Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chasing after some finer day

I can feel spring making an attempt at arrival. And Saturday, as the sun shone for a brief time, I sat outside in the cold until the clouds rolled back over. I took the camera with me just in case, not intending to actually get anything good but you never know if you’ll get lucky. My husband saw me sitting outside and brought out his special bird mix {the one with the fruit} and soon, there were birds a-plenty.

My husband never tells me anymore in words that he loves me. But he doesn’t need to. He has trouble with words anymore, but I can tell that he loves me by the little things he does for me. Like bringing out the fancy bird seed.

 

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Hello, good sir.

 

 

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The crazy bush was full of male cardinals. {I call it the crazy bush because it’s just a bunch of vines that grew around the stump of the old cherry tree in the west yard}. We’ve left it there and just keep cutting it back come summer, as it makes a great habitat for the birds.

 

 

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There were a few female cardinals as well, and I waited until this one’s crest was fully extended before taking the shot.

She’s a purdy one.

 

 

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This is a male cardinal with fright molt.

Fright molt is a survival mechanism that occurs during trauma. All the tail feathers will pop out at the same time, and it’s meant to confuse their predator. The feathers will grow back in about 4-6 weeks. Thank you to my good friend, {Reena} for posting about it earlier this week. I’d seen birds with no tail feathers before but wasn’t aware there was a name for it.

I had only been outside for about 20 minutes, happily photographing my fine feathered friends when suddenly, they scattered. I kept my eyes peeled for the sharp-shinned hawk who must surely be nearby.

 

 

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And there he was. I shot this through the branches of the lilac bush and am loving the cool bokeh that seems to have come from the combination of that and the trees along the edge of the property.

This appears to be a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk. He’s rather small – although you can’t tell this from the photograph. After a couple of moments, I stood up slowly, hoping to maybe get him to fly to a better location for my lens. That’s when I noticed the cardinals in the bush nearby. I didn’t want to spook them as they were completely still. I took a few more steps and the hawk flew to the upper branches of the dogwood, landing directly above me.

 

 

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He looks fierce.

:   :   :

It’s Sunday and I’ve got no real plans other than relaxing, doing some reading {Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet}, a little knitting {something in which I do not excel}, and maybe watching a movie {Owd Bob}. Tonight I’m roasting a chicken. I’ll stuff it with lemons and rosemary and our house will smell like heaven for several hours.

And when I look back at this post in years to come  ~  and I will  ~  I’ll remember that these were the good old days.

Here’s hoping that you’re enjoying your Sunday, as well.

123 Signature[5]

57 comments:

Nellie said...

It sounds like a wonderful way to spend Sunday!

Low Tide High Style said...

Love the pics, but then I always do. And I guess it's true what they say, that actions really do speak louder than words. Enjoy your chicken. :)

Kat

Michelle said...

I was enjoying this post so much – the acknowledgement of your husband's expressions of love, the BEAUTIFUL photos of cardinals (a bird we don't have here) and the sharp-shinned hawk (the first one looks like a PS creation!) – and then I read that second-to-last line. For some reason it cut like a knife and made me catch my breath....

thecatalanway said...

you bring tears to my eyes. How do we remember to love every moment? The birds know how - ever aware that the hawk might be close.
'the only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart' Rumi

with love to you x

Woman Seeking Center said...

A tender daisy chain of thoughts and images that you've beautifully intermingled, as always....

When I was in my late teens I came across a writing in which the woman noted she knew her husband loved her because every time she was called away from their morning coffee together he would cover her cup with its saucer ~ to keep it warm for her till she returned.

Simple. Elegant. 'Love'.

In that moment, reading those words I believe I first understood that love is not what is said, but what is done. Not what is given monitarily - but rather what is 'given' (from the heart)and given with ease. Only real love gives with grace, with openhanded ease. It's a wonderous thing, to share that sort of love with someone.

I known that gift, as you also do with your husband K, and it's a rare bird (no pun inteneded) :-)

Thank you for another touching bit of wordsmithing...

Issy



Anonymous said...

I love your photos . The male cardinals in the bush is wonderful.

I learned a long time ago, that as our relationship ages the words are not spoken it is the little things we do for each other that shows the love for each other

Cindi

Em Parkinson said...

Tears to my eyes too Kate. Beautiful birds and I think you're right about looking back at the blog. It will bring you great strength. x

Candace said...

Lovely in every way.

Hilary said...

I hope that when you are looking back remembering these good old days, that you will also be in future good old days.

Not everyone is good at saying those words. They're wonderful to hear but more important to show.

Beautiful hawk images.. and the female cardinal stole my heart. Birds love you.

Gail said...

Weeping, oh, I know, I know.

Cindy said...

Such beautiful photos Kate. Love the Hawk and that amazing bokeh.

Country Gal said...

Fantastic photos ! Papa and I did a horse photo shoot yesterday in the farmers field as his Belgians were pulling the sleigh , it was cold but well worth it we had fun ! Nothing like enjoying the fresh air and taking photos is there? Have a wonderful evening !

Hilary said...

You watched a hawk today and I watched a pileated woodpecker.
Aren't we exciting??

JC said...

Your birds are extra beautiful. Mine, I think, have a bit of mold on them. lol

eileeninmd said...

I should ask my hubby to read this post and maybe he will be coming home with the good bird seed too. Lovely shots of the Cardinal and cool shot of your Sharpie visitor. Wishing you a happy week ahead!

Kerri said...

Oh sweetie......it's the actions not the words.....and I'm so glad he is showing you :)
Love your birdies!

Anonymous said...

Kate, you have such a pensive and grateful spirit. You never fail to amaze me with your words and photographs. These are days of trials and tribulations, and I have you and DH in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, Jeanne W. (Still having trouble posting through Google...guess I'm just not tech savy enough to figure it out...oh well.)

Carolynn Anctil said...

Sometimes, I think that the wordless expressions of love are even more heartfelt than the spoken words. They don't always seem to fully encompass everything they're charged with conveying. It's a lot of responsibility for three little words.

Keep that fruit seed coming. I love your bird photography. Awesome, amazing, incredible, fantastic. We're currently being buried alive under piles of wind driven snow. Any bird with half a wit is hunkered down somewhere.

Blessings,
Carolynn
A Glowing Ember

Ellen said...

You take the loveliest Cardinal photos. And just in time for the papal conclave!

We have has a banner year for cardinals in our yard this year - I've had eight males and several females there at one time. I just wish I could capture them like you do.

Wishing you a wonderful week.

CheyAnneSexton said...

Absolutely the best post ever. Adore the female with her little copeatone (Spanish) all up in the breeze. I sold my little springtime cardinal watercolor. The one after your photograph. I will post about it soon and leave you some links. But your hawk through the lilac and that first Red Sir Cardinal took my painters imagination away.
Lovely day here too.
peace n abundance,
CheyAnne
ps and so so ready for springtime

JaneK said...

"Those were the salad days" (name the movie)
beautiful as always Kate!

I spent my afternoon with 25 kindergarteners at a "jump jump" place :)

Acorn to Oak said...

Beautiful birds! And, great photos! I've never heard of "fright molt" and didn't know that could even happen. That's very interesting.

DesertHen said...

Lovely shots! It won't be long now and the birds will begin their nest building.

I read, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a few summers back. I enjoyed it very much!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I can smell that chicken just based on your words.

Sabrina said...

Cardinals are a favorite of mine, and I love your photos! They're such beautiful birds. I'd never heard of fright molt, so you and your friend just taught me something! :)

Speaking of teaching, that chicken sounds delicious. Not that I cook, but could you e-mail me your recipe? It might make me want to start...

Bluebird49 said...

I love that little Missy Female---I know she's not majestic as her hubby-but she's just a cutie!

You and I both know that our husbands can tell us 3 times a day they love us--but if he doesn't show it in the little ways, it means nothing! It's the cup of coffee, it's the bringing my juice when I don't even ask, it's someone bringing the fruit in the birdseed! That's love!

Caroline said...

Your bird photos are spectacular! And cool that I learned something new too...fright molt. I am looking forward to spring too...

Donna S. said...

Ahh the good ole days!!! Hope there are many!

Sweetpea said...

Very lovely to see all these fine feathered friends

and

THE most beautiful (& unusual) bokeh I've seen in ages!
gah....lust.

{B} said...

Your words are hauntingly beautiful........and your photos so gorgeous. I've followed you quietly for a long time, but your words today touched me. Thank you for providing us with a glimpse of the simple joys in your life. You do a wonderful job with your blog. The story you tell here will live on to remind us all of the magic in our ordinary days. Prayers....and blessings to you, your family and your dog I've come to love!

Annie said...

Always love your bird photos Kate. And your new header is absolutely beautiful.

Daryl said...

the song you stole the title and your closing words from is tickling my brain .. cant think of it or who sings it .. wait ... Anticipation .. Caryl Simon .. WOOT .. brain engaged!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

I'm glad he brought out the special seed. My hubby asks me why I love him and I tell him it shows in the things he does all the time.

These are truly fantastic shots.

Glad you had a good weekend. I got a lot of reading done and ran the embroidery machine while doing so. It was too cold to be outside.

WPgirl said...

Beautiful photos. How do you roast that chicken? Sounds yummy. Thanks.
Lynda in Michigan.

Tracey from Haiku.You.Do said...

Oh, I read that book and I bet you are liking it! I liked it as well. Great catches with the cardinals and I am glad he is and will still show you in the little ways that he loves you. I miss you, girl! xo

Deanna said...

I just hopped over from a message from Tracey from Haiku You Do...(I wrote a blog post about books and she mentioned that you were reading "bittersweet"...lovely lovely photos. Your captures of the birds are stunning. Have glanced at a few of your other posts and your photography is superb. I know too well about the non-verbal acts of love.

Shannay said...

Beautiful pictures! I love this blog! We movede from the midwest where we saw cardinals everyday to the west, and we miss our cheery feathered friends. Thanks for sharing.

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Lili said...

I love your sentiments on here so much Kate. And it goes without saying your beautiful photography. It strikes me that they are as one really, your style, the way your words on here can move one to tears along with your captures. xo

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Wondering if it hurts when the feathers all pop out at once. Hmmmm, poor bird. The shot of the female is so nice!

Show-Me Sooz said...

Kate, I so enjoy your birds. Almost each week I get a new desktop picture for my computer. I am so grateful for you as I select a new photo every so often. My husband and I love to spot hawks on our way to and from work. My thoughts are with you in your "bitter and sweet."

simply bev said...

Thanks for the lesson on Fright Molt...I had no idea! Especially love the photo of the hawk with all of the bokeh behind him - great!

Karen said...

More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
'Cause I'd already know

Mom Taxi Julie said...

Wow gorgeous birds!! What a treat to have all those in your yard!

beth said...

you and your birds are such a beautiful combination....and your knowledge blows me away !!

missing moments said...

Thanks for that plug. I so love stopping here! The cardinals have been quite busy here as well as some hawk fly bys. Felt a bit like spring today but darn cold! Bright sunshine always makes me smile. Xo

Lisa Gordon said...

Sometimes, it's the "other" things that are far more important than words.

These photographs are wonderful, and it is sure looking like spring where you are. Glad you had a good weekend.

Happy day to you!

Tiggeriffic said...

Love your pictures and explanation on why some birds don't have tail feathers.. This morning a pheasant came to the feeder and had no tail feathers.. Now I know why...Thanks..
Having a big snow storm.. No school for kids today... I went outside this morning and sat on my chair to watch the birds...I had almost 20 cardinals in my lilac bush where there are 2 platform feeders under the tree.. They are so pretty against the snow..
Have a great day....ta ta for now from Anne...:)

Penny Ormsbee said...

I fascinated with Cardinals. We don't see them in my neck of the woods (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) but we do see a lot of Blue Jays. Your photography is lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Mental P Mama said...

Anticipa-ya-tion! Love this! xoxo

mrs mediocrity said...

These pictures made me smile, and I needed a smile tonight, love the female cardinal shot!

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Tammie Lee said...

such a delight to see your photos and your feathered friends!

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GailO said...

Simply amazing photos Kate...but the best thing is that sweet husband of yours and your amazingly perfect day:) I think I am going to have to go out and buy a chicken to cook for this weekend!

Willow said...

Your photography is amazing as are your subjects ...I am definitely now a follower. :)