The Birds

It was something out of a Hitchcock movie. I looked out my back window yesterday morning and my little fishpond was covered with birds. Robins mostly. They were standing on the rocks that surrounded the water, they were in the abelia above the water, and they were walking on the ice that covered the water. One slid and skated across. Two weeks of single digits and temps not getting above freezing and wind chills at zero turned my pond into a Dr. Zhivago wonderland. Turned every pond — big and small — into white ice.

Frozen Pond

My pond has a fountain in the center, and the bubbling-up water was apparently the only liquid for miles. A dome of ice had built up around it, but there was water at the peak. The robins were awaiting a turn to sip from the fountain.

Birds on the Pond (taken through window)

My blood ran cold when I looked up into the trees above the backyard, and they were filled with birds patiently awaiting a turn. All their sources of water were frozen — birdbaths, potholes, ditches, creeks, ponds, all standing water…

Birds Filling Trees Above the House

The ground is frozen, as well, which makes me wonder how they harvest worms. They don’t, I guess, which brings about the possibility of widespread starvation and the resulting devastation.

Birds Waiting for Water

I have to walk away from it all and go to work. I imagine most of us don’t realize the catastrophes that exist in backyard culture…nature in distress.

I hope each robin got a turn.


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