When I came home tonight I went in, started a fire, and flipped on the inverter. A small buzz/blip noise let me know it was faulted out. It’s been cloudy all day so our solar didn’t have a chance to catch up from last night’s use. This is important because our solar charge controller won’t let us dip too far down on battery voltage. The result is not having enough power to run the inverter to run our fluorescent light in the kitchen.
I may have mumbled a curse word as I shuffled outside to start the generator. (Although I am very happy that we have one, just for times like these, they require a bit of prepping before you start them.)
At the generator hut I flip on my phone light, set it on the top of the generator and begin preps; check the oil and gas it up.
As I’m standing, with both hands on the gas container, trying to keep it stabilized (difficult job-my leverage is bad because I am short and the gas containers are awkward and weigh 40lbs), I glance under my right arm and see a large bird looking at me.
I’m not particularly afraid of birds, at least none I’ve met so far, it’s just I wasn’t expecting to see a bird roosting in the corner of the generator hut.
It took my brain a second to figure out what I was looking at.
It was a roadrunner.
My husband walked up and I pointed our winged friend out. We both agreed it was coming straight at us when we started the generator. Right past our faces would be its only escape when the noisy engine came to life.
I did the only reasonable thing I could in the moment, I put my husband between me and the bird. As he began pulling the starter cord, he said, “Keep your light on him!”
The generator roared on, rattling the entire hut and our speckled snake assassin didn’t wiggle a feather. Lucky for us, it seems flying at people’s heads in fear is not part of the roadrunner’s options for survival.
We looked at each quite pleased at our luck. Then it occurred to us the bird might be injured. Our dog Happy may have gotten him or he could have been there for days-just staying warm from the heat of the engine.
We didn’t know and still don’t. He was there a few hours later, warm and dry up in the corner.