I was looking forward to retirement for several reasons, chief among these being the fact that now I would be able to sleep after the sun came up. For so many years, I awoke well before dawn and watched the sun over my shoulder, as it rose over the horizon in my rearview mirror. I had to content myself with brief moments of beautiful sunlight as I pulled into the parking lot at work. This was the only solution to avoid turning a forty-five minute commute into an hour and a half (or longer) bumper-to-bumper, nail biting, experience that could result in anxiety and a tension hangover that lasted for hours.
Early morning meetings were usually brutal, and those days required special armor. When it snowed overnight, there was no choice but to wait for the snow plough to come along or there could be several accidents, as some drivers would make a bet that Rt.78 on the Jersey roadmap was the newly-designated Autobahn, and tires and brakes were selectively winterized. (You mean cars require maintenance?). Some tension was an inevitable hazard of the job.
With total abandon, I prepared myself for my new lifestyle. Turned my alarm off and went to bed contentedly happy with an anticipatory sleep-in plan. Unfortunately, that idea was short lived. At about 5:30 a.m. a bird who built her nest under the eaves of my bedroom roof, decided to give her young ones a wakeup call. Her staccato tu-tu chirps were answered by their collective high-pitched squeaks. As adorable as they sounded, I knew that sleep was no longer an option.
I tried to distinguish from the sounds of their individual squeaks, how many babies there were. I became magically hypnotized. It was so much like listening to an orchestra and trying to figure out when the violins would harmonize with the organ or the harp would add another dimension. I listened transfixed, until I could no longer discern the differences in their squeaky chirps. Eventually, their screeching faded and I fell right back into a deep slumber, caressed by their waning birdsong, which I later learned was a nurturing swallowtail and her young ones.
Here is a video of some birds you might enjoy identifying :