One thing I’m learning is that the side yard in my new home is beloved by birds. I’ve been sitting out here on the patio and writing most mornings this week. The house is hot because temperatures have been high and our swamp coolers aren’t turned on yet. But the west patio is in shade all morning and it is deliciously chilly. After a night of being too warm, it feels wonderful to sit out and feel cool air nipping at my bare toes in sandals. I don’t know a lot about birds, so I can’t identify them very well, but so far I’ve seen doves, robins, roadrunners, finches, hummingbirds, and woodpeckers. Yesterday morning I even managed to get a picture of a woodpecker as it hopped along the trunk of one of our trees. I love being visited by all these bird friends. The cats love it too. They sit by the screen door of the patio and chirp and chatter.
It is probably my happiest time of the day, the mornings spent outside with my computer and my words. I don’t feel like I’ve been writing anything especially brilliant, but I’ve been doing the writing work out here and that feels satisfying. I’ve been sitting on one of my new Mother’s Day chairs, the ones modeled after the Terrace chairs on the Memorial Union at the UW-Madison, and that has added to the happiness of the mornings. It brings back memories of some of my best times in Madison when I was a young adult. I loved the Terrace, and time spent there chatting with friends, studying, and writing. Having a little piece of that memory here in my new home is a joy.
At the Terrace, bird-friends mostly came in the form of mallard ducks. It was fun to watch them swim, and waddle around begging for popcorn. Here there are no ducks, not unless I venture out to UNM’s duck pond. But there are the hummingbirds that buzz past me like little jet planes. There are the woodpeckers who hop along the trunk of the tree and occasionally make that rap tap tap that rings out across the block. There are the robins who hop along on the ground looking for critters. Maybe best of all, there are roadrunners who easily hop over the fence and then look at me long and hard, as if sizing up my worth. I’m glad this new neighborhood had roadrunners. I’ve always considered them a lucky sign when I spot one. And who doesn’t like a little luck, as they go about their day?