Scene on a Patio

Because the Mid-Century Mondohaus is in fact mid-century (constructed ca. 1964), much of the back of our home includes sliding glass doors. We may lead the county in steel rods wedged into sliding door tracks as security devices, but one of the other interesting consequences of the home’s design involves the local fauna.

We live near a small stand of woods, and just a few miles from a national forest. Deer, rabbits, possums, and other critters are no strangers, and of course we have the usual array of birds, particularly since Mrs. M keeps the feeders stocked (and the squirrels thwarted). The birds have an unfortunate misunderstanding of all that sliding glass, and while fatalities have been relatively few in the last couple of years, it isn’t uncommon to hear a thud, look up, and see a bird ricocheting to the patio. (Things improved significantly a couple of years with the placement of a fake owl on the upper patio.)

Indeed, I got a reminder of this about twenty minutes ago, as I heard the telltale thwacking sound and saw a small, brown bird of some sort bounce to the tiles on the other side of the glass from me. It always makes my heart sink a bit when it happens, and my trepidation was increased by the knowledge that the Hound of the Basketballs was out there too.


Do stunned birds see little people circling their heads?

Another bird of the same sort landed beside its fallen relative and began chirping loudly, in what seemed to me a sort of distress call. I was getting up to clear the little carcass away when suddenly the newly arrived bird fluttered aggressively at the crash victim — who suddenly returned to action, offered a hostile response, and took off in pursuit of its helper.

I have to admit that I found the first bird’s seeming ingratitude a bit funny, but I have to admit that I’m glad it’s okay, and that the whole incident took place without the Hound’s even noticing it. Still, guys, watch where you’re flying, huh?

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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