so, weird story. about a year ago i wrote a post about how i heard a ruckus upstairs and it turns out a blue jay had somehow gotten stuck in our fireplace. you can re-read that here. this morning i was working on my website, northern flicker films, trying to get things in order b/c of the new short. it's been a good few weeks, finally seeing this film to completion and having a good public showing and gearing up for the next ones and so forth. i am prone to hyperbole but i'll say this anyway: things i've been working toward my entire adult life are slowly crystallizing. to say the least it's felt important, these past couple weeks. so anyway i was moving some stuff around on the site when i hear a strange clawing sound from inside the fireplace. keep in mind that this is a different house and a different fireplace. in fact this isn't really even a fireplace it's a wood-stove more or less. i hear the sound again. there's definitely something alive in there. M comes into the living room and says the dog was sniffing at the stove last night in a tizzy but she thought nothing of it so whatever it is has been in there all night. we can't see into the stove b/c over the years the smoke and ash have darkened the window but we can hear it. We don't know what to expect: bird, rat, squirrel. I grab the handle and slowly pull the door and step back all in one fluid motion and out flies a Northern Flicker. It takes a few moments of encouragement to get it to the open front door - after all it's scared and exhausted - but we do. and finally free, it takes flight.