Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day and Cedar Waxwings

I'm not a poet. During my lunch hour today, though, I scribbled this little ditty and I almost took it out of this post. I decided to leave it in since this is my journal, it's true, and very silly.

Camera, walking shoes, field guide in my bag in the mornings

Husband, perplexed, rolls his eyes at me as a warning, and thinks…

Does she need a suitcase?

Is my eccentric wife a bird-hunting nutcase?

Camera around my neck,

Down the driveway for the mail, I trek,

He asks, “You need a camera to get the mail?”

“Well, yeah…I might see something…like…a snail.”


My husband, Michael, doesn’t understand my fun with birds and photography. He likes the sunset photos and the dog photos, but doesn’t quite get the birds. However, this is my gift from him for Valentine’s Day. This Swavorski now sits in the middle of my curio, directly under the light. He isn’t so bad, after all!

I remember when a Mourning Dove crashed into our sunroom in Maryland and died on a pond rock. I found the poor thing, cold and stiff, and Michael followed me to the scene. He couldn’t believe the bird was dead, picked it up, and placed its belly on his ear like you would hold a telephone. He turned his head to the side, listening for a heartbeat. I interrupted him and said, “Michael, if you are calling the bird, or waiting for its voice, there is no answer.” So, he really does care…


When I arrived at the hair salon's parking lot yesterday I saw a silhouette of a flock of birds resting on a small tree. Under the tree, they were flitting and flying in and out of low berry bushes. It was a rainy, gray day, so I had to get close. But when I parked the car and approached them, they fled. Seeing their crest, I knew they weren’t cardinals and definitely not titmice…hmmmm. But there’s more ahead!

There is something so luxurious and relaxing about resting your head back in the sink and have your stylist massage your scalp. I always close my eyes. Why doesn’t it feel the same when you try it with your own hands? Amber is a pretty young woman, tanned, with loads of long auburn and brown hair and a pearly white smile. All of the cute stylists wear black trendy outfits and black high heels. I wonder how they do it? If I was a stylist and the salon opened at 9am, I’d be limping pathetically by 9:30! Actually, I’d be disabled. Period. For a while, I was the only frumpy over-50 woman in the place but I was glad to see another one walk in later, frumpier than me. Ahem...I'm not that frumpy.

Feeling a lot lighter and sheik with my freshly done hair, I got in my car and scanned that tree again, and found it still full of those birds. In pursuit, I turned off the radio, rolled down the window, approached at one mile per hour and stopped the car fifteen away. In the driver’s seat, I raised my camera... in… slow… motion.


A lifer for me. Beautiful Cedar Waxwing. Of course, I didn’t know they were Cedar Waxwings until I got home and downloaded the photos, but I knew they were a special find for me. If the sun were shining, I couldn't have imagined how beautiful their colors would have been…


Today I went to the grocery store at the same strip mall. Through my windshield, busy Cedar Waxwings, on a sunny day.


Oh, how lovely.


From my driver's seat, in the sun, simply gorgeous.

I wish for my friends, who are buried under loads of snow and ice, that it will melt quickly and the sun will shine on you soon.


Cathy said...

Gorgeous! I knew you'd find some glitter to share with us. A life bird - even better.

If we could create the same sensation as the shampooist - we'd never leave home :0)

Mary, what camera are you using? Your images are so sharp.

Mary said...

Cathy, it's a very simple Kodak EasyShare Z612. I'm an amateur with the camera and birds so I'm fine this with amateur camera. In the future, I'll be wanting a little more :o) Two days off from posting was all I needed. I might take a day or two off each week from now on, unless my humdrum life explodes with excitement! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Glad you are back after your short hiatus. Love the verse and the pictures are gorgeous. I love cedar waxwings. They look so elegant. I wonder if you are on a bird migration route? many birds.
(If this comment turns up twice, delete one of them. It vanished the first time.)

Anonymous said...

non birders never do understand how amazing they are! I just love the waxwing shots!! WOW, such a perfect Valentine's Day Surprise! Happy V-Day @},-'--

Cuppa said...

Your words and pictures entered my world like a breath of fresh air with a hint of spring in it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Mary, your photos are wonderful and I especially love the last one. The detail is just wonderful!
Oh, there's nothing like a hair stylist that knows how to massage my scalp - I miss my ex-hair stylist because she was very good with that.
I enjoyed your poem, and your husband's present to you is gorgeous.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Mary- I love your poem. I think it's perfect. Michael might not totally understand your passion for birds but it says something that he bought you bluebirds!
Your waxwing photos are gorgeous!
Lucky you!

Susan Gets Native said...

That's the only reason I go to the salon, to get my hair's not like I get my hair cut, really. (It's half-way down my back)
I grew it long so Geoff could stroke and admire it. But he likes chicks with short hair. Damn.

Bravo on the waxwings! Aren't they gorgeous? When I read about them, I fell in love...they are some of the more evolved birds. They share their food with each other, passing food with their beaks. Sweet little cuties.

Loved the poem...I laughed out loud.

entoto said...


I loved the poem. And the bewds. I cannot wait to show Zoey her first Bohemian waxwing this summer. We have a camp spot that is almost a guarantee for these lovely birds.

Jayne said...

Wow Mary! The poem was lovely, and the cedar waxwings even more so. I am so happy you are back and that you had such a wonderful sighting to share.

KGMom said...

The last photo of the cedar waxwing is very lovely. Clear blue sky, bird posing for you just so.
And in addition to all that--a shampoo and a wonderful gift from husband.
What more could you ask for?

Unknown said...

I am insanely jealous! Cedar Waxwings are SO beautiful -- they look like paintings of birds not real birds. Gorgeous!

I love that your husband understands you enough to support what's important to you even when he doesn't get it. That's a good thing.

My husband does the same thing and I love it when he does that! Yay good husbands!

Unknown said...

Oh yea, I loved your poem!

dmmgmfm said...

I am so in awe of the birds you see and the lengths you go to photograph them. It always brightens my day so much. Your poem is lovely too. Thank you.

And by the way, I love what your hubby gave you for Valentine's Day and that he was so sweet with the unfortunate bird that hit your windown. He's a keeper, obviously.

Anonymous said...

You took that shot from 15 feet? That is great!
I like your poem and understand it completely.

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh you're right - that is a gorgeous pic!

Your next assignment is to find out what that shrub is that they're feeding in.


Anonymous said...

I love your cedar waxwings! I usually get a group of them each year that spend a few days enjoying my Savannah Holly.

I saw your link over at Annie's - I'm slowly going through her gardening blogroll! I'm just a little south of you, in Charleston. I hope that Chloe is doing well and feeling better - I have a few dogs myself, and understand those kind of dog days.

wolf21m said...

Great poem, great story, and Great Photos!

Anonymous said...

I have shared your experience, different tree - different place, many years ago ... but there they were and at the time MY FIRST sighting of Cedar Waxwings.
Now we have them as occasional visitors in our yard, but I will never forget the thrill of that first tree full of crested birds!