Nature, Text Messaging

When the phone rang at 6:30 this morning, I already had the headset on. When you are a creativity coach, you leave at least one morning for early calls and one evening for late calls. Not every client wants to call from work, so you plan to do the coaching early or late. After the coaching calls were over, I prepared for a client meeting. It is a lovely May day, and I decided to leave the studio window open.

On my way out of the studio, I heard the text message beep that signaled an incoming message. I smiled. One of my clients loves to text me. I love this client’s ability to summarize problems; he drew me into learning how to spell with my thumbs 9 years ago, and now I love the brief exchanges of ideas.

We’d talked early, and I was surprised to get a text message. I put my purse containing the phone on the kitchen chair when the beep sounded faintly again. “I need breakfast first,” I said to the purse, poured a cup of coffee, and reached for the granola. Another beep. I gave in. This many messages sounded serious. Before I poured milk on the granola, I pulled the phone from the briefcase. No messages. I checked again. Nope, no messages. I shook my head. I could have sworn I heard it. I dropped the phone back into the purse.

I sprinkled blueberries on my granola and poured milk over it. The beep again. But this time, it seemed to be coming from the window in front of me. I pushed open the window and heard another incoming message. But this time I saw the message-sender. The mockingbird sat in the fig tree next to the kitchen window. He’s heard the beep often enough to repeat it. He already mimics my alarm clock and now he’s got the text message notification down perfectly.

When mockingbirds learned to mimic sounds, it must have been for a better reason than echoing technological tools. But I have to admit, he’s useful. I’m a sound sleeper, but what the alarm clock can’t do–the mockingbird can. I can’t turn him off.

Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach, writer and art journaler.


12 thoughts on “Nature, Text Messaging

  1. Oh, Quinn…this is awesome! I love that he “fooled you” with the sound of a text. Something similar happened to me very recently, when I mistook a bird chirping for a phone beeping…it made me laugh so hard to realize what I had misunderstood!

  2. This is so timely! I’ve a new mobile phone and I’m not used to its ringtones yet and when I’ve been outside there have been numerous times I have pulled my phone out thinking there was a message/call only to find it was the birds singing! The opposite is happening now: I think it’s the birds, but it is actually a text!

  3. Quinn,
    I found this topic on the mocking bird to be delightful! They are my favorite bird; I speak of them often on Facebook and have written blog posts about them. So when you revealed the sender of the beep, I just had to laugh. They are vocally talented, but I never knew they could imitate sounds from every day life. That is truly interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    Be refreshed,

  4. We have a mockingbird in our condo community and I am thankful he doesn’t live outside my bedroom window because I can hear him halfway across the complex. He’s particularly vocal at night for some reason, right when I’m trying to go to sleep.

  5. I’ve had mockingbirds pass through, but this year I have a pair hanging out. This is a bit far north for them to wander. They totally crack me up. Yesterday, one went on “singing” for two hours! They torment the red-winged blackbirds, imitating their calls.

  6. Quinn…Birds…yes aren’t their antics something to take us away from the mundane? I have been working on a project with many small, trimmed pieces of silk…lots of stitching together and clipping threads…kept seeing a robin on the branches looking at me while I typed, several times he had something in the mouth…ahhh, making a nest….took a handful, put on the railing….less than 30 minutes, gone….did this with the entire bag….took care of that recycling project.
    Not sure if I can see a mockingbird here…love them! joined the audubon society locally where I retired about 10 months ago….and will begin to do some bird watching and learning from them.
    My schedule has been swamped with getting gardens done between storms and finishing projects with deadlines…and family and my own issues needing attention…whew! Yet each morning I read your notes, so often smiling as you write something so close to my own understanding of an activity or event. Taking time to write to you does not always happen; please know that what you write, what you look at, what you express is truly a gift to me, again and again.
    I am so glad that I found you… I typed the robin just looked in again…better start with the machine soon and get some more building materials put together…two nuthatches have joined in…a male and a female…nesting season….now a finch…wow, looks like they are coming in droves between the storms…I am so lucky!

  7. Oh, what a fun story. I could almost see you wondering over the phone. Back in 2005 I visited Australia and we experienced something similar with the Lyre bird. Your sharing made my morning a smiling one. Thanks.

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