Thursday, May 6, 2010


Birdsong. The sound that sometimes warns us, sometimes lulls us with its beauty, sometimes irritates us with its chatter. Birdsong.

We started our walk in Janet’s yard. Her beautiful garden was just starting to peek out from its winter sleep. Suddenly, I was captured and drawn in. Beautiful music rang from the trees. Birds singing to the earth, singing to the sky and for a brief bit of time, singing to me.

We have birds in Oregon but not the lovely song birds of my birth. I have often walked the paths at the bird sanctuary noticing the quietness with maybe only an occasional bird begging notice. It is too quiet. Where are the birds? Where is their song?

In Key West the birds were of a different ilk. They squawked. They called. They didn’t seem to know any songs. Of course, the trees, with long green fronds, hardly welcome bird community. In Virginia, the birds chirped and called to one another, still the song was not there.

I stood in Janet’s yard immersed in memories of Dad whistling like a songbird. Of birds sitting outside the kitchen window singing to those invisible people drinking coffee. I was brought home by a song I had heard for many years that was now missing.

A cardinal flashed his red feathers at us, a cardinal that you won’t find in Oregon. (Evidently, they can’t fly over the Rockies). The color so vibrant caused tears to surface. It was a fleeting moment. A special one for this traveler to Neff Road.

How many birds will we see pass from view into oblivion? We all notice changes in our weather. Glaciers are melting, the earth is moving and our weather seeks to confuse us each day.

I know Janet will protect her birds, see that they have shelter in her trees and food when it is scarce. I know that she will stop and listen to the symphony outside her door….a symphony I hope has no end.


Janet said...

Thanks for the story about my "birds". I so enjoy them, but my heart is heavy this week because of the birds. I was so elated when I saw a pair of blue birds flying around one of my blue bird boxes. It has been at least 4 years since I have seen bluebirds on Neff Rd. I saw them once after that first siteing, so a few days later, I thought I would check the box and see if they had nested. When I lifted the lid, I found the male bluebird, so vibrant in color, dead. I have no idea what happened, why he died in the box, but I'm so sad that he's no longer the beautiful bird I saw earlier. I gave him a proper burial and hoped that someday the blue birds would try my yard again.

Pamela Loxley Drake said...

Oh, Janet, my heart aches. I know you love your birds as much as I do. What a terrible site. Maybe what your bird needed was a place of peace and protection. Don't let this sway you away from taking care of your birds. Missing you.