Thursday, June 15, 2006

A bird (almost) in the hand

Originally posted by Brenda Coulter at No rules. Just write.

After spotting this cardinal through my kitchen window, I snatched up my camera and then slowly, slowly, opened the back door.

The bird didn't twitch a single feather, so I closed the door behind me and moved two steps closer and snapped this photo. The bird remained perfectly still. Surprised, I just watched him for several seconds, until it hit me that he was dead.

Sheesh, I was taking pictures of a dead bird. What was I going to do next, start stalking celebrities with my camera? I put the camera on the patio table and approached the birdbath, wondering about the best way to dispose of a dead bird.

I was almost close enough to reach out my hand and touch the poor little thing (not that I was planning to do that) when his head jerked in my direction and he flapped his wings and retreated to the safety of the viburnum hedge on the left side of this photo.

"Hey, I understand daydreaming," I said to him. "But you need to understand that my neighbors have a cat that thinks he owns this garden."

The cardinal gave me a look that said, "Point taken," and then he flew off to perch high in our mulberry tree.

A byline has been added to this post to foil a site which has been stealing my daily writings and passing them off as its own.

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Domino said...

The bird must be a writer. He was working out plot details in his head. I understand blocking out everything else while I focus on writing.

My backyard grapevine is the bird version of Starbucks. The blue jays seem to find the hang out appealing.

Mirtika said...

I've only seen a gorgeously red Cardinal once. I was in my late teens. It was outside my window, the green grass contrasted amazingly with the red. I still think on it as a lovely, spritual moment of beauty.

Sunday, a flock of ibis dropped by after the rains. Must have been some yummy stuff by my beleaguered (by hurricanes and tropical storms) gardenia tree/bush/whatever. They were there, almost as white as the gardenias, pecking away at brunch in the grass.

Hubby didn't get to take the picture, sadly. They left. Didnt' come back. Boohoo.

I sure would love to see a cardinal again.


Shelley said...

The cardinal is such a pretty bird. Some have said they are common up this way, but we haven't seen many. We've actually only seen one male that we know of that used to come to our feeders for a couple of winters. He wasn't there this year though. Other than that, haven't seen any around here. We have a lot of blue jays though, which is another pretty bird.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

They're pretty common here in NY. there were two on my porch yesterday. Never thought to take pictures of them...LOL

I'm glad that turned out alright 'cause I was thinking, "How did it die perched on the end of a birdbath and not fall over?"

Mirym K. said...

He might have been sick. It looks like he was really puffed up, and if he was that unresponsive, that's not a good sign. Poor guy. :(

Neal said...

What a great story. I don't think we get cardinals in the UK (unless they masquerade under a different name -- always possible I suppose). I certainly don't recognise it.

We were lucky enough a couple of weeks ago to get close enough to a pair of oyster catchers to get some photos. Turns out (though we didn't realise it immediately) that they also had a bunch of babies, which we also managed to get a few shots of. A rare privilege.

cantnever said...

Domino had a good idea. That bird was in a trance! He must have been thinking really hard -- just possibly writing. What a lovely blog entry, Brenda. (No wonder your entries are stolen! They are priceless.) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us and the delicious photo! We laughed and laughed -- I read it out loud here. -Chris

jel said...

hi friend,

love the pic.

Josie said...

Beautiful little bird!

Brenda Coulter said...

Domino, I haven't see a jay in a while. They're pretty to look at, and they make for a little drama around the birdbath--they flap and scold and chase all the other birds away!

Mir, cardinals are especially beautiful in the snow. But I don't suppose that's a sight you'll ever see in Miami!

After roses, gardenia is my favorite flower. I love the imperfect form and the white, white, whiteness of the flowers as much as their heady scent. Wish I could grow 'em here.

[Bonnie wrote] "How did it die perched on the end of a birdbath and not fall over?"

That was my question. He really was very still, for quite a long time. I think Mirym is right--he had to have been sick.

Chris, thanks so much for your kind words. You're welcome here anytime.

Audra said...

I was wondering about the dead while sitting aspect, too. What a funny story. :)