Thursday, May 6, 2010

The early bird

Sings at 3:30 am. Apparently.

We have a bird (this happens every year) who seems to think that 3:30 in the morning is an excellent time to exercise the vocal apparatus. Loudly. And with great vim and vigor. This bird has an endless supply of musical motifs; I don't think I've ever heard him repeat himself. He sings each motif precisely three times (although the last repetition often ends a note or two earlier than the prior two) before moving on to the next. (Can you tell I've spent a lot of time analyzing this bird's singing style? Have I mentioned that the time I spend thinking about this is time that I could spend being asleep?) It's a virtuoso performance.

And one that I would probably appreciate more if the sun were up.

Anyone know what kind of bird this might be? I haven't seen what he looks like. (Because, as I believe I have mentioned, it's DARK when he's singing.) It's probably just as well, because if I had a description, I'd be sorely tempted to hire a sniper. And I'm not a violent person. As things stand, we have informed the cats that our standing moratorium on the slaying and ingestion of birds might be lifted in this one instance. I know. I'm not a nice person when I'm sleep-deprived.

In other news, I have cast on for the second henley, and am now about 5-6 inches up the body. I'm knitting the body and sleeves in the round this time, so it's going more slowly, but when it's done, there will be only a minimum of seaming to do. The fabric that this yarn is making is absolutely stunning, and I'm just pleased as punch with it.

I have also decided that I need to buckle down and frog the Great Linen Tent Debacle of last summer. Remember this?
It has not gotten any more flattering with age (its age or mine, come to think of it). I took it to knit night last night, figuring that I would fortify myself with good company while frogging, only to realize that I've completely forgotten which way I knitted it, so I haven't the faintest clue where to begin frogging. I need to dig those notes up so I can get the job done. I have ideas for that yarn, which is really quite nice; I just need to get it from a knitted state back into little balls.

Meanwhile, classes are finished, and I am now entering the part of the semester that consists of grading, and of attending really painful meetings to address all of the things that should have been taken care of during the semester but were not, and which now must be dealt with before the summer begins. However, I also have two of my favorite classes to look forward to in the fall, and many of the students I loved this semester have signed up for the upper-division one, which is a nice way to end the semester, knowing that when I come back in the fall, it will be to a room full of friendly faces.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

We have a cardinal around here and he usually starts around 5:30 and man is he LOUD!
There is a nice old man who lives behind my mom. He owns some sort of parrot, and in the summer he takesit outside a lot. We frequently hear "La Koocarocha" "O Canada" and many other tunes - the words and the music sometimes. He's one clever bird

lori said...

in Texas, mockingbirds will do that. we had one that loved to start singing in the middle of the night, just as you describe. do y'all have mockingbirds out there?

it's nice to take a breather from my no-blog-reading diet to check in with you. hi jocelyn!

Rachel said...

You reminded me of the roosters living next door to my sister in Yafo! Those evil creatures don't have any sense of time, they can start at any minute of any given night and they are not virtuoso at all! At the beginning of each visit when I need to get used to them again and deal with jet lag too - a big oy oy oy :)

You have a photo on Ravelry that suggests you started your Summer shell at the top,,,,

PammieJR said...

I have to keep my bedroom window closed because the birds outside start up so early. Bird-in-a-cage however stays quiet and sleeping until I uncover her in the morning. May a suggest finding and covering the offending bird?

The linen tent was a shame. I really wanted it to fit you, but I think you will like it so much better done over.

Had my last classes today as well...YEA!

EGunn said...

I have a whole tree full of those birds! They tend to amuse me, though. I have a hard time being angry at vigorous cheer (even at ungodly hours of the morning). I second the mockingbird guess...I think they tend to sing in threes, though I have no idea why I would know that kind of thing.

I'm sorry about the linen tent, but it will be worth the reknit (it's lovely yarn).

Yay for summer! Especially a summer followed by good students. Good luck with the grading!

EGunn said...

On second thought, there is one exceedingly cheerful bird that I would gladly have strangled...we had a whip-poor-will that hung out right outside my bedroom window for a few summers growing up. He was lucky it was dark. Maybe I'm better at handling excessive cheer in the morning when I tend to have more myself. =)

Willow said...

I am sorry for your pain. If the bird were a rooster, you could eat him and that would be very satisfying.

Speaking of feeling your pain, I empathize with you on the frogging, having recently frogged the denim wool mistake. I encourage you with the news that it's lovely to start over.

AlisonH said...

When I was a kid, a woodpecker built a nest real close. Uh, yeah, as in, REAL close: inside the wall of the house, between the redwood framing (a novelty on the East Coast and apparently a bad novelty) and the plasterboard right at the head of my sister's bed. *Chirp*. Fun times!

Jane said...

I should count myself lucky that ours don't start until four o'clock. By five they are all in full voice

Lynne said...

If it were late spring Australia, the bird might be a Noisy Koel bird (a type of cuckoo) but he never varies his song! My sympathy to you on broken sleep and frogging of yarn - at least there is the pleasure of another knit to look forward to (or, should I have said, "to which you can look forward"? LOL)

Stell said...

I think the only thing as bad as an early bird might be a cat who wants let out, still once it is light when he sings it won't seem so bad? And why do I consider the bird must be a he? As for the linen - it must be well knit and finished if you know not from what end it was knit :)
the linen must be developing into soft supple yarn - how wonderful, a fibre that improves with age and use.

Mary Lou said...

I have a relative of that bird in my yard, I'm sure. What are they doing at that hour, I wonder? Pillow over the head, window shut, then it gets too warm. Of course, it's nicer than the garbage trucks I used to hear at that hour one place I lived. They did it in the wee hours because the streets were too narrow and they would block traffic.

Nana Sadie said...

I was going to say a warbler, but who knows? I'm on the opposite coast from you!
(bet there are different birds, eh?)

My kitten is waking me up at 3:45 by attacking my toes. This morning? He bit my knee! I have a freaking bruise!

(I know he's just playing, but ouch! And could he please wait till 8 a.m.?)
Happy Frogging!!!


It is a mockingbird. There is one here that sings during the night. I am rather fond of hearing him when I take the dogs out for their three am walk.

The mockingbird is related to blue jays, and will go after cats in the same ferocious way. They are greyish and nondescript.

I can't dislike mockingbirds, even though I so wish they would stick to one song for longer than ten seconds.

And like Atticus Finch said, Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Gwen said...

And can you knit during those horrifying meetings? Something that works best knit tightly... Or frog.

Birdsong is lovely. Sort of. This is why I refuse to get a rooster. The hen in drag last year was bad enough.

Alwen said...

If you were here, I would say brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufrum), although they like to repeat each song twice.

Out by you my best guess would be Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos):

Alwen said...

And that reminds me:

The Early Bird
Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird

And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

If you’re a bird, be an early early bird —

But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

-Shel Silverstein

twinsetjan said...

I'm betting with the mockingbird crowd. And I don't think it would be a sin to dispatch him if he's mocking your lack of sleep!

Had some frogging of my own to do in the last few days...and now that I've done the rework am SO much happier!

twinsetellen said...

Wilson always spends much of the spring muttering "damn tweety birds" as dawn approaches. I don't mind them, they wake me up early enough that I get to luxuriate in snuggling down under the covers again.

Rachael said...

I don't have an early bird, but I do have a med school student whose kitchen is right above our bedroom and she spends about an hour making breakfast, in heels, every morning - varying times from 4:30-5:30. Luckily this only happens in runs of two to three weeks at a time, but when it does - ooh boy, am I one unhappy, sleep deprived person. I feel your pain.

Good luck w/the frogging!