What a sweet, beautiful morning it is here, as hurricane Irene pounds up the East coast. Though I must work today, I’ve promised myself a walk when I need a break, and to leave by 4 PM. You don’t get any accolades for working on the weekends, but when I’ve got a deadline it’s a logical choice, so I don’t get all frayed and splayed at the last minute. Before I left home this morning I heard, at sunrise, the chuckling of a screech owl before she retried for the day, and the wren warbling. And at the birdbath was a regular convocation: a flicker, blue-jay, robins, cardinals, squirrels.