Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fuel Stop

Not our beans

Sometimes it seems as if we work for BP here at the farm. The Birdie Pancake stop and shop that is. We are awash in migrating robins, on their down from the far north and heading south to visit our good friends in the warmer states.

They are all business, chirping earnestly and hurtling from sumac to Virginia creeper to river bank grape (our equivalent of hard rolls with butter, donuts, and plum Danish), intent on getting breakfast, before they rejoin the caravan of voyageurs rolling south for winter. Their behavior is nothing like their tentative manner in spring, when they test out this perch or that for is acoustical properties, singing a few warbling notes from each before choosing the finest for their dawn and evening concerts. Now they are on the move and in a hurry. A flash of white underpinnings, a hint of russet breast feathers and they are gone.

We still have a few singers though. White-throated sparrows toss off half of an off-key "old Sam Peabody" as they glean the bushes and hedgerows. Chickadees chick and titmice whistle. Gold finches chink and cheer. Jays shriek, crows crawk.....And the other morning early when I was out seeing to Nick, the last BC in my world, I got my own personal serenade. One of the male mockingbirds must have been sleeping in the red delicious apple tree; I must have startled him awake (it was o'dark thirty as usual). He burst into short but vibrant song, just a few lush phrases before he woke up enough to realize that it was fall and he needn't bother with all that. His song was like a golden apple glowing in the dark, so sweet and strong and lovely. I was much richer for the experience and thanked him kindly for his efforts as he winged away down the old orchard.

As fall segues relentlessly into the sleeping iron of winter we must take the wonders where we find them. Mockers and robins do it for me.


Jinglebob said...

Very nicely written!

Dani said...

Come on down birdies! Our feeders are full and ready to go.

lisa said...

You are so right, we love to fill the feeders in the winter just so we can see the birds and know that winter isn't all bad!

Linda said...

I've said it before but I'm saying it again....you have a mighty fine way with words!!

Woodswalker said...

What a sweet moment! Thanks for sharing it so vividly with us.

DayPhoto said...

I'm sure my pet Robin is right there now...please let him know I enjoyed he and his little family very much this year.


threecollie said...

JB, thank you kind sir

Dani, they are on their way, express mode! They sure aren't lingering

Lisa, I couldn't believe it this year. I filled the feeders after they were empty all summer and there were chickadees within five minutes

LInda, thank you so much

WW, thank you, I enjoy their company when I am out moving cows

Linda, will do. Ours have been gone for several weeks now, but we are enjoying the transients.