Wander. Wonder.

April 30, 2008

When we were traveling in Australia, one of the things I noticed were the amazing bird songs. It was such a delight to go outside in the morning with my cup of tea and listen to—what to me anyway—were strange and unusual bird calls. Warbles. Trills. Deep chortles and bell tones. It was so, well, different and beautiful.

This morning, I decided that hearing all those beautiful calls has more to do with slowing down and listening than it has to do with place. I mean, here I was, sitting with Opal in my lap, looking east toward the sunrise, wishing it were a wee bit warmer outside, and then it hit me. Listen to those birds. Warbles. Trills. Deep chortles. Well, OK. No bell tones. I think the bell birds in Australia really are uncomparable. If you want to hear one, try this link:

A little over a month or so ago, a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds moved into our yard. According to the resident non-knitter these are just disgusting birds who happen to be very full of poop. Au contraire.

Yellow-headed blackbirds

I’ve been listening to them for a few minutes every day. It took this long though, for me to really sit down and LISTEN—like I listened to birds when I was in Australia. There, I was in hyper-sense mode. I wanted to take everything in. To feel it all, to experience anything and everything that was new and different. There’s something about traveling that really wakes me up. I didn’t have to travel too far this morning to capture that same sense of wonder.

No, these warbles were not so foreign to my ears. After all, I have been listening to them daily for a month now. But the beauty. This is what I heard. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that they are attractive and interesting birds to watch too.

Yellow-headed blackbirds up close

Ah. So life is good this morning.

A few days ago I took these photos from inside the kitchen. Can you see him? Or is it her?

I was too excited to remember to push the camera lens up against the glass to help reduce the reflections and glare. I did not have the telephoto lens on. This was just the normal 55mm lens.

With a little photoshop magic, you can actually see this lovely animal:

There are a lot of them living in the area. This is why I gave the chickens away before we went to California. This particular animal has a bum back foot. So, unfortunately, life is not so good for this one.

I guess I should feel a bit more sad for the difficulties the bad foot will create for this fox. But, after having lost my rooster and two of my hens to foxes, well, there isn’t much sadness in my heart for the plight of this little beast. Not that I wish this animal ill. It’s just that, well, my rooster was a dandy and I still miss him.


2 Responses to “Wander. Wonder.”

  1. Chris Says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Thanks for the bell bird. My mom will love this. She fancies birds and bells alike. So this one will be one of her favorites.
    Due to Eckhart Tolle the German blackbird never repeats itself. Every tune is new. I cannot tell if this is true and only applying to the German version of the species.
    Further I heard that the little breaks in the melody of most birds are no pauses at all. They only sound like breaks to us due to our limited hearing when it comes to high-frequency notes.
    Even more amazing to me was the assertion of Tompkins/Bird in “Secret Life Of Plants” that even plants sort of sing when connected to a lie detector. Obviously the world is sound.

  2. Kimberly Says:

    Thank-you for sharing the wildlife photos and musings, Ruth. Birds are such amazing creatures! We were delighted to see that the hummingbirds arrived to our altitude a few days ago Already they are fighting over the feeders.

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