“Chickadee, dee, dee, dee.”
Birds create a fantastical world for me. They are beautiful to look at. Their songs fill empty spaces with pleasure. They have a lovely disposition and brighten my day. I’d like to talk about one of my favorites, the Chickadee.
I’ve had many an encounter with the Black-Capped Chickadee from the sharing of meals to a bit of humor. I’ve seen how they care for other birds, showing them the way.
One such time was when we had a young Robin winter over up here, where the weather turns bitter cold and the snow piles grow. At first the little guy came to the feeder by himself. A few days later he stayed when the Chickadees came, sitting in a leafless bush far from the feeder. Where did he go when the wind blew wildly? He just sat in the same bush with his feathers fluffed to the uttermost. Nights were spent in the crook of a maple tree branch. Finally, on the fifth day, he understood that the Chickadees had been offering him an invitation. They wanted him to know when to come and eat, where to get his rest, and to sleep in a warm place. I watched him come with the happy little guys, taking his turn to gather food from beneath the feeder. He learned to rest in the thick branches of a cedar shrub and to sleep inside the hole of a dead tree, nestled deeply in the woods behind the cabin.
There are other stories familiar to many of the Chickadee landing on shoulders, taking feed from tiny hands,and gathering thickly to complain when “someone” was late with the food. My funniest was during a second hike of The Appalachian Trail (a continuous trail that runs from Georgia up into Maine). I did it differently than most by starting in Pennsylvania the second week of March and heading north. This way I’d be alone for most of the five month journey and I was. Anyway… I was in Vermont enjoying the rewards of what happens when the skies let loose. It was raining for the fourth day in a row. As the previous days, the rain was torrential in the middle of the day and had nearly washed away my wonder and awe of where I was. That is, until I came round a sharp bend in the trail just below the summit of Peru Mountain. I was face to face with a Chickadee, mere inches from my nose. He said his usual “Chickadee, dee, dee.” But it was obvious that he was saying more than a cheery hello. His crisp clear few syllables shouted laughter. He was laughing at me as I stood in front of him. Twice! And then, I couldn’t help myself and began to laugh with him as the rain continued to cover me like a waterfall bursting off the top of my head. “Chickadee, dee, dee, Dee! DEE!” translation, “ha, ha, he, he, you’re all wet! Followed by little giggles.
I cannot claim the scientific distinction between mankind and animal. The world is a creation beyond eternity.
Posted on March 1, 2015, in Appalachian Trail, Birds, Hiking, Nature, Philosophy, Photos, Snippets in Time, Solo Journeys and tagged Birds, Hiking, Northern New Hampshire, Photos, Unique to Me. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.