By Bruce Stambaugh
I’m glad I have a window with a view in my home office. That view is forever changing, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically.
When our daughter flew the coop 13 years ago to marry the love of her life, her mother and I converted her bedroom into our home office. The room was just the right size to meet our workplace needs. The cheery double window to the outside world was an added bonus.
My work area occupies the space right beside the window on the east side of our east-facing home. My wife’s computer desk is to my right. The window affords me some periodic and necessary breaks from the long-term sitting I do at the computer.
I’ve seen a lot over all the years peeking out that office window. Keep in mind our house is built on an Amish farm on a very busy county road that cuts through the heart of the world’s largest Amish population.
The surface of County Road 201 routinely carries an amazing array of cargo. If I were to create a catalog of the movements north and south along the road, I would have a pretty thick document.
The booklet’s index would include several categories. A random representation of the locomotion I’ve witnessed would include canoes atop buggies, bicyclists, strings of antique cars, wagon trains, tractor-trailer parades, tractors pulling wagon loads of people sitting on lawn chairs, speeding motorcycles and dedicated joggers.
Of course, not everything I have seen has buzzed by on the highway. We rejoice when we see our neighbors readying their equipment to head out for their work away from home jobs. Given the economy, that surely is a happy sight.
Some of the prettier things we’ve observed through the window include incredible sunrises, spiny hoar frost stuck to everything it touched, and triple rainbows. I have watched as golf ball sized hail covered the ground. Blinding snow squalls prevented me from seeing the roadside mailbox.
I have seen some rather ugly images out that window, too. Auto accidents and insensitive people pitching litter from passing vehicles make that unpleasant list.
My favorite observations, however, are the animals I see. And just like the highway bill of lading, I have watched a variety of wildlife engaged in assorted activities in every season. Eastern Bluebirds have perched atop the lamppost positioned along the front sidewalk. Deer scurried for cover by taking a shortcut through the front yard.
After one of last winter’s heavy snows, I spied a Cooper’s Hawk pinning its Mourning Dove breakfast to the ground, feathers scattered in a broad oval around the crime scene. I shot lots of pictures through the window for evidence just in case the assault ever got called into court.
Recently, a curious flash drew my attention away from the computer, through the window to the greening yard. A Red-tailed Hawk had swooped down to claim a fox squirrel that had been run over on the road earlier that day.
As the hawk tried to roost in one of our Norway maple trees, it dropped the flattened rodent. Try as it might, the hawk could not fly away with its fortunate find.
Finally, the frustrated hawk left still hungry. I took pity on the poor dead squirrel, went outside and placed the mutilated carcass at the base of the tree trunk.
The next morning I discovered the squirrel was gone. Though curious as to what had happened to it, I was really thankful that was one incident I didn’t have to view out my window.