A Bird in the Hand…


Photo c/o Satish Nair: http://photo.net/photos/satishnair

Years ago I had an obsession. It led my kids to believe, on top of my many personality quirks, that I was becoming a crazy birdlady. A throwback to Miss Jane Hathaway from ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’. I was lead by an opportunity which arose when my very best friend gave my son, Isaac, a Sibley’s bird  guide and binoculars for his 11th birthday. Though as an artist I am continually gobsmacked by every nuance of nature, through Isaac I began yet another new journey into observing the world around me. We live in rural Nova Scotia and especially in the migratory season, every look through those glasses was fruitful and inspiring.

In the meantime, I was hooked. I started a “life list”. I burst with glee whenever I added a new name. I joined a nature Nova Scotia website. Moments, maybe too many, were spent on the porch or just peering out our miriad windows seeing brightly coloured birds that in my time, in this very environment, I had never seen before. There they were swooping in to pose for me. The warblers in spring, what a shock. My first “never before” bird was a Yellow Warbler. It’s body flashed a luminescent yellow-golden and green with, as a male in breeding plumage, a streak of rusty orange on his head. He was the first of many new birds that in my lifetime I had never taken time, in stillness and quiet, to observe.

Did he just stop by on his way elsewhere? Had he been around through all of my years and thus far gone unnoticed? I wouldn’t have known my own back yard to be part of this creature’s habitat. What else might we not know is living quietly under our noses and how should that shape the way we travel through this fragile, yet endlessly surprising planet?

I have had a relationship with “P’lovers” The Environmental Store for over ten years. Their website, www.plovers.net reveals a passion for all you could want in conscientious, earth friendly commercial practice. Thoughtful selection of original, local, nature inspired products both practical and aesthetic is their trade mark. These few photos featured below will soon be part of their most current inventory. (The ornithologists however, will have to forgive the artistic license taken on the needle felting of the northern cardinal, the yellow warbler, the American bluebird and the black capped chickadee.)

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