I was packing up the last of my belongings from my now former rental house when I first heard the birds. It was like something out of a Hitchcock film. There were a few strange birds calls in the distance. Then the sounds increased. It sounded like hundreds and hundreds of birds squawking in a panic. I looked to the East where I heard the sounds when suddenly a triangular black cloud of birds rose into the sky. I have never seen anything like it before.
They flew around in circles, creating a dark shadow as they flew over head and then flew off, heading East away from whatever was headed in this direction. The first thing that popped into my head was the title of one of my favorite Ray Bradbury books, “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”
On the news this morning they talked about the high winds moving into town. The Santa Anas would be arriving some time tonight and staying through the next few days. The said we could get winds of almost seventy-five miles per hour in some parts.
My boss was in a panic getting the school prepared for the incoming wind event. Trees were trimmed. All outdoors decorations were removed. Everything that could be strapped down was strapped down.
One of my co-workers even sent me a warning. “Drive safe tomorrow,” he said. I giggled and said, “thanks.” He said he probably won’t even be into work tomorrow because the mountain pass he takes every day from Palmdale is horrible during the Santa Anas. He said it would be too dangerous to attempt it if the winds pick up the way they are predicting.
I have been through a hurricane so I know what it is like to survive high winds. My concern is that I am in a older house, built in 1925. How is it going to survive the winds. My “Scary House” is really going to sound like a stereotypical haunted house with the winds (and my coyote howling in the backyard).
I always make fun of the “Stormwatch” drama created by the news here in Los Angeles but when I saw the birds acting weird, I couldn’t shake the sense of foreboding. They say that animals always know when something is going to happen.
So maybe we should take heed, listen to the birds and batten down the hatches!