“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

The house was really cold when I woke up this morning, 60° cold. I turned up the heat and nothing happened. I cursed a bit then decided to check the red on/off switch: it was on. I next checked the thermostat, and it was off. Glory be, no repairman needed! I turned the switch to heat and the furnace responded. The house got warmer than outside.

I know radiators aren’t the most attractive decorations for a house, but when I was a kid, I always took comfort from the hissing of the steam as the water coursed through the radiator at the foot of my bed. When I was cold, I could put my feet under it, and they’d quickly get warm. Mittens drying on the top of the radiator would steam a bit as they dried, and you had to remember to turn them over or the top side would never dry. The radiator was noisy so the house at night was never quiet, but it was always warm.

Today is Friday the 13th. I’m not suspicious so it is like any Friday for me. It’s a pretty day with the sun bright in the sky. Lots of birds are in and out at the feeders. I have a new feeder for Baltimore orioles that has yet to go out, and I’ll do that later. When I looked them up, the Audubon site said around the first of May for orioles, but all the birds were early this year so the orioles may already be here looking for their jelly. I need to get mealy worms hoping I can attract blue birds.

I don’t think I noticed birds when I was young. Seagulls at the beach and pigeons in the city are all I remember. Every morning when I woke up, I’d hear birds greeting the day, but I have no idea which birds were in my neighborhood. I assume robins as they’re everywhere but can’t think of any others. Nobody had bird feeders so there wasn’t any reason for the birds to drop by to visit.

When I was in Ghana, my family moved off cape to the same town where I had grown up. My mother put bird feeders in her yard. She got pigeons. We used to laugh and call them country pigeons. She wasn’t amused.

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12 Comments on ““A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    I am recovering from my double header, Your Detroit Tigers at Comerica followed by a night out with Bruce.
    I first saw Bruce at the Hammersmith in 1975 so some 37 years and numerous shows have passed for both of us. The highlight was “Trapped”, the Jimmy Cliff song and there was a rework of the E Street Shufle. A solid three hour event with lots of new material.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Okay, enough with the “your” Detroit Tigers. You need to change that to a first person pronoun!

      You had an exciting day! Recovery is definitely in order.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Lovely title, but this spring crows and magpies occupied our garden.
    I don’t know whether they have answers, but definitely no nice songs.
    Hopefully the smaller birds-with-songs return after the nesting-season…

  3. Bill S. Says:

    What? Nothing about the Red Sox today? Friday the 13th was a lucky day for Josh Beckett, and there is joy again in Mudville. And we have the rest of the season to enjoy again.

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      I didn’t want to jinx the home opener, and I figured I’d do a Fenway Park-Red Sox laudatory on the 100th anniversary day.

      All I could think of was you’d better do it Josh. He got a really mixed reception when he was introduced, but he sure as heck brought it., and the bats finally came alive! I hope Ellsbury is okay. The news had nothing yet.

      I usually go to a couple of games a year but this one game may make those available tickets sparse and expensive again.

  4. Zoey & Me Says:

    We used to make it a point to stop on the way back from lunch and feed the pigeons in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House. I swear in the one summer we started that the pigeons multiplied and we were wondering if this was going to be an expensive hobby. Feeding Pigeons in the Park.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      I have never seen a pigeon baby so I suspect they clone each other which is why they seemed to multiply.

      In Trafalga Square, my father and I gave my mother a cup of seed. She innocently took it and countless pigeons attacked the cup and flew on her hand and head. She screamed and threw the seed. We roared-she yelled!

  5. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    I am a bit envious of Hedley spending his night with that guy Bruce. I have seen him maybe fifty times. I once talked to a woman before a show in Asbury Park – – she was from France and claimed she had seen him EIGHT HUNDRED TIMES.

    No matter how many times you see him, you never put anything on your dance card the next day, unless its another show. It’s exausting – – in a good way.

    I got a laugh out of your Mom. Why do seagulls ALWAYS seem to make a direct hit on my car, anyway? 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I haven’t ever seen him so I am dripping with envy!

      My poor mother would come and visit me and see all the birds at my feeder and be jealous.

      I laughed a few times when I visted her. She’d hung the feeders off the clothes line and the squirrels tightrope walked to them to eat. After the piogeons came the squirrels!

  6. Rick Oztown Says:

    I always noticed birds when I was a kid…at least those are my memories. From the meadowlarks to the mockingbirds (And I got to see the recent special showing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” with my wife…a good date night at home. I hadn’t seen it since about 1967.)
    The mockingbird is the state bird of Texas. It might as well be, ‘cuz they sit on top of nearby utility poles at 3 ayem and TWEET their heads off if you happen to wake up then.
    The Baltimore Orioles used to go through San Angelo on their way north in the spring. I don’t see any here in south Texas.
    The scissortails used to chase off anything larger than they, usually in pairs, attacking and retreating in relentless fashion.
    Buzzards hung several hundred feet up in the west Texas sky, looking…and looking. Now I see them on abandoned microwave towers along I-37…in the evening, just before sundown, there might be 150 or more on a tower!
    South Texas has honking geese in fall and spring…as well as most of the winter, too.
    And the nighthawk’s wonderful sound as it diiiiives toward the ground is something I always recall with fondness from my youth.
    One good measure of your hearing is if you can still hear the squeaking of the non-bird bats when you near wherever they live and congregate.
    Just a few of my thoughts that resulted from your post.

    • katry Says:

      Rick,
      That is among my favorite movies. I watched it as well. Harper Lee is a conumdrum. I wonder if she has any other novels she’s chosen not to write.

      I remember the vultures in Africa. They were everywhere, even in the middle of the compounds. It was the first time I’d ever seen one, and I was struck by their ugliness.

      When I drive up north toward Boston, I can always see the hawks flying in circles, static soaring. Chickadees are our state bird, and they are everywhere.

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a mockingbird or a scissortail or ever a nighhawk.


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