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.
I’m nearly done with my next entry for 21 days at sea. Actually, I’ve been nearly done for several days now, which is why I posted Morning Delight (Click to Read).
Friends will say that I have too much on my plate. Well, I always have stuff on my plate. I’m a full plate person! (This is no trouble because I do live by a motto that says “goodbye” to time.) Now if my plate still has stuff at the end of a day, then the same plate will work for the morrow with new entrees added. My plate must be kept full and full it must be.
Yes, a good chunk of each day is enslaved by time. It’s a requirement for social participation. Goodness, my therapist and friends would not be happy if I did not participate. However, I don’t hitch my wagon to the time train that has to run on time all the time. Now, I’ll stop this time thing so as not to waste yours.
Back on track…. Nearly done refers to an incomplete task, which is usually investigation. Each and every post, no matter the size, is meticulously researched. I have an appetite for knowledge and feed this need with a course of building an over-sized information foundation. I cannot post until this is done. It is a must do salad, an integral part of my character, and I happen to like it.
Some people think that I’m obsessed and drive something called perfection. Honk! Ding! Ding! Honk! Wrong! I enjoy the process. One bit of information leads to another and another and another. It’s so much fun and the when, what, why, and how each piece is connected is really cool too!
Go ahead. Label my enjoyment. Call it a disorder if you must. It won’t bother me but I may wonder, “Do you have a problem?” My, my, wasting so much time diagnosing my behavior. At least I’m entertained, enjoying a big belly laugh, while watching the compulsive labeler find, organize, and assign names to my behavior. Hmm, I may want to know about that too?
Oops, I want off track again. Gee, by the time I’m done with this post I could have finished my research and written my next 21 days at sea entry. Now you’ve caught me writing a lie. I said that all of my posts are meticulously researched. Guess what? This one was not.
p.s. Harry says, Hi.
Time may stand still or so it seems.
The truth is that it does fly, whizzing by as a rocket toward space.
It doesn’t care what I think or want. It doesn’t care if I do something or not.
It just keeps moving, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
Me? I say goodbye and sit by the wayside.
What we plan to happen and what really happens is a test of character, the very essence of who we are.
Inspired by my visit with the Great Blue Heron in the Punchbowl on Jewel Island. (See Exploring Jewell.)
If I had the legs of a Heron, I’d be on the ground most of the time. The legs I have are trouble enough. They’ve caused many a face plant, side slam, and turtling. The latter describes a backpacker sprawled beneath his load, appendages protruding as if legs from a turtle under a shell. I’m an expert at this one and my favorite example happened during my first hike of the Appalachian Trail. (A two Thousand mile trail running between Springer Mountain, Georgia and Mt. Katahdin, Maine.)
I took a great fall while crossing over a bog. It was on puncheon board, barely wide enough for my boots. As usual, something had caught my attention and I looked without stopping. I tripped and went air-born, hanging momentarily before massively colliding with the board. The impact expelled air from my lungs like that of water when a dive turns into a “belly-smacker.” A few seconds pass before my hiking partner asked if I was okay. I consciously surveyed myself head to toe. I think so. “Can I take your picture?” “No, Get me out of here!” ( In retrospect, I wish a photo had been taken. There I was, turtled on a board. My shell awkwardly skewed and right arm to the shoulder stuck in thick, wet, algae muck. I think this was an amazing stunt. What are the odds of a trip into space and landing almost completely on a board barely wide enough for two small feet?)
If I had the poise of a Heron, I’d be a fashion model.
If I had the focus of a Heron, I’d be a statue.
If I had the patience of a Heron, I’d be a saint.
If I had the coat of Heron, I’d eat more neatly.
If I had the wings of a Heron, I’d soar with grace.
I’ve had dealings with Herons, enjoyable encounters. My favorite is with a Little Blue Heron during a canoe trip. – A friend in the bow and I in the stern, paddling Mississippi River backwaters. Usually, we watch the birds but not so now. A Little Blue Heron walks beside us, keeping pace and even stopping when we do. He curiously stares at two people in a canoe. Maybe he wonders why a mammal that is not built to float goes to such trouble to do just that? Why do they add length to their arms? Their hands reach the water. Isn’t that enough? I surmise by their plumage that they can alter their covering. Why do they wear what they do? How and when do they change? I have so many questions and wish to observe. But now they are looking at me, as if I’m doing something silly or out of the ordinary? Do they think that I’m not interested in living things too?