Shooting the void in silence,
like a bird,
A bird that shuts his wings
for better speed.
~ Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, From ”Sonnet XXVIII”
- Bio for Frederick Goddard Tuckerman
- Photograph: Crescent Moon via Hungarian Soul.
- Poem: Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer.
Catching up on your posts and came across your July 7 Monday Mantra. Thought you might like to see the original video of the reggae-biased Morepork … so named for their call. If you live close to bush in New Zealand, you turn on the porch light and these little guys will come calling to feed on the moths.”
This little Morepork (or Ruru in Maori) arrived at New Zealand Bird Rescue Charitable Trust’s Green Bay Hospital in Auckland when it was about a week old. Now it is flying and has lost most of its baby feathers. New Zealand Bird Rescue supports the community by assisting many thousands of sick, orphaned, injured and lost birds every year. Birds that come into care here are rehabilitated until they are ready for release back into the wild. We accept and care for all New Zealand birds; no bird is ever turned away. Many have been victims of cat attacks, road accidents, pollution, fishing line entanglements, and human ignorance or cruelty.
Thank you Stephen.
Source: Huffington Post (Baby owl was 1 week old when he was admitted to the New Zealand Bird Rescue Hospital.)
I’m slumped on a beach chair.
Earbuds are pumping in music, partially muffling the surf.
My baseball cap is pulled down low.
My Kindle is in my right hand, blocking the sun, and the rest of me.
Unrecognizable. Unapproachable. Body language spewing “Prickly Man. No Talking.”
She ambles within 3 feet.
She inches closer, determined to get my attention.
I peak out from under my hat.
Her iris’ are mandarin oranges circling jet black darkness.
And both eyes are locked on mine.
She stares. And stares. And stares.
I go back to reading.
She inches closer. And begins to preen her tail feathers.
Middle Aged Man has managed to repel all bikini clad women.
And, now he’s getting hit on by a Pigeon. What a Stud! [Read more...]
i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water every day
she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character
he jumped into her hand
began to eat
a woman holding
a small god
~ Richard Vargas, why i feed the birds
…St. Patrick’s Day!
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing robin, sing:
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.
~ Christina Rossetti
Credits: Photograph of a European Robin by Leonard Davis. Poem via Gardendigest.com. Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children’s poems.
The problem (if there was one) was simply a problem with the question. He wants to paint a bird, needs to, and the problem is why. Why paint a bird? Why do anything at all? Not how, because hows are easy, series or sequence, one foot after the other, but existentially why bother, what does it solve? Be the tree, solve for bird. What does that mean? It’s a problem of focus, it’s a problem of diligence, it’s supposed to be a grackle but it sort of got away from him. But why not let the colors do what they want, which is blend, which is kind of neighborly, if you think about it. Blackbird, he says. So be it. Indexed and normative. Who gets to measure the distance between experience and its representation? Who controls the lines of inquiry? He does, but he’s not very good at it. And just because you want to paint a bird, do actually paint a bird, it doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished anything. Maybe if it was pretty, it would mean something. Maybe if it was beautiful it would be true. But it’s not, not beautiful, not true, not even realistic, more like a man in a birdsuit, blue shoulders instead of feathers, because he isn’t looking at a bird, real bird, as he paints, he is looking at his heart, which is impossible, unless his heart is a metaphor for his heart, as everything is a metaphor for itself, so that looking at the page is like looking out the window at a bird in your chest with a song in its throat that you don’t want to hear but you paint anyway because the hand is a voice that can sing what the voice will not and the hand wants to do something useful. Sometimes, at night, in bed, before I fall asleep, I think about a poem I might write, someday, about my heart, says the heart. Answer: be the heart. Answer: be the hand. Answer: be the bird. Answer: be the sky.
“We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe.
Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day – the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening?
It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we’re miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn’t seasoned just the way we like.
When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we’re up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first.
In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.”
~ Mark Nepo
Still, for whatever reason—
perhaps because the winter is so long
and the sky so black-blue,
or perhaps because the heart narrows
as often as it opens—
I am grateful
that red bird comes all winter
firing up the landscape
as nothing else can do.
—Mary Oliver, closing lines to “Red Bird,” from Red Bird
One minute of Nature inspirited meditation to start your day.
The Mourning Dove is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. It is also the leading game bird. Its ability to sustain its population under such pressure stems from its prolific breeding: in warm areas, one pair may raise up to six broods a year. Its plaintive woo-OO-oo-oo-oo call gives the bird its name. The wings can make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing. The bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph). Males and females are similar in appearance. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents incubate and care for the young. Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, but the young are fed crop milk by their parents.
Source: Thank you korraled
“A female Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Hummingbird) sleeps in Peru. It’s likely that this bird is in the early stages of arousal from deep torpor after disturbance. The gaping of the bill might be a way to breath deeply and bring in plenty of oxygen. When they are disturbed in torpor, they try to warm up as quickly as possible and that involves intense shivering. But initially, they are too cold for high-speed muscle action so it’s hard to see the shivering movements. The high pitched squeaking sound it is making is likely a cute side-effect of the gaping for oxygen. The noise is actually a lot more quiet than it seems, for whatever reason my camera picked it up and made it sound a lot louder. This experiment was performed with the guidance and supervision of some of the top experts in tropical ornithology. This bird was not harmed whatsoever, it was fed with sugar water throughout the experiment and was released safely. After the experiment was done, I watched the bird fly away myself, it was fine.”
- Source: themetapicture.com
- MM* = Monday Morning
That breath that you just took… that’s a gift.
~ Rob Bell
Robert Holmes “Rob” Bell Jr., 43, was born in Ingham County, Michigan. He is an American author and pastor. Bell was the founder of Mars Hill Bible Church located in Grandville, Michigan, which he pastored until 2012. Under his leadership Mars Hill was one of the fastest-growing churches in America. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Love Wins and Velvet Elvis and the writer and narrator of a series of spiritual short films called NOOMA. In 2011 Time Magazine named Bell to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is currently working with former Lost producer Carlton Cuse on a television series. (Source: wiki)
It was like the moment when a bird decides not to eat from your hand, and flies, just before it flies,
the moment the rivers seem to still and stop because a storm is coming, but there is no storm,
as when a hundred starlings lift and bank together before they wheel and drop,
very much like the moment, driving on bad ice, when it occurs to you your car could spin, just before it slowly begins to spin,
like the moment just before you forgot what it was you were about to say, it was like that, and after that, it was still like that, only all the time.
The American Kestrel also known as the Sparrow Hawk, is a small falcon. It is the most common falcon in North America, and is found in a wide variety of habitats. At 19–21 cm (7–8 in) long, it is also the smallest falcon in North America. The falcon hunts by hovering in the air with rapid wing beats or perching and scanning the ground for prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other small birds. It nests in cavities in trees, cliffs, buildings, and other structures. The female lays three to seven eggs, which both sexes help to incubate. It is a common bird to be used in falconry, especially by beginners. (Source: Wiki)
Image Source: Thank you Dan @ Your Eyes Blaze Out
*SMWI = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration with our baby ostriches.
Source: themetapicture. Thank you Susan.
If you missed my post on my first Harris Hawk experience, it’s worth a peak here. I had a similar awe inspiring experience watching this short 80 second clip. Danny Cooke, director and film maker from the UK, produced this short film of his nephew Sam “who has a fascination and colossal knowledge of Birds. On his birthday, he had the chance to fly a Harris Hawk named Sol.”
Ostrich marking its territory. Bird’s got style…
Source: Adapted from themetapicture.com
Related Post: T.G.I.F. I’m So Happy It’s Friday (Blue-Footed Booby)
Image Source for Juvenile Bald Eagle: Thank you (again) Fairy-Wren
The Lilac-breasted Roller “is found in sub-Saharan Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula, preferring open woodland and savanna; it is largely absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about at ground level. Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs is laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defence of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds. During the breeding season the male will rise to great heights, descending in swoops and dives, while uttering harsh, discordant cries. The sexes are alike in coloration. Juveniles do not have the long tail feathers that adults do. It is also the national bird of Botswana and Kenya.” (Source: Wiki)
Image Source: Fairy-Wren
What a task
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound
I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was
faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun [Read more...]
The crested caracara is in the falcon family but not fast-flying aerial hunters, but rather sluggish and often scavengers. They are found in Cuba, South America, Central America and Mexico and in the southernmost parts of the U.S. The Northern Caracara has a length of 19-23 inches, a wingspan of 42-51 inches and weighs 1.8-2.9 pounds. It is broad-winged and long-tailed. It has long legs and frequently walks and runs on the ground. The Northern Caracara is an omnivorous scavenger that mainly feeds on carrion. The live prey they do catch is usually immobile, injured, incapacitated or young. Prey species can include small mammals,amphibians, reptiles, fish, crabs, insects, their larvae, earthworms, shellfish and young birds. The voice of this species is a low rattle. (Source: Wiki)
Image Source: Thank you Steve Layman via Head Like An Orange
The burrowing owl is a tiny but long-legged owl found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. The burrowing owl measures 19–28 cm (7.5–11 in) long, spans 50.8–61 cm (20.0–24 in) across the wings and weighs 140–240 g (4.9–8.5 oz). As a size comparison, an average adult is slightly larger than an American Robin. Burrowing Owls can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any or any other open dry area with low vegetation. Unlike most owls, Burrowing Owls are often active during the day, although they tend to avoid the midday heat. But like many other kinds of owls, Burrowing Owls do most of their hunting from dusk until dawn, when they can use their night vision and hearing to their advantage. Burrowing Owls have bright yellow eyes; their beaks can be dark yellow or gray depending on the subspecies.
Source: Thank you fairywren for the photo by Alfred Forns.