PORCH SENSES: Episode 22

There is frost on the ground but seems warmer without the cold breeze. Bright blue sky is a welcomed backdrop for even barren looking trees. Birds are chattering all around and seem happy as well. It is the day before Christmas and I still haven’t put the traditional white lights around the railings. Will anyone notice? I did place a red flood light on the front lawn to symbolize my support for this money driven Christian holiday. I guess I was putting family first this year.
As the sun gets higher it makes a warm red glow across the houses, trees and the circle t steeple is brilliantly lit up. 2 squirrels have jumped onto the bird feeder and caused enough commotion to make the 4 doves fly up out of harms way. There is a family unit. Rare do you see one without the other. No fanfare, just loyalty. They have to stay frosty, but they do it together.


Today the dripping is loud, no apparent rhythm, just random from all around like an orchestra warming up. Chunks of snow losing the friction with their surfaces and becoming a victim to gravity. The trees are less dense today, a lot of birds must have landed on them a constant hum of highway traffic in the distance. Some days I do not notice that. The only birds I hear this morning is the happy ones by the bird feeder. Flying back and forth as if taking turns to graze. Pitter, patter, splatter.. Then a new bird call breaks the monotony. There are 5 or 6 leaves still hanging on to the neighbours’ young tree Maybe they are trying to hold on through the winter like a homeowner staying behind during a hurricane to ride out the storm. These brave leaves will be the first to greet the new growth in the spring…if they make it. But today it is only raining UNDER the trees.


The freezing rain has begun. I can hear my flag crack everytime the wind pushes it…St Andrew is frozen. A neighbour has left her car running for 10 minutes to thaw. She left the radio on tuned loudly to talk radio. The words are not understandable, very muffled. The birds are singing but I cannot see them. They must be in the evergreens… and not a fan of talk radio I presume. There was a sudden drop in temperature then back again. Now I see the icicles have formed on the branches.


More birds today and the sounds of them spreading their joy. Perhaps I would not know of the unhappy birds at all because they hide in silence. Is it out of fear? Social anxiety? Are birds put under pressures from the group to act a certain way?

There is a large metal steeple seen just above our house roofs. A 6 sided silver steeple that comes to a point at the top, capped with a circle t. An obvious power back in it’s day as money was put into large buildings to show strength…or at least people who HAD money wanted to show power. It is a silent figure today. Maybe they have insight into the social construct of birds, …doubtful. A crow uses the circle t as a resting point, caws to show its’ power and flies away. Now that we have lost a few of the ancient trees here, the steeple is one of the highest points here now.