Monday, January 7, 2008

Putting a chickadee to bed

I  have watched chickens go to roost in the evenings countless times...

On spring evenings while trying to squeeze the most gardening hours into the last of the daylight in the first of the warm. Or on those final darkening hours of autumn when the spirit knows that there won't be many more evenings warm enough to sit outside.

You can hear them, rustling and shuffling. Shifting position, hen pecking and soft squaking as they jostle for the prime roost pole postion. Each hen in turn preens and fluffs and arranges her feathers into comfortable and warm chicken pajamas, and then when everyone is ready, they finally settle in. A quiet  row of feathered humps in the twilight.

But I ain't never seen a chickadee go to roost, until tonight.

                  2008 01 Jan 118

In this large oak down in front of the cabin, on the right hand limb, at the first little limb stump you see sticking out, I watched a chickadee settle herself in for the evening. She flew into that little hole, and back out, rapidly a few times, then she hung upside down just below it, and fluffed her little feathers all out, then flew in, rustle, rustle, she flew back out, using her beak to rearrange some under feathers that must not have been comfortable enough and flew back in. One final rustle and then total silence.

It made me sleepy and start thinking about heading for the cabin, building a fire, making some tea, and fluffing my afghan around my legs and adjusting my knitting in my lap, like an old hen, settling in for the evening.


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