Monday, May 16, 2016

Stalking the Songbird

That sun, which has been hidden behind dark and stormy clouds for days and weeks, is given free reign today.  He is already changing the lime greens to emerald.  He is warming up the throats of birds.

I sat under my sugar maple (planted a few years ago) and played a recording of a Tanager because my husband had seen and heard one the day before.  I was very patient and actually feeling more comfortable in the shade than the bright sun.  I waited and listened.  I waited some more.  I watched my self-seeded larkspur stand tall and feathery in the flower bed and shine with its own quiet song.

My Centranthus - Jupiter's Beard, which I saw on the TV show Doc Martin covering all of their walls, does very well in my garden including transplants.  In a while I may see the humming birds visit it.  It will re-bloom lightly later in the summer if I cut it back. 

Still I replay one of the Summer Tanager's recordings and wait.  I take a photo of that prodigal sun through the perfect leaves of my sugar maple.  No bugs have come to eat holes through the green skin and wind has not torn the edges yet.

The trunk is riddled with necklaces of holes that were drilled by the sapsucker a few weeks ago.  But the tree provides perfect shade.

Nearby a vireo does acrobatics swinging from branches and eating insects in the red bud tree.  He even hangs upside down and then does a flip and lands on the edge of a lower branch just for fun!

Then out of the corner of my eye in the distant tulip tree I see movement.  It looks like a dark medium bird.  I grab my binoculars and smile.  It is the tanager trying to see who has invaded its territory.  I am patient more minutes as it darts into the green canopy of our woods and then I can hear him mimicking the song of my recording.  I wait some more and his mate who is not the brilliant red, but a more golden, green, red, joins him in their search for the singing interloper.  I hope they stay and have a nest somewhere.  I turn the recording off and just sit and rest under my tree.

No bird photos because I had only the small camera and I was so enjoying myself just sitting and hiding.  Spring!


  1. It's always the color in your photos that takes my breath away when I visit: the blue of the larkspur, the rich intense hue of the Jupiter's Beard, the lovely, bright lime of the maple leaf. Wow. Just wonderful!

  2. Sometimes it's nicer just to enjoy the moment than to try to capture it on camera, especially when you have such a lovely garden.

  3. Good for you for resisting the urge to have to photograph the bird visitors. Just enjoying the moment is better. I say this from experience, knowing that trying to get the just right photo can take away from the experience.
    Whenever I see centranthus I recall it growing all over the moat walls at Ightham Moat in Kent, England. It was glorious.

  4. You are very patient to wait for the bird to show up. You made good use of your time and got some great plant photos.

  5. beautiful. my larkspur is just about done. don't know the jupiter's beard. I wonder if it will grow here.

  6. Wonderful photos.. real and described. I can just imagine you having a wonderful time attracting the birds. And "prodigal sun"... love it!

  7. Sitting there being and making us laugh today. Just lovely.

  8. Having time to sit n listen is key! I'm in such a rush lately -


Glad to hear from you once again. I really like these visits. Come sit on this log and tell me what you are thinking.