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The Thing With Feathers

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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Sitting on the back deck with Henry yesterday, I noticed a beautiful blue bird right underneath my bird feeder. It was close to me and not alarmed by my presence: I was able to watch and listen for quite a few minutes . . . but not to get a picture of my own.

Checking my bird book later, I confirmed: yes!! Indigo bunting. This is a bird I've "known" since my very early years playing Bird Lotto: but seen very seldom. I believe that the female also made a brief appearance -- one of those "little brown birds".

And then, early evening on the golf course, I heard unmistakeably the sound of a Baltimore oriole: my first this summer.


Such a glorious song.

And: there he was in the top of a bare tree, chest totally illuminated by the last horizontal rays of sunshine.

How many people have been warmed by bird song? And comforted by Emily Dickinson's poem?

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Gorgeous bird. We have nothing like that here, in fact never even seen a BlueJay ( in Toronto)
    66 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    67 days ago
    I love watching the birds and butterflys and lizards.
    67 days ago
    68 days ago
    Every morning we hear the birds. Makes me smile!
    68 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    Wow! Read in the NYTs that people are hearing the birds this year because of the downturn in traffic! Both cars and people aren't out as much and the birds are singing.

    While there is so much strife in our country it is good to find out the positive things.

    have a great day!
    68 days ago
    Thank you.

    a glow of warmth

    Indigo buntings are common here - but they never come to my feeder. I think the fields are just too lush for them to look beyond. But we do have a house wren nest on the porch column.
    68 days ago
    Beautiful thanks :)
    68 days ago
    69 days ago
    Beautiful birds - thank you for sharing emoticon
    69 days ago
    So lovely! I've been marveled by a bird's song.
    69 days ago
    I really like waking up at this time of year to the sound of the birds singing.
    69 days ago

    We've had the Bullock's and Hooded Orioles visiting our yard for a bit now. Their calls are characteristic and unmistakable. Never ceasing to excite me when I hear it..
    69 days ago
    Thank you!
    69 days ago
    Glorious how the earth and its creatures are rising up, a juxtaposition to humanity falling has not escaped me.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    69 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/2/2020 2:46:33 PM
    I enjoyed this blog! I loved that Poem! Thank you, I learn so many things from you! emoticon emoticon
    69 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    69 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    We have recently seen a few indigo bunting's here in MN as well this year. The first time ever for me. I was was wondering if due to less airplanes flying if birds migratory directions are different and that's why we are seeing them. Less disturbances in the air?? I don't know but I am thrilled to see a few birds I have never seen before! Have a lovely day listening and watching the birds. They bring such joy!
    69 days ago
    Such a Beautiful blog! I’m sitting poolside. Just finished up hand watering in the front yard. I had the shower Sprayer on. A little hummingbird Flew right into my watering shower. It was so precious she was only there for a little while, but I just did there and kept watering and watching her! How lucky are we to have these flying feathers?
    69 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    Happy to read you finally got to see your Baltimore Oriole. Early this Spring, at the beginning of May we put out our oriole feeder. Lo and behold we have been enjoying them for the past month. For a while it quite a few that would visit the feeder, hubby had to keep going out to keep it full of grape jelly. Lately though, the orioles have been scarce. I think they have babies now and that's a full time job. I'm hoping to see them bring their young to the feeder maybe in a couple of weeks or so. I know they leave this area early so I did enjoy them this year.

    Also we have had Purple Finches. It was so cute the other day, as Daddy Finch brought is brood of three babies and was trying to teach them to feed for themselves. He took off and all three followed suit.

    Thanks for the blog today.
    69 days ago
    Gorgeous! And we need some of that hope right now.
    69 days ago
    Birdsong makes the day right.

    69 days ago
    what a beautiful bird! Thanks for sharing.
    69 days ago
    What a hopeful poem!

    69 days ago
    Thank you so much for posting such lovely photos. Enjoy watching the birds who visit us very early in the morning for the water we put out for them & in payment they eat some of the bugs infesting our plants.
    69 days ago
    The killdeer make me laugh. When we walk along the trails by an open field, they dash down in hopes of distracting us from their nests. Then there’s the doves every morning wanting to wake us but we’re already up! The woodpeckers keep trying to open a spot on the house next door and the goldfinches dice and dance! The huge owl has not returned to the tree in the yard in back of us for a couple of years now. He was there for the final summer of our neighbor the photographer who passed on
    69 days ago
    I have seen one Indigo bunting, what a wonderful treat it was.
    Your blog of yesterday...one of my final jobs at my now sold home was to repair cat scratches on several door jambs. Many years ago we had a Bearded Collie who developed the taste for drywall, he managed to destroy a wall in an unfinished closet. Acquaintances took a shine to him and we gladly "gifted" him to them. Somehow he managed to survive to a ripe old age, lol.
    I just finished listening to this morning's Q with Tom Power, he had a musicologist from Miami University in Ohio discussing the jazz song "Strange Fruit" sung first by Billy Holliday in 1939 and then by Nina Simone in 1965. The line "Black lives hanging from the poplar trees, strange fruit" is chilling and speaks to what is now happening.
    69 days ago
    Nothing so peace-engendering as birdsong! Thanks for another break in the day!
    69 days ago
  • THOMS1
    The Baltimore Oriole is a beautiful bird. We have a oriole feeder in our back yard and one in the front. I have seen the female oriole go to the one in back and I also saw one male oriole in the back but none so far in the front. Someone else in the neighbor hood must be feeding them. emoticon emoticon
    69 days ago
    How beautiful!
    69 days ago
    Beautiful!! Yes, was glorious to see and hear him! Unfortunately, haven't seen him since, but have heard the calls. Must know when I am carrying my camera lol. We enjoy the amazing range of sounds that the brown thrasher makes near our yard every day. I never get tired of hearing him. It seems as if no two sounds are ever alike and he can go on for hours. We also have a catbird in the neighbour's yard we have been hearing. But sadly this year, no mourning doves which we used to hear early in the morning on quiet. calm days.
    My sister is lucky this year, getting a large variety of birds visiting her farm yard, including the oriole and humming birds, something we rarely see.
    I agree with Gaby, you could easily write a book on whatever topic you chose and make it very interesting!

    Thank you for the birthday goodie!
    69 days ago
    Beautiful birds. I always enjoy bird sounds and songs.
    69 days ago
    Thank you for starting my day on such a sweet note.
    69 days ago
    What a treat you had. emoticon I love listening to the birds. Indigo buntings are sometimes pass thru travelers in our yard, as are evening grosbeaks and scarlet tanagers. I love seeing them even if they don't take up residence nearby. Hope today is just as special. emoticon
    69 days ago
  • PIZZA5152
    Thanks for sharing
    69 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I LOVE your blogs....you should write a book....and your words are always so soothing! They always "calm the soul"

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    69 days ago
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