Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Own Private Bluebird Effect

Late last week, I finished reading Julie Zickefoose's The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds. A collection of essays that reads like a loosely constructed memoir, the book offers lots of detailed information about various birds, much of it entirely new to me. It also offers stimulating reflection and moving revelation of a person with a special gift, a calling, even, to understand and celebrate the birds she studies, ministers, and paints.

Today, while I worked online, a male bluebird kept thumping my kitchen door. Every time I tried to take his picture, he'd fly out of view, to a tree or the roof of the birdhouse where I think he and the female will raise a brood. When rain poured and wind howled and thunder clapped, I hoped they'd find a safe spot deep under a bush or the deck to ride it out. But as soon as the storm let up even a bit, he'd reappear and sing and tap heartily. And so, for more than six hours, he and I (and occasionally she and I) played peek-a-boo, a game they won, hands and wings down.

Having read Zickefoose's book and entering my third year with the tapper and his Mrs. (I hope they're the same pair), I can easily understand the call of birds. Certainly, there are many less happy ways to spend one's days.

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