“I’m sorry to tell you this, Squeaky Pie, but summer is over,” said Momanita,” no more warm weather.”
“You just figured this out? I thought hootmans were smart?”
To be fair cockatiels ARE intelligent and I’m brainier than most. How many birds do you know that write blog posts?
“Summer ended on August 31st or September 22nd,” explained Momanita as she carried my writing nest upstairs.
“What difference does it make?”
To other hootmans this sounded like squeals and whistles, but not to Momanita. She MOSTLY understood cockatiel speak. I MOSTLY understood hootman talk.
“August 31st is the meteorological date and September 22nd was the astronomical date,” said Momanita. “I’ll Google the difference.”
I should never have asked. Momanita Googled EVERYTHING! She tapped the keyboard and read to me.
“’The August 31st date was when the warmer temperatures mainly ended. September 22nd was the equinox date. That means day and night are equal. Then the days become shorter.’”
“I didn’t need a calendar to know about the light change. I FELT it.”
Hootmans should pay more attention to how they felt. Like right now I felt HUNGRY.
“Have any Cheerios in your pocket?”
“I’ll miss gardening,” said Momanita. “I found a black walnut in my hanging planter. The squirrels hide food near their nests called caches. They also gain weight in the fall. This helps them survive the winter.”
“I could have a cache of Cheerios in my rolly nest. It would help me survive the afternoon.”
I tossed sunflower seeds to make my point.
“I’ll miss the sitooterie,” she said. “I enjoyed relaxing on my chair and watching the hummingbirds feed. We’ll be inside more just like garter snakes.”
I didn’t like snakes. I can’t fly away from them.
“It says here that during the winter garter snakes live together in large groups to keep their bodies warm. There could be dozens in a den.”
I climbed to the top of the writing nest. I kept a lookout for snakes.
“I’ll miss wearing shorts and T shirts. In the Midwest it’s about 20 degrees colder in the fall.”
“Exactly, turn on the heat!”
I fluffed up. Besides looking cute, my feathers trapped the air and warmed me.
“In the fall, animals who are active grow thicker fur. The new fur on a snowshoe rabbit is white. This helps them hide in the snow.”
I grew new feathers when I molted. Molting was itchy.
“I won’t be gardening until April,” said Momanita.
Momanita looked sad. She closed her laptop.
“You have an inside garden! The window looks like a jungle.”
“I won’t be watching the hummingbirds from the sitooterie,” she said.
“There will be nuthatches and chickadees at the feeder. You can watch them.”
I was happy they didn’t eat Cheerios.
“I’ll put away my summer clothes.”
“And get out your sweaters. I like snuggling with you. It’s important that we appreciate Fall, too. They’re just different. I’ll take the Fall!”
I’m not sure if she heard my advice. To other hootmans this sounded like squeals and whistles, but not to Momanita. She MOSTLY understood cockatiel speak. I MOSTLY understood hootman talk.
“We’ll say goodbye to Summer and welcome Fall. I’ll bring in the herbs for an inside garden. Next, I’ll make sure I have sunflower seeds for the winter feeders. Then I’ll try on my sweaters.”
Momanita opened her laptop and tapped the keyboard.
“Summer and Fall are different, Squeaks. We’ll appreciate the differences. That’s what I’ll write about! We’d all be happier if we’d learn to appreciate differences.”
Being an inspiration was hard work!