Saturday, September 4, 2010

sean's friend




We woke to the most deliciously cool morning. The first thing I did upon rising, was fling open all the windows, wonderful woolly socks-ish breeze flow through the manor, slowly filling each room with fragrant early fall air. It was the first morning in weeks, we were able to breakfast on the patio, where I relish the bird community.

My favorite plumpish sparrow is dubbed "Joan Plowright" and the more timid of the hummingbirds I call "Sean". Today, Sean's feisty hummer companions, pointy beaks out like sabers, attacked a group of chickadees, chasing them from the area where their feeder hangs. I was amazed at the Nazi-like behavior coming from such innocent looking little guys.

Later, while cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I heard an odd buzzing coming from the dining room. One of those spunky hummingbird friends of Sean, had made his way inside, through the open dutch door at the front of the manor. He worked himself into such a frenzy, determined to force his way through the glass window, that my attempts to shoo him out were useless. The stubborn tiny hummer had to figure it out on his own. Finally, after nearly a half hour of buzzing and crashing his beak into the glass, he discovered the open patio door and flew free.

I like to think birds are often messengers. What was this poor lil' fellah telling me today? Maybe that “stubborn and ardent clinging to one's opinion is the best proof of stupidity”. Michel de Montaigne Yeah, maybe.

79 comments:

  1. what a beautiful bird, so glad he found the way out eventually

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  2. Oh, me, too. I was so afraid he was going to commit birdy suicide.

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  3. Dear Willow, It is indeed so distressing when a bird makes its way indoors and then, despite all one's endeavours, fails to find the way out.

    I was amused to learn that you have named one of the chubby birds Joan Plowright. Rather naughty, I think. I last saw her in a dreadful production years back of 'Cavalcade'. I have no idea what either of us was doing there.

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  4. How lucky you are to be surrounded by such beautiful wildlife, Willow. I'm relieved that Sean managed to get out. Sadly, there are very few hummingbirds where I live, but we do get a lot of swallows. In spring, they nest in our out-houses. In fact, the other day, I was able to help a young sparrow who had found itself trapped in one of the out-houses :)

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  5. Mohammed called birds "Messengers of God" - maybe, but it would be hard to think of anything that was not a messenger of God, eh?

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  6. Hummingbirds are such fierce little creatures. They chase everything away from their food source including each other. I always laugh at the around the12' tall hummingbird bush when it is covered in blooms. If they would just feed there is enough for everyone. They spend more time chasing each other away than they do feeding.

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  7. Love your images, adore your thoughts,
    enjoy your humor. You and Sean's
    friend had an interesting encounter.
    Maybe the bird' message was:
    "Is it time for the Willow Manor Ball
    yet? I might do some entertaining
    if prompted or permitted."
    There are those who dislike birds,
    call them "snakes with wings."
    I guess that makes us "apes armed
    with poetics." But since you seem
    to have a bird-connection, your
    workshop is called Magpie Tales
    after all, and you seem to have
    divers feeders laden with seed
    hanging from your manor eaves,
    you must expect the feathered
    ones to want to interact, to act
    out like the Sean squad of Nazi
    Sparrows, and the victim
    Chickadee. Your daily forays
    into breath and each new day
    really are Willow in Wonderland.
    Good on you, as Stafford would say.

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  8. great photos...i always feel lucky when i see hummingbirds in my yard - living in the inner city, it makes me almost giddy to watch them go after the pineapple and tangerine sage i plant for them. then when i sit on the porch with my dog, they are too afraid to come down so they squeak/squawk at me til i put her inside and they can feel safe. it's so cute.

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  9. Hummingbirds are certainly the most territorial of birds...maybe they have to be because they are so small...I can just picture them getting all upset by being called "cute":)

    I've read that having a bird fly into your house traditionally symbolizes death. Spaulding Gray's widow has a beautiful piece on an old "This American Life" about having a bird in her house after his death...if you want to listen go here

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  10. Beautiful little birds. I've only seen one, once and that was at The Biltmore House in one of their conservatories. The bird knew its way in and out of there all right! It must have done it a thousand times, knowing just which plants had the best nectar. I waited in vain in Tennessee but never did see one. Now back in England, I shall never see one here. So...I enjoyed looking at yours very much and reading your observations.
    Blessings, Star

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  11. Willow,
    I have also heard that a bird in the house symbolizes death. It is quite an old wives tale around my parts.

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  12. we do not like to think of birds as vicious little creatures - but they sure can be. I used to raise homing pigeons, and they would kill their chicks. We rescued quite a number of them and nursed them to health and reintroduced them. That worked out fine.

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  13. Such a lovely post Willow...i love it...maybe the bird is telling you to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Hope you have an awesome Saturday! :-)

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  14. sometimes it just takes awhile to find the right path :)

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  15. I love the Hummingbirds SO MUCH but they are feisty and stubborn little birds!

    This weather is DIVINE. NO COMPLAINTS.

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  16. I had not idea little hummers would do something like that!! when I first moved here I would leave the breezeway door open for the cats and hummers and other birds would get caught in the breezeway. It had a very high ceiling so they would be way up there trying to fly out. Nothing I did seemed to help them find their way, and thank goodness they all finally got out and I stopped leaving the breezeway door open.

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  17. I had not idea little hummers would do something like that!! when I first moved here I would leave the breezeway door open for the cats and hummers and other birds would get caught in the breezeway. It had a very high ceiling so they would be way up there trying to fly out. Nothing I did seemed to help them find their way, and thank goodness they all finally got out and I stopped leaving the breezeway door open.

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  18. Your post caught my eye--being that you named a hummingbird Sean, and I had a friend named Sean in HS who passed away, who showed up in a dream last night...which I can't for the life of me figure out. So, your post is a confirmation for me that he did indeed come visit me in my dreams. :)

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  19. What extraordinary photos. I'm so glad he found his way back outside.

    What a lovely moral to the end of the story, as they say.

    I enjoyed every moment and your photos fill my eyes.

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  20. QM3, strange, since I just out of the blue named the hummer Sean this very morning! I so happen to be psychic, and wondered at the name coming so readily to me today. Love these little synchonicities.

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  21. So, Oliag and Farmchick, a bird flying into the house symbolizes death? Hmm. Hope it's just an old wives tale. Oliag, thank you for the link, I'm off to check it out...

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  22. Enjoy these lovely September mornings.

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  23. A few springs ago my mother was late getting the hummingbird feeder filled at the beginning of the season. One afternoon, she heard a tapping/banging on the porch window. Opening the blinds, there was one of the regulars buzzing the window, tapping his beak on the glass. They're not stupid!

    She filled the feeder right away. Wonder if they could be taught to ring a doorbell???

    Rick

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  24. But but but - my opinion is always RIGHT! I must cling to it LOL.

    Those really ARE gorgeous pictures!

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  25. Dutch doors and hummingbirds, my favorite things. That's an amazing photo of the hummer, Willow. I can't tell you how many attempts I've made this summer, and lots with the hummer sitting still! And thanks to the reader who provided the link re Spalding Gray. He is truly missed.

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  26. down int he 50s here tonight so def whooly sock weather...and i love it...seen plenty of hummingburds in there parts recently...they are so cool....i guess the question is did you learn the lesson he was teaching...smiles.

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  27. Hummingbirds are incredibly fierce, they really are--sort of the shrews of the bird world. But I love watching them.

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  28. hahaaa! I love the birds--we figure another week or so and our hummers will be leaving to head back to their winter home. I'll miss them. Love the Joan Plowright moniker. Too funny. I'm amazed at how many fledgling birds we're STILL seeing this summer-even so late!

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  29. Willow my dear, a little bird like that can easily be caught by tossing a tea towel over it so you can gently pick it up without traumatising it, and take it outside.

    Wonderful photos, wish we had humming birds here.

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  30. super cute bird, love it.
    beautiful post.

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  31. Beautiful photos; enjoy the freshness that the cooler days bring.

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  32. willow ~ I'm smiling for you . we are having a cold and rainy few days as well.

    relieved the bird. why are they so entertaining? so intriguing and endearing? isn't is wonderful.

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  33. Ugh, I hate that feeling of wanting to help and not being able to. You did well to cross your fingers and let him/her figure it out. Maybe that's the message? That we aren't always in charge?

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  34. there is definitely some truth to that.
    i know from my own 'stubborn' experience.

    xx

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  35. I feel too much in common with that hummingbird...except I have yet to quite figure out the location of that open door.

    I have Mssr. Montaigne's "Essays" on a bookshelf here...perhaps it is time to revisit him!

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  36. I believe birds are messengers, too. He got out, that's the important thing. He kept at it until he found his way to freedom.

    What a story. Wow.

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  37. We have a huge bush with tiny red flowers that the hummingbirds like so much. When I spray the bush with water and it twinkles, they love that too.

    I'm glad the bird escaped.

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  38. What a gorgeous colour of green.
    He'll have a grand story to share with his friends.

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  39. Willow, do you know what? You have mentioned several times how you love "woolly socks weather" and when I got up this morning and it was so gloriously cool, I though of you and your WSW. Yes I did!

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  40. Birds are such wonderful things. They are there to decorate the skies for us; imagine life without them! Unthinkable.

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  41. Beautiful bird, such glorious plumage - that sheen!
    And echoing Oliag and Farmchick - a bird in the house does mean death. My witch mother is certain of this one, but then she was on the stage and they do like a good superstition...

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  42. Such a wonderful encounter you've had with one of "Sean's" friends, even if it was a bit tricky.

    The humming birds are around our part of the world right now — not in our yard, as usual, but in a friends. Delightful creatures, indeed.

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  43. It's a frightening experience to have a bird come inside, because of their frenzy and potential to injure themselves. I had a remarkable such experience when two bluebirds got into the woodstove through the roof vent. It's linked on my sidebar. I felt it was very special too, but I didn't see them on the farm for a whole year!

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  44. Hummingbirds are so pretty,but I went to change the feeder and almost had a bird in my hair.
    They are like like fighter planes. Love the names you gave them.

    yvonne

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  45. Recently in Poland to hear a lot of celebration commemorating the creation of Solidarity. There are many discussions on this subject and some of them are very controversial. I wonder whether in other countries, people know what it is and if they have solidarity on this issue a sentence?

    br
    Matt
    [url=http://www.odzywki-warszawa.pl]odżywki[/url]

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  46. I am glad that little guy made it out safely. I LOVE hummingbirds. They have headed South now from our parts.
    I left a window open last night as we slept. I love being under warm covers when the air is crisp.
    What was he telling you? To me this spoke of, never give up no matter what, and believe.
    Happy Sunday Willow.

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  47. Such beautiful photos. I'm a fan and regular reader of your always interesting-to-read & visually-inspiring blog, though this is my first time to comment. Would love you to drop by and visit my newish blog sometime too. And by the way I also happen to be a firm believer in the birds-as-messengers theory ...

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  48. Sorry, don't know what happened there, but my comment suffered premature publication! I meant to include my URL
    Karen

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  49. I love that you named the chubby sparrow "Joan Plowright"! Great actress.

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  50. Willow, how wonderfully wise you are. I think you are right in your surmise.

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  51. I wanted to also share. Once a hummingbird got into my studio. And I was very afraid I might hurt him in my attempt to rescue him. I used a light cloth to throw over him, and was able to lift him out to safety. It is always so amazing to be able to interact with the other world that shares our world, in their own parallel way.

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  52. Oh Willow....gorgeous pictures of these little ones! I am relieved Sean's "Friend" finally found his way outside.. I am always distressed to see any creature "trapped" inside a building.... thankfully birds usually find their way out...

    My Mum loved "Hummers" and Mourning Doves...and now, whenever I see one, I think of her and know she is telling me she loves me and still watches over me... so, in fact, they seem to be "Messengers"...

    Glad your weather is cooling down.... I am (finally) getting some sun and warmth.... but even here in SF, one can "smell" that Autumn is coming!

    Love,

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  53. I remember, shortly before my grandfather died, a green woodpecker found it's way into his conservatory. Although my grandparents lived in a very rural area, woodpeckers were rarely seen.

    Birds may well be messengers and this little friend of Sean obviously had a point to make.

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  54. so glad Sean's buddy made it out! Great photos!

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  55. having that energetic and colorful creature in your house seems like a mighty potent omen -- and a lucky one to boot!!

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  56. Yes, I do like to think he brought a positive message of hope and persistence. I like lucky.

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  57. There has been a change in the air here as well, and it is welcome.
    Poor little friend of Sean--they do become so confused...I've also heard that old wives tale, but don't believe it applies to hummingbirds; they just are not somber enough. Think more on the lines of a hummmingbird in the Manor is worth two woolly socks. Or something.
    Love "Joan Plowright"!

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  58. Yes, yes. A hummingbird in the manor is definitely worth two woolly socks. Speaking of the woollies, I must shop for my perfect pair for the opening of Woolly Socks Season.

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  59. Oh, that poor bird... I agree with you about birds being messengers (other creatures too, for me) - love the de Montaigne quote at the end.

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  60. I had to get up in the night and find some woolly socks! Brrr!

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  61. Well, what a plethora of views
    regarding the bird in the house
    certainly worth three in a tree.
    I liked the notion that you
    put forth initially, that the bird
    was a messenger, had something
    to share, to report--and do not
    co-exist easily with the bird in
    the domicile being somehow the
    harbinger of death. Yes, tales,
    legends, superstitions, all spring
    from some factual basis. I prefer
    the belief promulgated by the
    Indians of the Northwest, that
    when an owl calls your name,
    then it is time to prepare for
    the grand transition.

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  62. I think the hummers are a little addled at this time of the years as they prepare for their long journey south. So glad Sean figured it out!

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  63. I think the hummers are a little addled at this time of the years as they prepare for their long journey south. So glad Sean figured it out!

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  64. P.S. Have decided that just because I am flying East on the
    30th should NOT keep me from attending the "Willow Ball"! Frantically searching for a gown, shoes, handbag and....of course, a date (or now that I am single - perhaps two)!

    ♥ Robin ♥

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  65. Robin, by all means, bring two! I had two dates last year!

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  66. i have read that hummers can actually die from exhaustion when trapped in a house, or even an open garage. weird.
    nice birdy captures!

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  67. Aww you're so fortunate to have humming birds, nothing quite like them here they're so delicate.

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  68. Oh, my goodness. I adore that quote and admit to great stupidity, a la Montaigne! Thanks for posting!

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  69. Beautiful photos. Cant stop staring at the first photo. It tells a story of HOPE and WILL to survive.

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  70. The biggest fluffed up quail sat on the railing of my neighbor's porch. (Quail are flighty and almost always with a covey off in fields). Later that day, the neighbor saw the quail dead next to the porch. The neighbor died within 2 days. I though, hope I never see a quail at my house. Later in summer, the day my 18 year old daughter was flying off to Europe, I heard a loud thud and on the backporch was a dead quail. Well, she went on her trip, but I did worry. So much for messages birds bring, though I am still superstitous.

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  71. I am just so glad he did not hurt himself...
    And we have even had some FRESH & COOL air in Alabama....praise be to the weather gods!!

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  72. Oh, I hate when a bird gets caught indoors. I found myself holding my breath just hoping he made it out.


    Hey, speaking of Joan Plowright - have you ever watched Mrs. Palfrey at the Clairmont? I think you would absolutely love it.

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  73. Hello Willow, I am sure it was horrifying to see the little hummer crashing into the window that way. The little guys get so confused and frightened and it takes awhile for them to figure things out. If it happens again and you have a lilly handy... hold it up near the hummer and it might just fly to the flower ... then you can guide it out. I did this once so I know it can work. Sweet and saw photos. ;>)

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  74. i am still waiting that perfect shot of a hummer.. mine are a little more timid. :)

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  75. What trauma results for a bird when air, so benign and soft is suddenly glass? Do they fly forever on especting a reptetition?
    There is a poem in there somewhere!

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  76. Should a hummer find its way into your home again you would be able to pick it up & take it out. I had read about it and it happened to me when we were visiting friends. I carefully rounded it up with a scarf then put it in my hands and carried it to safety. It prevents them from using up so much energy trying to free themselves.

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  77. Thanks! I'll remember the scarf/dish towel trick if it ever happens again. I was a bit afraid to get too close, since it had been attacking those poor sparrows just moments earlier. I didn't like the thought of that pointy beak in my eye! ;^)

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)