Yesterday a famous parrot prompted a post.
Today hearts are heavy as we commemorate the date that the invisible, invincible shield of America crashed to the ground, along with the Twin Towers and thousands of lives.
Today I find a parallel natural event to post: a 55-minute turf, er tree, war that I witnessed while doing water aerobics. I was glad to be semi-submerged in a pool, sort of like the safety of a mother’s womb, while I listened and watched, my legs churning as if to run from the scene.
Cacophony, squawks, and caw-caw-caws like screams: the sounds of bickering birds began the moment our Aqua-fit group started and continued, unabated in volume, for 15 minutes. I couldn’t see much, but I heard the great debate of whose tribe would roost in the tall eucalyptus trees clustered near the community pool and park. The noise even drowned the intrusion of the landscaper’s lawn mower nearby, such was the intensity of the vocal storm.
The tribe of wild green parrots are famous in Orange County and have moved among Santa Ana and Tustin and Irvine for some time. Maybe elsewhere before that – but you get that their nomadic nature, forced by territorial wars and/or shifting food sources, is not a new phenom. Since I’ve begun water aerobics, green parrot noises have been a permanent sound in the palate of nature. It’s all part of the peaceful perfection that Irvine residents have come to expect, as if promised by Chamber of Commerce lit. We are entitled to peace and can only accommodate bits of noise or news in our context.
That parrots are savvy is well known. Crows are smart, too. Hmmn-nice trees and surrounds. Game on!
15 minutes of raucous bedlam and then the Crow Crew sped away. I have to admit that I silently cheered; it’s difficult to cheer on birds clothed like Darth Vader. I admit that I wanted The Force to be with the parrots, who were pet refugees.
My shoulders began to pull away from my ears; they’d risen in reflexive protection despite our leader’s admonitions. “Keep calm and carry on” works minimally when one is an aware and compulsive chronicler of life. I’d just re-engaged Zen, when strident caw-caws returned, like the insistent drum beats of war. The black soldiers were returning.
This phase was over in five minutes. The parrots were firm on their perches.
For the next half-hour (yes, there is a clock at the pool) there was relative quiet. Now I watched as, two-by-two or singly, green parrots strafed the pool park, gliding around on perimeter watch. Single brave crows might arrive on a nearby tree branch, but a green parrot always moved from the central fortress trees to counter the moves. I was watching 3-D chess.
As I emerged from the pool, I knew that the Green Parrots had won. They could have taken on the Red Baron for Snoopy today.
I can’t wait to return to the pool to witness the next round. For I know there will be one. Everyone aspires to live in Irvine, in a house with a pool.
I’m betting on the parrots. They will be green, but not with envy.