Good morning, Tina here.
The other afternoon I was sitting out on our deck. I was enjoying some mostly clear, slightly warm weather after what seemed like weeks of torrential rains. As it stormed, there were lots of noises. The flooded river was raging and very loud. The winds blustering through the neighbor's gray pines sounded like busy highway traffic. The gutters on our house were constantly gushing. The winds pounded against the bay windows on the west upstairs.
The robins have been coming in droves when it isn't raining. They (and lots of the other birds) love the red toyon berries, and they cover our west facing hillsides, a veritable feast for those red robins when they want to come bob-bob-bobbin'.
The various chattering, calling, happy eating voices surround our home when they are visiting.
They don't come during the storms, and they don't come every clear day. They have lots of other yards to visit, they spread themselves around. They are quite energetic and by their echoing song, you can tell they are happy!
The picture above and the last one below, were taken by a facebook friend in Placerville.
Anyway, the other day, out on the deck, it was a beautiful calm winter day, no wind, the river was down, and the robins were visiting elsewhere. It was so quiet it was amazing! We hear no traffic, no one was using a chain saw or taking rifle practice, even the peacocks were silent. I sat alone, taking in the fresh air and enjoying the view.
As I relaxed, savoring the peacefulness, I was started by what sounded like footsteps, a rustle in the leaves. Who could be walking up to my home in the middle of nowhere? As I looked for the intruder, my eyes fell on the sloping hillside above me, and a spotted towhee, searching for worms, making that startling noise! No, I wasn't alone in the calm and quiet any longer. Can't blame it on the robins either!