No one who knows me would ever label me an outdoorsy sort of person, though I do have a great love and respect for Nature, provided that She behaves predictably and allows me to keep a respectable distance from those aspects of her that I find disconcerting, disgusting or otherwise unappealing. However, when Nature begins to bear an unnerving resemblance to an Alfred Hitchcock film, my appreciation for her beauty and majesty is replaced by an uncomfortable anxiety and a powerful urge to hide.
During the past several weeks, my daughter and I have become increasingly creeped out by a flock of very large birds that has taken up residence on our local water tower. They perch on the various bars that support the water tower and on sunny days, they often sit there with their wings spread wide, a posture that we find particularly creepy and gargoylish. Sometimes, particularly on foggy mornings, a little group of them will perch instead at the top of a tall dead tree (got goose bumps yet?).
I’m not sure what kind of birds they are – they appear to be bigger than those obnoxiously loud blackbirds and smaller than pterodactyls. They’re probably black vultures or some kind of hawks. As far as I know, they haven’t caused any problems – no one has complained about mysterious disappearances of small pets or having had their car decorated with monster sized bird droppings. At the same time, I couldn’t help but notice that there is plenty of roadkill around for a hungry scavenger to munch on, yet I’ve never seen one of these birds come down for a snack. So, what are they doing up there? What are they waiting for — reinforcements?
One could easily be spellbound watching the birds, though staring too long can induce vertigo. If you must know, the birds have me in a frenzy and feeling just a little psycho.