"The seeing-eye, the beating wing, the bird that laughs at everything.
Misunderstood by everyone, who can not see all things as one".

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Friends.

Baby raccoons are all over the place!
Three mothers and eleven babies!
I have heard that mothers can be all sorts of nasty and dangerous...
Not in my garden. Not in my woods.
The mothers let me play with their babies all I like.
The cats wander around and get no trouble either.
The only sad thing about raccoons is that they can't fly.

Click the next pictures for a better view.

Night-night, baby.
Sweet dreams...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ghosts of the Forest.

Rain and clouds: mist swirling through the treetops.
Looking up, a large bird swept through the limbs,
travelling fast, on its way to somewhere important.

I recognized it, but still didn't know what it was.
Then two ravens sped past, a few seconds later.
Only then did the shape fit the glimpse.
An Albino Raven!

Everything carries its own medicine.
What you see is what you get:
Left with a sense of awe and wonder,
I wandered off through the woods.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Upside Down Bird.


This is Charcoal: a London pigeon who contracted Paramyxovirus. 
Looking very well here, he was never going to survive by himself. 
His neck became severely twisted backwards by the disease, and he would think up was down, and down was up. 
I rescued him several times from neighbours' gardens after he took off from the roof and slammed into the ground, upside down. 
He finally recovered fully, and the last time I saw him, he was accompanied by a pure white pigeon, who must have stolen his heart. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Woodpecker Medicine.

Another very windy night, and tree boughs and limbs lay scattered inside the deer fence.
Gathering an armload, I made for the gate, out into the forest, to scatter the boughs on my debris-fence.
As I reached for the loosely draped chain that holds the gate closed, I realized the same woodpecker was clinging to the gatepost, right where the chain was.
I decided I would have to put down the armful of boughs, in order to move the woodpecker, that was clearly not going to move by itself.
I did this, walked up to the little bird, and spoke to it for a moment, before reaching out and lifting it gently from the post.
It did not move, nor resist.
Its little clawed feet came away from the rough cedar post without a struggle.
Nestling perfectly in the palm of my hand, the bird seemed almost unaware of what was happening to it:
This unlikely event caused no visible reaction at all.
I placed the bird on the horizontal fence brace and went about my debris cleanup.
It watched me each time I passed through the gate, bearing more boughs, before scrambling up a Balsam, and pecking away at the bark.

What is going on here?
How can a monstrous human walk right up to a woodpecker and pick it up?
How can this be?

I see it like this:
Creatures react to being observed.
Predators observe.
Non-predators notice without observing.
Gazelle may wander a few feet from sated lions, without concern.
They know the lions are not hungry.
Having learned how to be without allowing my eyesight to remove me from the event,
the woodpecker no longer knew where it ended and I began.
I became the woodpecker, and the woodpecker continued doing what it had always done:
being a part of everything around it, including me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Woodpecker Medicine.

A Downy Woodpecker was munching happily away at a suet feeder, when for no apparent reason, it fell asleep.
Head tucked under its wing, it did not respond when I approached for a closer look.
Eyes closed, it failed to notice as I stroked it, gently dislodged it from the feeder and carried it away to a safer place.
The Sharp Shinned Hawk I rescued only yesterday has now taken up residence, and a very small sleeping woodpecker was clearly not going to survive very long.
I settled the bird on a covered rafter and kept watch for more than an hour.
Finally I picked it up again to see if it was showing signs of life.
It slowly awoke, stretched, blinked, scratched a bit and explored my fingers.
Without any sign of alarm or discomfort, it carefully defecated after ensuring it would not soil its perch, fluttered its wings for a moment, and flew strongly away into the forest.
Mysteriously mystical.
Woodpecker medicine tells me interesting and relevant secrets...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hawk Medicine.

Today I came to the aid of a Sharp Shinned Hawk.
It was wary, but unflinching as I lifted it from a corner.
Soft and grey above, like a dove, rusty red beneath, like a fox.
Warm and soft, cold and hard: eyes like meteors blazing in the dawn.
It delivered its message, thus aiding me, even as I aided it.
Human, it told me, see what I see. Know that you know what I know. Fly where I fly. Speak of it to the world so that the echoes of what you know are known to all.

Instictive Raven.

Over the Village Parking lot,
Raven flies lazily.
Spies something of interest eighty feet below.
Raising the angle of attack of its left wing, stalls the airflow.
Left wing loses lift and drops, as right wing lifts.
It rotates one hundred and eighty degrees and steadies...
A perfect stall-turn.
Both wings raise their incidence and the bird becomes a parachute.
Descending rapidly but gracefully, a flare to brake as it alights,
retrieving the object that has interested it, and a take off into the wind...

Mere seconds elapse.
Action without thought.
Grace without concern.
Completion without planning.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A cold winter's night:
A wren found a way inside a small plastic-covered plant house.
It snowed so much that the entrance was buried, trapping the little wren.
A lady chanced to see it as it searched for a way out, and helped it by digging away the snow.
Somewhat relieved, it flew gratefully back into its life.
My forest is full of birds.
Here are a few of them:
A Towhee, a Pileated Woodpecker, and a Hairy Woodpecker.
They like to keep close to their food, in winter.
Humans don't bother them, once they know there is no danger.

They know about cats: some are friends: some are not...
All of them are wary of Crows.
It seems they can not decide who is a Crow, and who is a Raven.
Better safe, than sorry.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Fox once created a website.
Which in itself is noteworthy.
It mentioned a mystery:
The JubJub Bird!
It looks after foxes and is very fierce.
Here is a picture of it:

It was taken many years ago with a special fox-camera.
It has no shadow!
It looks surprisingly like a Crow.
A very big Crow.
Here is the website.
A Varied Thrush fell.
I saw it fall. Went to it.
Carried it to my nest.
Warmed it, calmed it.
Watched over it,
and waited.
It's moment came.
Alive once more
it returned home
to the silent forest.
Why hatch, when you can be an egg?
Why perch, when you can fall-off?
Why hop, when you can fly?
Why squawk, when you can be silent?
Why ask, when mystery serves best?
Losing a feather,
Worry not.
You have made space
For a new one.
Knowing is good.
Not knowing is better.
Knowing not knowing is better still.
Not knowing that we know is best of all.