Saturday, May 30, 2015

Flighty Distractions

Doves enjoying the rains.
Sometimes I feel like the bird on the right watching others. Whether I'm at my computer or sitting at our kitchen table I find myself relaxing, watching the birds at the feeders.  While the birds eat, bicker, bully, fend for themselves, or feed the younger ones I am amused at their behavior.  

I lose track of time and space; my mind wonders through dozens of reflections.  My parents, in retirement, would sit at their kitchen table on the farm and watch the birds in the snows, the rains, and the warm summer breezes.  I watched my parents and wondered what it must feel like to have raised children, to have reached pinnacles in careers, to have achieved goals in life, to be older. From my younger perspective my parents actively engaged in life and the people around them.  They rarely sat except to eat a meal, read a book or magazine, or in mother's case play bridge.  My father's hands stayed busy. Even in retirement he didn't sit often, but the birds opened windows for my parents to sit, to chat, and relax, and so they have done that for me.

Outside my writing window I watch dozens of LBB(little brown birds) flutter around the tray of food. Wrens sit with their tails angled upwards, bright red male house finches join the mix, then suddenly a red-winged blackbird swoops in, and the little ones fly away or drop to the ground.  There even seems to be a respected time for each group to feed. I don't mind the grackles, the cowbirds or blue jays because they
each have their antics and songs to brighten these rainy dreary days. On the ground the cardinals, thrushes, and towhee scratch, flitter, and  mill around.  The mockingbirds are curious, while the robins stay in the background enjoying the worms and bugs.  Of course, we feed the squirrels; they need to eat, as do the predators that sweep by the feeders for an easy meal.  

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The doves are the entertainers.  When in love, the male cluck cluck clucks and follows the female like a tight rope walker across the top of our wooden fences.  His head is constantly moving up and down with his clucks.  I renamed an exercise called "toe sweeps" that I use to stretch my hamstrings to "doves in love," and I much prefer to stretch in the morning pretending to be that dove in love.   

We onced lived out by Lake Thunderbird where roadrunners skittered by our windows, bobwhites clustered in the wildflower patch, hawks circled the skies, and owls ate rabbits on the winter snows.  Walking the nature trails on our acreage I felt the rush of a Mississippi Kite when he swooped down beside me to catch his prey.  His drop from the skies mesmerized me.

Perhaps my favorite time of day is when the alarm clock robins begin to sing in the spring.  They fill the tree outside our window with early morning thrilling
songs that gently wake my body and mind.  How thankful I am to have this moment of serenity.

“The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy on to the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off - and they are nearly always doing it.” 
― Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Secret Garden

Birding books:  Compact Guide to Oklahoma Birds; Birds of Oklahoma and Birds of Kansas by Stan Tekiela.  


  1. We love watching all the different kinds of birds, too. nv

  2. We don't have many birds out here on the plains of Colorado BUT we do have dozens of rabbits! They are equally interesting and funny to watch. ss