After the Storm

Brandon and I were at my mom’s house this weekend when a huge storm rolled in. Her house is tucked up on the side of a hill in the trees, and gusts of wind (some up to 70 mph) threw them back and forth like bullwhips. Rain and hail pelted us, and a continual boom of thunder echoed across the canyon. Lightning gave the sky an eery purple and green hue. Trooper jumped in bed with us. I thought about the little birds out there sitting in their nests, perched protectively on their eggs, rocking about with the gale force wind. I once saw a hummingbird weather a tough storm in her nest, and wondered if their small, mossy nests were melting in this deluge. I prayed we wouldn’t all wash away downstream.

We didn’t get much sleep, and I don’t imagine the wildlife outside our door did either. Eventually the storm moved on and left us with a clear day.

I drank my coffee on the porch and watched the birds set to work on rebuilding their neighborhood.

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The left wing of my nest blew away. Gotta make some repairs!

(Get it, wing?)

(This bird is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.)

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The butterflies were out drying their wings and soaking up the sun.

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A night heron was out checking on his patch of riverbank and seeing if he could scrounge up breakfast.

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The bees were out sucking down pollen..

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And even the nasty critters came out of hiding.

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The treetops were alive with bird chatter, as if they were all recounting the events of last night.

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And did you hear that crack of thunder? How are the Jones’?

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But most hilarious of all was this hawk, who was royally ticked that his perch, the edge of our roof, was now being monitored by a corgi.

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He and his fellow bird-of-prey cronies have determined the best location to watch the canyon is the pointed end of our roof. This always makes for entertaining and up-close bird encounters. As Trooper and I were sitting on the porch, watching the post-storm antics take place, the hawk zoomed in for a landing. I saw him coming and thought, “Oh no…”, knowing Trooper would blow a fuse trying to scare him off. Just as the hawk was was extending his talons to catch the edge of our roof, he looked down and saw us. Shock spread across his face, and I was close enough to see it. He let out a big “CAAWWWW!!! CAWWWW! Abort mission! Abort mission!” and nearly backflipped trying to switch directions, which immediately sent Trooper into a wave of hysterics.

The hawk didn’t stop with two caw! cries either. He flew up and down the canyon crowing about the evil little dog on his perch. Life wasn’t fair for that hawk–first he had to live through the storm, and now this? A dog had stolen his perch? What was life worth anymore?

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He didn’t stop crowing about the situation for a good five or ten minutes, resting periodically on a nearby tree before striking up his aggrevated call again.

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I see you, dog. Don’t make me come down there and show you where you stand on the food chain!

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He’s over there! He’s over there! The pathetic little thing is over there!

I couldn’t help but crack up at the animal drama. Who needs reality tv when I have these creatures to amuse me?

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Mommy? Hold me.

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There’s never a dull moment in nature when you slow down to listen to it.

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