I woke up Saturday morning, the warm square of my bedroom window's light already drifted up to my waist, ensconced in the cozy cocoon of my duvet, emitting a pleas-ed purr (having not been jolted out of an ocean-deep sleep by that dreaded nerve-shattering alarm of my nemesis, the bedside radio). I can hear my husband grinding coffee in the kitchen; the distant, alluring sound muffled by the door. I lay with my eyes closed until the pressure to pee can no longer be ignored. A relieved sigh as I relax the muscles of my bladder and release the flow, while simultaneously, a steaming cup of coffee is being poured downstairs next to toast spread thinly with marmalade. Slippers on, floating slowly through the hallway in a day-off daze, I enter to see my husband turn, his graying hair still tussled from the night before, and a silly-proud smile as he looks down at the breakfast he has prepared, picking up my large mug and stepping toward me. Our eyes meet as I take the coffee from his hands, our fingers lingering for a moment as they interlock on the handle of the cup. I smile, turn away to pick up my plate, receive a playful slap to my behind, and saunter over to the living room's bay window. I pull back the curtains, my lips tighten, my brows furrow, and I shout back to my husband, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE DOING ON OUR FRONT LAWN??"
I woke up Saturday morning to the thundering electric blast of my alarm clock, reaching over and ripping the plug from its socket as my eyes open to a blinding strip of light that has managed to slice through my curtains, my pupils shrinking to pin-points like the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, hissing like a vampire that's just been exposed to the sun (I'm talking Bram Stoker vampires, not the glitter-in-the-sun Twilight ones). I roll myself off my lumpy mattress and sift through floor-laundry to find (semi)clean clothes for the day. That's when the excitement starts to sink in. The blood-racing, heart-pumping, adrenaline of chasing a black-feathered, red-eyed, so-out-of-its-range-it-seems-impossible south-westerner that has arrived in a suburb of Brampton, of all places. I swiftly shower, shove a handful of dry cereal into my face, and rush to the subway, already a couple minutes late for my ride (side note: Thanks again, Greg!). As we neared our suburban destination, we concentrated on getting the side-streets right, passing by quintessential, gardened houses in a quiet, gardened neighbourhood, eventually turning onto the quaint, gardened Addington Crescent. Needless to say, it was somewhat obvious that this was the spot. Vehicles stacked in leaning towers 5-cars high, parked back-to-back on every inch of pavement, binoculars, scopes, and cameras on every neck and in every trembling hand, stampedes of folks frothing at the mouth and clawing at elderly ladies who were between themselves and the crowd of people frantically pointing upward, a truck with a cow-catcher attached to the front pushing through the crowd to get the best look. I calmly exited my friend's car and sped-walked to the excited group of people gathered all over some couple's front lawn...and got my first-ever look at a Phainopepla.