JUNE XX, 20XX
4:07 a.m.: Fell asleep last night dreaming of fishing for trout. Every cast on the mark, every retrieve bringing another fish to net. Adoring throngs lined the shore, waving handkerchiefs and shouting, “Huzzah, Quill Gordon, huzzah! Working where others come to play, huzzah! Such fine fly fishing always so close at hand and fishing privileges to boot! Huzzah, Quill Gordon, Huzzah!”
My casts shot out true — back-hand, under-hand and behind my back — and each one hooked a trout. As I motored past the main dock (where twenty beautiful women wearing bikinis and waders went positively bonkers over my patented dipsy-doodle, backwards-between-the-legs triple haul) the cheers changed to whistles and I began to wake up.
The whistles in my dream were in reality the songs of birds, serenading the arrival of first light. Very few people get to experience a real dawn chorus of songbirds any more. Thrushes and warblers, finches and wrens, robins, cat birds, chats, flickers, phoebes and sparrows joining together with dozens and dozens of their neighbors to sing in the morning with what most people interpret as melodious joy. In reality, the songs of birds are more likely to be challenges and threats — territorial exclamations tossed into the dawn — and, when taken that way, it is more an early morning cacophony than lovely dawn chorus.
Stupid noisy birds. Continue reading