My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, March 26, 2010

Seeing blue


TGIF! This has been a challenging week, and Wednesday was particularly yuksville (one of those "everything that could possibly go wrong - and even stuff that couldn't possibly go wrong - did" sort of days), so I was really delighted to see our first bluebird of the year yesterday while hiking with the dogs. Here's hoping he was a bluebird of happiness! (I don't think there is any other kind, actually!) ;-)

For happiness, how little suffices for happiness!...
The least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing,
a lizard's rustling, a breath, a whisk, an eye glance -
little maketh up the best happiness. Be still.
~Friedrich Nietzsche, "Thus Spake Zarathustra"

Our local bluebirds are Mountain Bluebirds, and they always show up here in March. Last year I saw our first one on March 14, so this year they were 11 days late, and since they are our first true harbinger of Spring, I was getting antsy to see one! It was a male, perched on our pasture fence, and he had a lot to tell us about his winter sojourn as we hiked by. I stopped and chatted with him for a bit, but didn't have my camera with me and wouldn't have gotten a good photo if I had... the light was wrong, the background too busy, and our bluebirds are shy and have always been difficult (for me, at least) to photograph. I have to do it from some distance, and my camera doesn't have much of a zoom.

Here are the best bluebird photos I've been able to take over the 18 years we've lived here. They were all taken in June 2007 - a lucky month for bluebird photos, apparently!

I took all of these from our bedroom window...


"The bluebird carries the sky on his back."
~Henry David Thoreau


I do have a few photos of female bluebirds,
but they are mostly gray & don't show up well from a distance.


According to Cornell University's Ornithology department:

Only the female builds the nest. The male sometimes acts as if he is helping, but he either brings no nest material or he drops it on the way.

LOL! Typical. ;-)~

Oddly enough, for all the various bird feathers I always find around our property and on my hikes, I've only ever found one male bluebird feather (which I sent to a faraway friend). Finding their feathers is even harder than taking their photos, but I'm hoping that one day another male drops another feather (perhaps along with the nesting material he's pretending to bring home with him!)

And while we're seeing blue, I thought I'd toss in this photo of some of the blue flax we grew from seed around our property. They're just so pretty, and really match the bluebirds...


(I took this photo in June 2007 also, so that was a true blue month, but in a good way!) :-)

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures!

    Sorry to hear you are having a rough week. I hope the weekend is better.

    Alicia

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  2. Thanks, Ali! I hope you have a great weekend too. xo

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  3. I can sympathize with the female bluebirds, I think my husband must have been one in a another life...lol

    They are beautiful. The flax is beautiful too...what color!

    I wish you luck on your quest for bluebird feathers.

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  4. They're so gorgeous! We rarely see them here, although cardinals can be common. A few weeks ago, it was very exciting to see robins around because they're our harbingers of spring here. :) Yay for beautiful blue!

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  5. Rose - LOL... I figured at least a few of my women friends would empathize with the female bluebird! ;-) I know a woman whose husband will decide to build something (like a greenhouse), buy all the how-to books and materials, bring them home and dump them in a pile... and then move on to the next thing. At least his building materials make it as far as the base of the "birdhouse," but I still think the male bluebird is his totem! ;-)

    Isn't the color of those flax flowers intense?

    Molly - If you've got cardinals, does that mean that you've been "seeing red" lately? ;-) We don't have cardinals here, and I wish we did. They are so beautiful! And their color would compliment our bluebirds, magpies and goldfinches nicely!

    I'm glad you're seeing robins! They'll be showing up here soon, too, but it's just as well their arrival is delayed since it's been snowing here since yesterday!

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  6. Yes, we have seen cardinals! They're so gorgeous. <3 No more snow here so far. Hopefully it stays this way!

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  7. Nice pics of the bluebirds, TW! I know they're from a while back, but nice just the same. We rarely see bluebirds around here unless we go into the woods or someplace protected.

    Hope this week goes better than last...hang in there ;-)

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  8. Thanks, Spud, glad you liked them! I took a couple of photos of a male bluebird sitting atop our biggest Colorado Blue Spruce over the weekend, and they turned out pretty well but these are still better. I wish the bluebirds were more plentiful and easier to photograph!

    This week's not starting out any better, but I hope for improvement soon!

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  9. What a beautiful hue of blue!
    It's inspired me to write a line or two
    To send you my best "howdayado?"
    And hope things start looking up for you!

    The Wheekers send their kisses!

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  10. VW, your sweet little poem just made my day! Thank you for making me smile! :-)

    Sending return kisses to the Wheekers!

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  11. I've never ever seen a bluebird. How blessed you are :D

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  12. Mangocheeks, thanks for stopping by! I hope someday you get to see a bluebird of your very own in real life, but am glad you enjoyed seeing my little azure avian friends on my blog, at least! :-) I am indeed blessed to be able to so easily immerse myself in Nature and peacefully interact with so many wild animal friends on a daily basis. (It never ceases to confound me how many people out here fail to appreciate - or even truly see - the beauty that surrounds them!)

    We love Scotland, btw! Lots of natural beauty there too, it often took our breath away!

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  13. Thank you for the amazing photos of the bluebirds...unreal...what a wonderful sight to see out the window. Maybe you will be able to get some more photos this year.

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  14. Vegan Elder ~ You are so welcome! (It's always fun for me when someone checks out some of my older, archived posts - but then I wonder if my links still work! LOL)

    The bluebirds are indeed a sight to behold! Won't be long now and I'll be keeping my beady eyes peeled for our first arrival. I hope to see and photograph a lot of them this year too, especially since I have a better camera now, with a more powerful zoom! :-)

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  15. Those bluebirds are truly amazing. Thank you mega heaps for the link.

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  16. Elephant's Child ~ You're most welcome, and thanks for following it here. :-) I do love our Mountain Bluebirds and am glad you enjoyed seeing them!

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • AMERICAN LIGHTNING ~ Howard Blum
  • DEEP SURVIVAL ~ Laurence Gonzales
  • GHOST ~ Alan Lightman
  • LIFE AFTER LIFE ~ Jill McCorkle
  • MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN ~ Ransom Riggs
  • OVERDIAGNOSED ~ H. Gilbert Welch, MD
  • THE GEOGRAPHY OF BLISS ~ Eric Weiner
  • THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE ~ Neil Gaiman
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"