, when the pink is subdued by blues and oranges, I sit on the bottom stair, put on my mucking boots as quietly as possible, and give attention to these silly critters that share the open space with me.  I don’t want them to feel the intrusion of a human-since we’ve proven to be an untrustworthy bunch.  Three ducks, dabbling ducks, the kind who skim along the top of the water upending themselves to reach down deeper for the passing meal, do morning laps in my pool.  They are never far from each other.  There was one day when one of their offspring meandered away and hid in my garage.  I never found it, and only hoped it returned to the “gang.”  Before I leave for the barn and while the ducks are taking their morning laps in my pool, I tear and toss bread under the bird feeder.  It has become expected, though not met with any friendly nods.  They huddle together if there is even a suggestion of my approach, which there never is.  I respect their privacy, their aloofness..I understand it.

When I come back from the barn, stalls cleaned, horses fed and brushed, their is a tangle of nonsense going on over at the bird feeder.  The hopelessly loud conure parrots, six in count now, are arguing with the blackbirds over hierarchy.  They screech and puff out like an adolescent inner city gang, seeking attention through abominable behaviour.  Their black hoods a sort of insignia.  They win most times and do their feral parrot dance of swinging back and forth.  When I first moved here, there was only one beautiful green parrot with bright orange feet.  They aren’t native to this area, but I surmise someone opened a cage or two and they’ve been at large since and multiplying.  Silly clowns.  They’ve adapted to living here.  I see them venturing to different parts of the island depending on the time of day.  Bird feeder to bird feeder, I imagine. The climate suits them.

From my deck, the big round hole in a power pole they call home is visible. It once housed a red-headed woodpecker, who laboriously dug out his abode.  Parrots are psittaciformes.  I once read they were closer in family lineage to the pigeon.  Their voices are loud, harsh and have grating notes first thing in the morning.

The yellow crowned night heron makes his appearance once in a while.  He stands at the edge of the pool.  He’s a wading bird, so the idea of taking a plunge is tempting but really doesn’t suit him. The mullet are still doing their morning calisthenics in the waterway that links to the bay when I climb the stairs to enter my apartment.


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