Most mornings you can find me sitting on one of the two porches to our schoolhouse. Built with two entrances, one for girls and one for boys, I’m usually on the boys’ side enjoying my morning coffee and reading a book. I’m not the only one who enjoys the porch. Every year, barn swallows make their nest above the door jamb on the casing. And every year I irritate them by placing my chair beneath their nest of babies.
Summer mornings heat up pretty quick on Pelee and on this particular day it wasn’t long before I was joined by a few snakes sunning themselves on the concrete steps by my feet. They don’t bother me and I’m always careful not to make any sudden moves. I’m not afraid of being bitten. I just don’t want any of them slithering across my feet. So I sit very still. Sitting still like a statue has other benefits. For one, mama barn swallow relaxes and is able to fly in and out feeding her babies. Secondly, the hummingbirds are able to feed happily at the sugar water feeder I put out for them and thirdly, you never know what other creature you’ll attract.
Baby swallows squawking above my head, hummingbirds buzzing by my ear, snakes snoozing by my feet, I try to read my book until a sudden movement catches the corner of my eye. I turn to see a hawk flying straight for me! Okay, it probably wasn’t coming for me so much as it was coming for the baby swallows or snakes but it startled me nonetheless! My jumping made it stop in its tracks and touch down on the hood of my nearby car where it just stayed staring at me.
“That’s it!” I think, “Who can read? It’s like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom out here!”
I put down my book and stomp inside.