Sunday, June 3, 2007

The forecast is for heavy rain and winds down here on the coast of Rhode Island. " Ya think the nest'll be safe? " I asked Donna this morning. We were driving down to the sea wall to take Gracie for a walk. Wondered if the surf was building. The Weather Channel was reporting that Barry, which was downgraded to a low pressure system, could create 10 to 15 foot waves.

" I know what we can do, " I said.

" What? "

" We'll slide the deck table over and the table's umbrella will cover the bush. "

" That's a good idea, " Donna said.

We took Gracie for her walk. The sea was as calm as a pond. " Calm before the storm, " I said. Not realizing at the time which storm it would be.

( Cue eerie music designed to make readers wonder: Which storm it would be? What does he mean? There's another storm coming? A bad moon rising, trouble on the way? )

We drove home. Went out on the deck and pulled the table over towards the bush. The umbrella didn't quite reach over the part of the bush where the nest is.

" Let's try to bend it a little, lean it towards the bush, " Donna said.

" Bend it? "

" Yeah, the umbrella pole. Pull it up and lean it towards the bush. "

We pulled the pole up and leaned it towards the bush. Suddenly...

BANG! CRASH! Glass flying everywhere. Donna looked down at her leg. She was bleeding. I looked down at mine. I was bleeding. Nothing serious. But our shins were starting to turn the color of the Cardinals' father.

" Well, I guess that wasn't such a good idea, " I said ( helpfully? )

Donna went into the house and got us some band aids. I got the camera.

" Don't take pictures, " Donna said.

" Don't take pictures? This is history, " I said

I think it was writer Nora Ephron who said that, for writers, all catastrophes are material.

Donna's a teacher.

I snapped some shots of what was formerly the top of our deck table. The glass was still shattering, pop, pop, popping, reminding us, again and again and again what a dumb idea it had been to bend the umbrella pole.

The glass was in thousands of tiny pieces. They looked like diamonds sparkling in the sun out there on the deck. As we started to clean the mess up, I saw the female cardinal watching us from a branch on a tree in the yard. Probably thinking:

Of all the decks in all the world, we had to build a nest in a bush next to this one. Loonies on the deck with diamonds.

I know what you're thinking. She's not a Beatles fan. She likes The Byrds.


If only she knew. A storm is coming, and all we were doing was trying to help.


Fred said...

Boy do I love nature stories. Have the birds checked for the deadly Rhode Island Red Cardinal discease. Look what's happening to the St. Louis Cardinals. Fred

T Collins said...