Yesterday morning, I awoke to the sound of my furnace dying. The banging, clanking, and clonking of the metal pipe was a sure sign that the noisy furnace had reached its end. I suffered through the noises for the next hour, failing to fall back asleep, until my alarm indicated it was time to actually wake up.
I called Mark, my fix-it man. He called me back at the end of the day. "What's going on?" he asked. "It sounds like there's a woodpecker in my furnace. It's making so much noise!" I said. "There's a woodpecker in your furnace?" he asked. "Not literally," I said. "It just sounds that way." I wasn't home at the time, but I gave him permission to go take a look. Naturally, the furnace was silent when he arrived, so he went back home. I got home later in the evening and went to sleep peacefully.
At five thirty this morning, it started again. I had done some research and learned that furnaces make such noises when they are cooling down, and I thought that since the heat was no longer on, but the furnace was still running for the hot water, the constant heating and cooling was making it make these terrible noises. I moved out to the living room to try to sleep, to no avail: it was just too loud. Mark gets up early, so I decided to call him again.
He came over, and of course, the instant he arrived, there was silence again. We turned the heat on and off, ran the hot water, and did any number of things to try to recreate the sound. After about fifteen minutes of silence, when Mark was about to leave, it started again. He looked at the furnace, fiddled around or did whatever it is that fix-it people do with their secret powers, and then walked outside. He popped his head back in. "There's a woodpecker on the pipe," he said.
I went outside. I didn't see a woodpecker. "Are you teasing me?" I asked. "No, there was a woodpecker sitting up there. I saw it," Mark told me. So when I said that there wasn't literally a woodpecker, I was, of course, mistaken. There literally was a woodpecker making all that racket. I'm guessing I have more mornings like this to look forward to, though Cornell Lab of Ornithology recommends some visual deterrents, like windsocks or pinwheels, to dissuade the woodpecker from hanging out at the house. I suppose we'll give those a try.
On Saturday, when I was volunteering at VINS, the Harris's Hawk was, for some reason, not happy with my fashion choices. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him lunge toward me—something he has absolutely never done before. With his beak, he ripped my purple Ray-Bans off my head, held them in his mouth for an instant, and then tossed them on the ground. I must have done something to the birds to make them torture me in these ways. Perhaps I've been negligent. Here it is, springtime, and I have yet to use my new binoculars...