Our Mockingbird on His Stage

Oh, what a beautiful morning it is today at Peeper Pond Farm!  The sky is clear and the temperature is delightful.  Our morning low temperature was 56 degrees, the coolest temperature we have seen since June 26.  Today marks the fourth straight delightful night and morning we’ve had in a row.  However, it won’t last.  A mass of typical warm and humid summer weather is heading our way and will make its presence felt by sunset today.  I appreciate this beautiful stretch of weather we have enjoyed in recent days as it has been welcome relief now that we are in the dog days of summer.

I knew it would be a beautiful morning today, as the evening chill began to settle into our valley after sunset yesterday.  I managed to get a start on the twelfth mowing of our two-plus acres of lawn while the grass was still dry, which allows me to wait for the heavy dew to burn off before I finish the job today without having to worry about working into the heat of the day.  I finished all my cut-in work with our push mower around 8:30 PM and managed to enjoy a brilliant firefly show from the front porch as I relaxed and dried off before going to bed.  I had heard that fireflies would be rare this season, but whoever made that determination did not count the fireflies in our 3.5-acre hayfield.  I was entertained by thousands of glowing yellow fireflies as they rose like burning embers from the field.  It was a glorious sight to behold.

Fortunately, that was only the prelude to the beautiful morning that followed.  I arose to an intense chill in the house that felt refreshing after the extended period of heat we endured during most of the first half of July.  Calli was anxious to get outdoors and chase whatever she could find that also wanted to enjoy the refreshing air.  From our front porch, I saw Venus blazing a path for the rising sun.  The air was so crisp and cool that I could see fog rising from our peeper pond and a larger, more distant pond near the base of Jake Hill.

However, the real sensory treat that I have enjoyed virtually every morning this summer is the boisterous call of our resident mockingbird, as he proudly belts out his daily repertoire that includes at least eight birdsongs that are common in our area.  Our mockingbird is most recognizable because his program includes a portion of a whippoorwill call, which seems unusual to me.  Whippoorwills sing only during the night, which is the only time our mockingbird gets to rest, which I’m sure he needs.  I watch him every morning as he flits to and from as many as a dozen of his favorite stages, which includes the top of our power pole, the top of a dead walnut tree on our neighbor’s property, several of our farm fence posts, and the various power lines that serve our little neighborhood.

Mockingbird Dance

Not only does our mockingbird possess a strong and eloquent singing voice, he is also an accomplished dancer.  It is a pleasure to watch him periodically leap into the air, flapping his wings boldly, to proclaim his presence as he calls out for a mate.  He is as talented a singer as Frank Sinatra and as smooth a dancer as Fred Astaire.  He also guards and protects his territory jealously.  Calli is well aware of that and remains wary of him as she makes her daily hunting rounds.  Whenever she spends time in our vegetable garden and the surrounding areas of our hayfield, he swoops down at her and buzz-bombs her head.  I’ve seen Calli leap at him desperately, as she tries to defend herself.  As I watched our hummingbird sing and dance from the top of our power pole this morning, Calli lounged at my side in the shade of the house watching vigilantly, as she promised to herself that she would get that annoying bird one of these days.

Calli Keeping a Wary Eye on the Deadly Mockingbird

These are the natural delights we relish often here at Peeper Pond Farm.  As I’ve said many times, it’s all the little things in our life that make it worth living.  I hope you can take the time to appreciate them, too.  Life is far too short and hectic to simply let them pass you by.  They certainly help make the remaining mowing work I have to do a little more bearable.