Tag Archives: Animals

Bad day to be a bird

We’ve been having a nor’easter today in the Philadelphia area – lots of rain, lots of wind. There have been wind gusts between forty and fifty miles an hour near here, but that’s nothing. At Cape May – the little finger of land that sticks out of the southeast corner of New Jersey into the Atlantic – the gusts have been over sixty miles an hour. That’s not quite hurricane speed, but it’s plenty fast enough.

Branches and trees and power lines have blown down here and there. But that’s just the sort of thing that happens in a bad storm. No, the most dramatic sight of the day happened in my back yard (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

This morning, our holly tree was full of robins feasting on bright red berries. Then came a stronger blast of wind, and one bird was blown sideways out of the tree! His left wing was canted uncomfortably upward while he began desperately flapping his right wing, struggling to get control – and all the while he was moving steadily sideways. I’ve never seen a bird’s face look panicky before.

There is a happy ending – the robin managed to get both wings moving and landed safely on the walk.

Solar powered cat

Earlier this morning, one of the local cats – a large gray and black tabby tom with a white face and white bib – was sitting in a patch of sun in our back yard, facing east, with his eyes closed and his face turned blissfully up to the light. Recharging his batteries?

Over the next hour, he melted into a cat puddle, curled up and napping in that wonderful warmth – a splotch of gray and black and white against green grass and a few fallen oak leaves. But everything changes, alas – the world turned and left him in shade, so he woke up and wandered away grumbling.

Well, that settles that

I’ve learned my lesson. All right, I was surprised to see wild turkeys in the woods of western Pennsylvania back in the summer. But after all, forests in thinly populated areas are exactly where wild turkeys belong.

Where don’t they belong? In the South Jersey suburbs. But that’s where I saw them – two of them – only yesterday, strutting out of someone’s front yard, across the sidewalk, and into the street right in front of my car. And I didn’t have a camera.

From now on, a camera goes with me everywhere.