Birds in a Summer Garden

With the temps in the single digits here lately, I thought this scene might warm up the chill.
This is a painting of a part of my garden. A Cardinal and White-Throated Sparrow are enjoying the birdbath on a warm day in early August.
The little yellow flowers are Coreopsis (or Tickseed), a perennial plant that has surprised me by not only growing larger each season, but by blooming for most of the summer and into the fall. It's by far the longest blooming perennial in my garden!

1 comment:

Afrikitty said...

Bird people are nuts! Did you know that? We are total nutcases! We spend out lives lining up our video cameras and our spotting scopes, our night spotters and our binoculars. Oh, and don't forget the ubiquitous SLR film Camera, if you are a TRUE fundi, or today most of us have the more popular Digital SLR camera. And we have the biggest lenses to fit on those cameras too. Some so big that when you attach them to your tripod, they must be attached by the lens, not the camera. AND-YOU'RE-DEAD-IF-YOU-TOUCH-MY-STUFF, we enunciate at our curious offspring, as they look on with their glazed donut faces, and we wagging our pointy fingers at them.

We have the craziest names for bird calls, which actually, upon reflection, sound nothing like the sound the poor little feathered person is trying to regale us with. "Poooor-Sam-Peabody-Peabody-Peabody" wails our gorgeous little White Throated Sparrow on the left here at the bird bath. He gets very vocal and chatty in winter and you can hear him for miles around.

"Whatcheer, whatcheer, whatcheer, cheer, cheer cheer" gurgles our splendid Mr Northern Cardinal ever so smoothly, on the right. He is such a gentleman, he is, and his gorgeous buffy bride is the sweetest thing on two wings. Mr Cardinal will always let the other person drink first, you know.

This is what drew me to this painting. So, I wasn't imagining it...huh...somebody else noticed that too and had lovingly stroked it on a canvas for us to see.

There he sits as he looks on while Mrs White Throat takes a tiny sip of water. "Oi, what are them two cute yellow patches on yer 'ead, dearie", he seems to be saying. "They look like little horns, they do, but they's the wrong colour! Them should be red...Oi" But she doesn't care, as she's checking out her pretty reflection in the crystal clear water. He doesn't have to look at his reflection. He knows how gorgeous he is. So, he watches her ever so nicely and waits so patiently, you'd expect him to take out a nice clean handkerchief for Mrs Sparrow to wipe her beak after her drink.

Mrs White Throated Sparrow is a cheeky little lady. You can't really tell the difference between Mr and Mrs as they are "dimorphic", as they say in the bird world. But you want to imagine that this little one is a Mrs, as everybody knows how charming our Mr Northern Cardinal is, especially in Spring, when he is seeking a beautiful bride. Of course, this is before it gets too hot and the mites start shaving off his beautiful red crest and he gets to looking a bit like a miniature Pterodactyl. But, eventually our winters get cold again, and the mites die off and Mr Cardinal starts to look his spectacular best again, his gorgeous red crest grown right back where it should be. Ahh, the wonders of nature. The "accident' of chance could not accomplish this? Only a mind more wondrous than that of the artist could have put these here for us to enjoy, and to have granted our artist the ability to paint it all as poignantly as Janet does.

The beautiful Coreopsis that just blooms and blooms and blooms holds no interest for our red man. He likes his sunflower seeds and his safflower seeds. And he wouldn't mind some of that suet too, if them pesky Starlings would quit pushing him out the way to get at it......the greedy little illegal boogers! They're so rude and they come in to land looking like Harrier jump jets. The bullies! No manners either....

Now, if you are lucky and if you look very carefully among the lovely yellow flowers......oh, I...I could have sworn I saw an American Goldfinch in amongst that lot, but it was just a clever stroke of the paintbrush. Those birds just love that Tickseed and they come in their droves to gobble it all up as winter approaches, and before they become the drab little tykes they do when winter arrives and they moult. Ahhhhhhhh, she is so good with them brushes, our Janet is. Her works of art just tickle your imagination, delight your eyes and soothe your soul. I stayed up for hours making sure I won this little beauty on eBay, and the waiting paid off. It's one of the few paintings I will bother to frame.