Posted tagged ‘pigeons’

“You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue.”

May 2, 2015

Cold again but sunny-the weather is in a rut.

The red spawn can fly. Yesterday I noticed he was at a different feeder and was sitting and dining al fresco on the backside so he couldn’t see me. I could see only his tail hanging below the feeder. I went slowly across the deck making no noise so he couldn’t hear me. When I got to the feeder, I was so close I could have touched him. His eyes got huge when he saw me and realized he was stuck. I was by the rail, his usual escape route. I stamped my foot to scare him, and he jumped off the feeder and sort of flew to the ground, two stories below. He landed on all fours then ran to the back part of the yard. Sadly, yesterday’s experience will have no affect on that spawn. He’ll be back. I just know he will.

When I was a little kid, feeding the squirrels on Boston Common was exciting. My dad would buy a couple of bags of peanuts and give us each some. I’d shell a few then I’d toss them. A stampede always ensued. Several of the grey squirrels would scurry over, stand in front of me, some on hind legs, and wait for a handout. I thought it was kind of neat to have wildlife so close to me, almost eating out of my hand. I swear the squirrels living on the Common had to waddle from place to place because they were so well fed.

I remember London and Trafalgar Square and the pigeons. My dad and I went touring a bit by ourselves one afternoon. I don’t remember where my mother was. We bought some seed, and the birds attacked. I swear they were Hitchcock extras, hungry and out of work. They jumped on our hands, shoulders and even our heads. I threw the seeds. My dad held on to his, and he was soon covered in pigeons. They were flying around him, and I took pictures. He was laughing in every picture. When he was finally out of seed, we sat on a bench for a bit and concocted a plan. We’d get my mother there, act innocent and have her hold some seeds in her outstretched hands. We did, and the pigeons attacked. I took pictures, great pictures of flapping wings circling around my mother. She was screaming as the birds settled on her head and shoulders. We yelled for her to save herself and throw the seeds. My mother was really upset. This was her first attack by birds. My dad and I acted innocent and solicitous, but I suspected she knew.

I took slides back then and we always had a slide night a month or two later. The pigeons pictures were hysterical, even my mother had to laugh.

“The woods would be quiet if no bird sang but the one that sang best.”

March 28, 2013

The morning is cloudy and was rainy earlier but it was a small rain, droplets. I would moan and groan about the sunless world in which I live except this morning was different. Over the sound of the rain I could hear birds singing. They were greeting the morning, and rain didn’t matter: it was the joy of the morning.

I stood at the kitchen window and watched the flicker pecking at suet in the feeder I bought just for him. A bird I don’t know waited its turn. I’ll look it up later in my bird book. One goldfinch was bright with color, the first to break out of winter drab. I noticed the thistle feeder is empty. I’ve had more goldfinches than ever, sometimes seven or eight at the same time, and thistle is a favorite of theirs. The chickadees are few, and I miss them. They, the titmice and nuthatches are the sunflower seed birds. I have three different feeders for them. The sole woodpecker is either at the suet in the small feeder or tapping a pine tree. The small suet feeder looks like a house. It’s kind of cool and the birds grab on upside down.

I don’t remember people having bird feeders in their yards when I will little. The few times we went to Boston in the warmer weather, I remember feeding the pigeons and the ducks at the Public Garden. I also remember feeding the squirrels. That was before their spawn days. I thought it was really neat to see them so up-close. Pigeons are still fun to watch. Drop a few pieces of bread and they all move to the same spot, pushing and shoving and even taking to the air. They are very noisy birds. I always feel bad about pigeons. They’re nobody’s favorite bird. They have squat bodies and are dull in color. Pigeons seem to hang around in large numbers so the odds of getting bread are slim. I always try to throw some to the back of the pack which then makes all them turn just about at the same time and they all squawk about the inconvenience.

My mother used to get pigeons at her feeders, city birds we’d call them. It frustrated her to no end. She wanted cute little birds like chickadees, but, instead, she’d get sparrows, almost as common as the pigeons. The crows dropped by often because my mother was always throwing out something for them. “Save it for the crows,” she’d tell us. Once she got a seagull. That was a puzzler. She called to have me guess the bird which had visited. I didn’t guess seagull. That’s one bird which has never ever stopped at my feeders. I guess my mother’s was a country cousin of sorts visiting its city cousins. She never saw another seagull in her yard.

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

April 13, 2012

The house was really cold when I woke up this morning, 60° cold. I turned up the heat and nothing happened. I cursed a bit then decided to check the red on/off switch: it was on. I next checked the thermostat, and it was off. Glory be, no repairman needed! I turned the switch to heat and the furnace responded. The house got warmer than outside.

I know radiators aren’t the most attractive decorations for a house, but when I was a kid, I always took comfort from the hissing of the steam as the water coursed through the radiator at the foot of my bed. When I was cold, I could put my feet under it, and they’d quickly get warm. Mittens drying on the top of the radiator would steam a bit as they dried, and you had to remember to turn them over or the top side would never dry. The radiator was noisy so the house at night was never quiet, but it was always warm.

Today is Friday the 13th. I’m not suspicious so it is like any Friday for me. It’s a pretty day with the sun bright in the sky. Lots of birds are in and out at the feeders. I have a new feeder for Baltimore orioles that has yet to go out, and I’ll do that later. When I looked them up, the Audubon site said around the first of May for orioles, but all the birds were early this year so the orioles may already be here looking for their jelly. I need to get mealy worms hoping I can attract blue birds.

I don’t think I noticed birds when I was young. Seagulls at the beach and pigeons in the city are all I remember. Every morning when I woke up, I’d hear birds greeting the day, but I have no idea which birds were in my neighborhood. I assume robins as they’re everywhere but can’t think of any others. Nobody had bird feeders so there wasn’t any reason for the birds to drop by to visit.

When I was in Ghana, my family moved off cape to the same town where I had grown up. My mother put bird feeders in her yard. She got pigeons. We used to laugh and call them country pigeons. She wasn’t amused.