About every other week I run this 5-mile loop that takes me into an adjacent neighborhood with two big hills and one really strange house. This place on Picrus Street stands out among all the other stucco-and-red-tile tract homes because of one thing: It reeks of birdsong.
About a half block away you start to hear the loudest chirpers and by the time you reach the house, it sounds like a zoo aviary in the throes of spring breeding. During the day, it's probably a delight. But in the still darkness of pre-dawn, it sounds a little like the crows in that Alfred Hitchcock horror movie. I don't know how the neighbors can stand it.
What I'm still trying to figure out is whether these birds are being held captive or just taken with this particular backyard. And how on earth can anyone sleep through that?!
There must be hundreds of them, maybe thousands, heard but never seen, each calling out for attention or for help every time they hear the approaching footfalls of a would-be suitor or savior in running shoes.