What the Chickadee Told me

I have gotten this strange but oddly satisfying notion in my head that every once in a while a certain creature comes into my life in order to teach me something important. For lack of a better term I have been calling it my spirit animal and I have only really had a few. For the last few years my spirit animal has been the crow. An intelligent, strong and resilient animal. I admire them immensely and will always have a special place in my heart for them.

I don’t choose my spirit animal. Fate, mother nature, my own craziness or whatever chooses for me. and it takes a long time for me to be certain on the right one, and the timing must be right; the moment must be ready for a lesson.

And so keeping that in mind let me set the stage. we have been providing a few nuts and seeds to some of the urban wildlife that come to visit us in the wilds of our apartment “backyard”. We live on the edge of an urban wildlife corridor of sorts and we have gotten many visitors, mostly squirrels and birds, some raccoons, a little lame rat that I can’t bring myself to hate and the odd deer or two and even a hawk once.

Our little buddies are quite friendly and amuse us with their antics and honor us with their wild friendship.

One day came the tiny chickadee, it didn’t want nuts or seeds. It just flew in and tried to find a place to land. It fluttered around a bit before settling on a iron trellis located in a bright blue pot, from there surrounded by white jasmine blossoms it sang to me for what seemed like long time, probably only a minute or two, before it flew back into the trees. I was delighted to receive such a visit and so when I received a few more from this a very vocal bird who seemed desperate to want to tell me something, I knew that I must listen carefully and so after the fourth or fifth visit I finally started to get it. An image formed in my mind and I knew exactly what to do . I filled fresh water in the one container we had out and then I got two more, including a little one I placed near the bushes for the little birds who may feel safer there. I went back inside and closed the screen door. I was immediately rewarded by the little chickadee. It flew down and began to drink. Then came two others who joined the party, drinking at their own separate dishes. Afterward and since I have noticed the water being greatly appreciated by many more animals than we imagined.

A part of the creek where we live has been dammed up by the homeless people who have camped back in the brush and blackberry brambles behind our apartment. They have been polluting the water with trash and the area around it. This has been a water source for many animals including the deer who pass through the area seasonally.

There is not much we can do. We have reported the camp and so have some of our neighbors but the situation as of now remains as it is. Local officials are wary of breaking up camps due to Covid.

And so we keep our water dishes filled.

We do what we can with our little bits of good. The chickadee did have something valid to tell me and I have learned to listen to such messages.

So do I think the chickadee is my latest spirit animal?

I don’t know at this time but I do know I have much to learn. And why not have an open mind and listen?

-Nancy

 

Squirrel, top right and Chickadee, bottom left.

Finding the Write Time

Writing takes up a lot of time. It’s easy to say to someone to make time like one can manufacture this precious commodity at the kitchen table with some sparkly glitter, a hot glue gun and determination. Time can not be made. We only have 24 hours in a day. Many of those hours are wasted, in my opinion, on sleep and unless you are independently wealthy or retired, you need to work.  Cleaning, cooking, laundry and other chores take a big bite out of what time we have left. And what is left? A few stolen moments ducked into a closet pounding away softly on a keyboard, trying to convey some deep ponderous shit then getting stuck trying to come up with the perfect word for “Fucking stressed out”, scared as hell that any minute someone will find you and interrupt your train of thought. Ouch! That is painful. To me writing is like flying. Once you are in the zone it becomes effortless. You are like a bird and enjoying the hell out of it and then all of a sudden some person takes a machine gun and innocently shoots you out of the sky. You land on the hard ground with a thud. UGH.

How anyone can do this is beyond me. And so when I say that I have no time to write, believe me.

But I do feel the pressure of time, its heaviness. I feel it ticking away. I feel there are moments forgotten, words not written. I feel there is something lost that I may never get back. And so my fear of crash landing is being overshadowed by my fear of never flying at all.

And so if my work is unpolished, or if I publish a little prematurely, without over considering my word choices trying not to offend anyone or give anyone cause to criticize. Yes, I know that I abuse commas and semicolons. So be it. Life is much too short and I am becoming much too wise to be so stupid as to get hung up on the illusion of perfection.  I am going to write what’s in my heart no matter how light and fluffy or dark and deary I am feeling at the time.

And we only so much time.

That being said, I am stealing a few moments on my day off, cat by my side, back door open to the sounds of traffic and birds. My mind is open to possibilities and opportunities.  I am finding this little break enjoyable and the chickadees seem to agree as the chorus rages on outside.

~SBI

Here I am out adventuring, definitely not writing…

 

 

 

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”

― Cyril Connolly

Three Little Birds and One Fat Squirrel

 

 

The air is clear and slightly cold, just chill enough to notice.  A layer of glittery dew covers the grass. I stand on the back porch my eyes closed, face to the rising October sun. I feel a slight warmth on my eyelids and this makes me smile.

The birds are in riotous glory; I listen to their songs intently; trying to make out as many distinct songs as I can. I recognize the song of the chickadees accompanied by the expectant cluck of the chickens next door.   I hear the caws of the crows in the distance; calling to each other from neighboring trees. At once they all take flight, flying high into the deep blue sky circling the tall pines and calling out to each other.  I can feel their hurried energy as I do the squirrel’s. I think I hear one rustling in the large bush in the back, or at least what I presume is a squirrel. My imagination comes up with ” interesting scenarios” as to the identity of this “mysterious” creature when Jay, the Scrub Jay, bursts out of the very same bush and scares the zen-like serenity right out of me.  He lets out a distinctive SQUAWK, swoops down across the yard in perfect form and lands right on top of the roof.

 

scrub jay flying blue bird
SCRUB JAY in Flight–Credit: DianeVarner.com

 

A-ha! He then spots the peanuts “some kind human” has set out. I watch with delight as he goes from the roof down to the top of the fence. He  picks up a nut in his beak, tips his head back, the nut rolls into place and then he’s off with his prize…off to one of a half-a-dozen stash places located in the surrounding tree canopy. Every time he dives down he squawks and this sound reverberates all over.  I watch as he checks the ground for any missing nuts. He lets out one last flurry of distinctive calls then takes off somewhere beyond the neighbors Maple tree.

 

scrub jay blue bird nut

 

My listening has not ended as I try to make out as many sounds as I can; city intertwined with nature. The purr of lawn mower and the edgy beep beep of traffic noise and mixes with the sweet innocence of  birds. I hear the other neighbors goat, yes goat. A child’s laugh is drowned out by the roar of a  jet engine high in the sky, leaving a white trail behind it.

I am distracted once again, this time by a real squirrel. It has come to the fence and found the nuts gone. Again, taken by that dashing blue bandit. The squirrel scolds me; staring at me and barking. Its fluffy tail adding to the drama, twitching and and going in circular motions.   I laugh knowing it will soon be checking the bird feeder out front and gorging itself on mixed seeds.  All the while eyeing me out of the corner of its eye.

I can’t help but smile.

 

 

Jerome the squirrel, resident bird feeder raider and scolder.
Jerome the squirrel, resident bird feeder raider and scold.

 

 

 

Mario is obviously fascinated.
Mario is obviously fascinated.

This is a spectacular time of the year. The exquisiteness of the season deepens with every passing day. I feel intoxicated with the thrill of life as I live from moment to moment each changing from one to another like the seasons, deepening and becoming more and more beautiful.

Life is good!

 

 

♥  Nancy

 

The ground we walk on, the plants and creatures, the clouds above constantly dissolving into new formations – each gift of nature possessing its own radiant energy, bound together by cosmic harmony.

~Ruth Bernhard
bird gif hop

 

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BOB MARLEY THREE LITTLE BIRDS

 

All The Things You Are – Helen Forrest & Artie Shaw

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