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

Friday, December 2, 2011

SkyWatch Friday: Birds on the Wire

Happy Friday and Happy December, everyone! (Wow, the time - she flies!) And speaking flying, here are some of our neighborhood pigeons that I photographed during my snow day walkabout last month. I'd taken a couple of photos of them all lined up on the wire and then felt compelled to take one more, and the third time was definitely the charm since that's when one of them decided he had important places to go and things to do and had had quite enough of this photo session, thanks very much. :-)

This is the original photo, shot into a dark, snowing sky

Brightened up in editing, I like its ethereal, celestial look!
Plus you can see the pigeons' markings a bit better.

Pigeons and doves are very closely related, their names often used interchangeably with the larger species referred to as pigeons and the smaller ones as doves. Found in every ecosystem except Antarctica or the high arctic, they're monogamous, eat seeds and/or fruit (they're important seed dispersers) and are known for their impressive flying and navigational skills.

I envy them these abilities, having no sense of direction (and I mean zero) myself, and of course requiring a plane ticket to fly anywhere. Like, say, to see the incomparable Leonard Cohen in concert singing "Bird on the Wire." :-)

Take flight and find your way to
for more skies (and birds!) from around the world!


  1. OH, it's a lovely lovely shot. Very ethereal with the bird caught in flight.

  2. Beautiful shots.

    My sky shots, come and see. Have a beautiful weekend!

  3. Love the color and snow of your second shot.

  4. My (two rescue) pigeons thank you for showing columbids in their best light!
    Jane x

  5. I love those beautiful results and composition. Leonard Cohen as you know I love.

  6. This bird-obsessed blogger loved these shots. Thank you so much.

  7. Ah, birds and Lennie....almost makes up for not having Willow in it. :-)

  8. You're going to see Leonard Cohen?!!!
    Great photo of the pigeons--I'm such a fan of these much maligned and sincere, brave birds. Love the enhanced version because it shows all their beauty.
    Hope you're enjoying your new digs and wintertime.

  9. move over, there is plenty of space for all of us.

  10. ladyfi ~ Thank you so much! I think the pigeon in flight really makes this photo.

    chubskulit ~ Thanks!

    Serline ~ The falling snowflakes do show up better in that one, don't they?

    Jane ~ I didn't know you had a pair of rescued pigeons! Good for you!! What are their names? I know their cousins are often victims of senseless violence and slaughter, and it's time pigeons get their props!

    Leovi ~ Thank you! And it's always nice to know a fellow Leonard Cohen fan. :-)

    Ellie C ~ You're welcome! I thought of you during the production of this post. :-)

    veganelder ~ LOL! I think the birds could have been performing amazing high wire acts and Leonard could have dedicated his entire London performance to you, and it still wouldn't have quite measured up to a photo of sweet Willow. :-)

    noni ~ In my dreams! I guess I did kind of make it sound like that, but alas - no. I have to content myself with listening to him on my iPod or watching his concert videos on YouTube. I did see a man who looked strikingly like Leonard a few days ago, and told him so - and though he clearly knew who Leonard Cohen was, he didn't seem suitably impressed. HIs wife, however, lit up like a Christmas tree! LOL

    I share your admiration and concern for our peaceful pigeon friends, and am glad you enjoyed the photo of them. I hate it when our species labels any fellow creatures a "nuisance" when they're merely performing their important roles in the complex web of life, and then uses that label as an excuse for torment and murder. We need to get over ourselves.

    I found this quote years ago (can't recall where) and saved it...
    "They were shooting pigeons... How hardening to the heart it must be to do this thing: to change an innocent soaring being into a bundle of struggling rags and pain. At one moment -- graceful, mysterious, desirable and free -- and the next moment there is nothing but struggling and blood and confusion."
    ~ Iris Murdoch

    Ann ~ These pigeons are very good at sharing! One of these days I'll get a photo of the local pigeons and ducks sharing a meal of cracked corn that our neighbor puts out for them when it's cold. It's an adorable sight! :-)

  11. Love how you caught that bird in flight!

  12. I love pigeons! Both shots are great, but I really like the edited one too; it looks like they're in a heavenly shroud.

    Humorous anecdote regarding pigeons v. doves. In Spain, Paloma is a common name for women, it means dove, but regular pigeons are also called palomas, just like you mentioned.

    There was a woman named Paloma in one of my English classes, and in order to anglicize her name, the other students called her "Pigeon". It was a fun class and they meant it in a fun way. Maybe you had to be there, but it always makes me laugh a little when I think of it, especially because they had trouble pronouncing the word pigeon and it usually came out sounding like "pidge-win".

    Happy weekend Laurie. :0

  13. Gale ~ Me too, that was sheer luck!

    Rose ~ So do I, and hope to get more photos of them soon! I also thought the lightened-up shot looked quite heavenly. It needs a burst of angelic choir song to accompany it. :-)

    I enjoyed your Paloma story (know the song, "Una Paloma Blanca?") Were you the one teaching the English class in Spain? I once spent an entertaining evening in the very tiny Mexican border town of Paloma (dirt streets, one restaurant/bar/pool hall - that was about it) while in the AF. First time I ever had beer with lime! I had no clue why there was a wedge of lime jammed into the neck of my beer bottle. LOL - I was so young!!

    Happy (rest of the) weekend to you too, Rose!

  14. I like both shots! The first kind of has a darker, gothic type of feel to it while the second, like you said, is ethereal. Great capture!

  15. Thanks for the Iris Murdoch quote which captures how I feel when I see any little life in pain.
    Love Tess' seasonal look!
    And, lastly, I really enjoy your 'long ass' comments.
    Oh, and we just watched 'Love Actually' again and I remembered how much I liked it.
    Happy week!
    word verification: gackful[!]

  16. Molly ~ Thanks, Molly, I'm glad I decided to include both (or more accurately, couldn't decide which one to post, lol) "Gothic" feel - great description of the first one! (Now if only they'd been roosting next to a gargoyle!) :-)

    Noni ~ Iris captured it quite succinctly, I'd say. I will never understand how anyone can derive pleasure from inflicting that kind of violence and pain on another, or from stealing a life.

    Tess thanks you! She's quite proud of that photo. :-)

    LOL - I'm glad to hear you enjoy my long ass comments! I've tried to keep them brief, really I have ~ just can't do it.

    Oh, fun! That's one of my all-time favorite movies, and if I had to live the rest of my life on a deserted island and could only take one DVD with me, that would be the one. It's got such a great cast, and everything from tragic pathos to side-splitting comedy. I'm quite sure it would take me a very long time to grow tired of watching it. And between watchings, I could ponder how I ended up on a deserted island with a DVD player and electricity. :-D I'm not sure, but it sounds like something to be gackful for!

  17. My beautiful boys are called Featherstone and Farnborough. I also have a rescue dove Fenrir ...she's 'married' to Farnborough.
    Jane x

  18. Jane ~ I found the dashing Featherstone on your blog (and the gorgeous late Farouk), but if you have posts dedicated to Farnborough and Fenrir, I failed to find them (alliteration is a favorite frolic of mine, lol). I'd love to see them, so would you mind please providing links to any posts that might exist? (And if posts don't exist, please consider this a request for some!) :-)

  19. Just slapped myself on the wrist...Fenrir and Farnborough do not have a dedicated post....must do something about that!
    Farouk was handsome wasn't he?
    Jane x

  20. Another great post, Laloofah! How did I miss it earlier? Thanks for the interesting material on the birdies and a little lagniappe of classic Cohen video too. Sweet!

  21. Jane ~ Yes you most certainly must and yes he most certainly was! :-)

    raf ~ Thank you! I don't know, but I miss people's posts with dismal frequency. So many fun blogs, so little time! I'm glad you found it eventually, though, and enjoyed the avian trivia and Our Leonard. (Lagniappe, you definitely score extra points for that one!) :-)

  22. I'm taking advantantage of being able to listen to the music on one screen and writing my comments on the other made possible by your comment format which I love and having two monitors on my desk which I love too!

    Fun photos of the birds. I like having the before and after editing shots to compare. Not sure which I like more. They both have their advantages and I'm glad to have both.

    This song sure is haunting. He reminds of Springsteen when he's performing one of his songs. Like he's the only one in the room!

  23. Jo ~ I'm glad you're liking this comment format, because I do too! I can read the comments I'm replying to while I'm typing my reply, without having to scroll up and down the page constantly. And I don't lose what I wrote if I click on a link or a photo (on other people's blogs who use this format).

    I thought I'd end up being the only indecisive one about which picture I liked best - thanks for keeping me company! ;-)

    Have you seen The Boss perform live?? I've only seen videos, and of course he's awesome in them. He'd definitely be worth the price of a concert ticket! As for Leonard C, I find almost all of his music haunting. He's one deep dude!


Will Blog For Comments. :-)

Thanks for taking the time to leave yours!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

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"

free counters