On the night we arrived at my son's home in Fremont, California, about 30 minutes before the midnight hour, we were just a bit pooped, to say the least, after a 5-hour-plus flight from Honolulu.
Of course, it was only 8:30 p.m. in Hawaii, so it wasn't going to be easy to just shower and fall asleep. In fact, by the time I got unpacked, showered, and settled into bed, it was 1 a.m. I crossword-puzzled for about 15 minutes, then turned off the light, lay my head upon my pillow, pulled the covers up to my neck, and closed my eyes.
They popped right open again because it was at that very moment that a bird started singing. At first, I thought it was seven or eight different birds, all singing different songs. But wait. I thought birds slept at night. Then, listening carefully, I realized it was just one bird ... ONE bird ... making all that racket.
It had to be a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos).
I would have gone out to take a picture of that obnoxious, rude and inconsiderate bird, but remember, it was really dark outside. In fact, I thought of shooting it with a BB gun, but even THAT wouldn't have worked. In the dark, I probably would have shot out somebody's window.
So I did the only thing I could do – I listened to that damned bird from hell until 3 a.m., when I mercifully fell asleep. My daughter-in-law said she heard it when she headed out to work the next morning at about 6 a.m. The bird was singing all night long. Apparently, according to a naturalist's blog I read the next day, it was defending its territory ... no matter that it was night, when he should have been sleeping.
I thought about waking the wife so she could share the cacophony, but ... a tired, unhappy wife at 3 a.m. makes for a tired, unhappy life for at least the next couple of days.