My visiting friend had read about the Rod-RI-go bird. This past weekend, when that sorrowing bird would call, I'd ask, "There! Did you hear that?" Of course, the bird would immediately go silent. This happened several times and I felt I was about to be accused of making it up, or just plain "hearing things." As we were saying goodbye while standing in the driveway on Sunday morning, the bird, close by, began crying again for her lost lover. We scanned the trees, trying to find her. Dolly suddenly spied the bird in the brush pile in the front yard, "It's a quail!" Sure enough, we could see the bobbing topknot. My mind knew it had to be some territorial bird call, but my heart prefers the romance of my imagination.
Ground squirrels also post sentries while the troops forage, and they make the most irritating sound. It's a very metallic, repetitive chirp that is very much like a T-post being pounded into the ground with a hammer, and it goes on and on and on. The sentry sits atop a fence post and keeps look out for danger, and I'm sure the squirrels hunting for seeds above ground find it very reassuring to hear the "still safe" call, but I will admit to times I have screamed, "Shut up! Shut up for God's sake!," probably causing my neighbors to wonder what's going on at Farview Farm. Ah well, a little mystery is good for them.