Saturday, February 20, 2021

Winter, with wings

          Photos: Vincent Mounier

I give you: gratuitous bird-feeding pictures. A February pleasure, apparently. It has been over a decade since I fed North American birds from my hands. And that was in Stanley Park, Vancouver. (There was a weaver, in South Africa, inbetween.)


Titmice and chickadees in Brooklyn. (Why not the song sparrows, hopping at my feet? Or the bold cardinals?)


It is precious, the minute pressure of tiny bird feet on your skin.


And it feels for a while as though this is the only thing.


The pictures above were taken in Green-Wood Cemetery. The monarch butterfly mask is from Society 6. The artist who makes this one is  Eclectic at Heart and I like their other masks, too. They are all double-layered, with space for a filter-insert. But they do get loose after a lot of wearing and washing. So (after six months of daily wear) I will order some more. (For grocery shopping we now wear double masks: a surgical mask under the cloth. Yay.)


Pensive chickadee. These pictures (different jacket! Maskless!) were taken up in Pelham Bay a couple of weeks ago, in the Bronx. Then, as now, we walked into the city wilds to enjoy the snow. There were very few people, so I was relieved to de-mask. (Although, an hour into our walk, post-picnic, we bumped right into our friends Stephen and Chad on a narrow, snowy path. Which seemed surreal and perfectly normal, at the same time. We re-masked to greet one another with sounds of muffled effusion.)


I want my own chickadee.


Look at the two birds. It doesn't seem real. Very fast shutter speed on that long-lensed Canon of the Frenchman's.


We saw a family of deer in these woods, sitting in the snow, and chewing whatever deer chew in snowy February. Their coats looked thick and warm. 

Mostly, there was silence. We are becoming connoisseurs of where to find it.

Tomorrow, we will look for some more.

17 comments:

  1. These are stunning. A picture book for adults. The third pic looks like the inspiration for angry birds.

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    1. Thank you! Or, thanks-to-the-Frenchman...

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    2. His professional pics your hilarious and observant writing. Pensive chickadee; contemplating the meaning of life, the new nonplastic bird feeder or the seeds?

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  2. Beautiful images! I grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts, home of the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, where we could hand feed chickadees like that. It is thrilling! I wish we had just one photo of my son (who you met) doing that when he was a boy.

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    1. How sweet. I wonder why it is chickadees, always...small but bold.

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  3. And they are all back home in the nest telling stories about the big monarch who fed them...

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  4. How lovely...both the photos and the story.

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  5. What beautiful photos, and yes the lightest touch of birds feet on our hands is magical isn't it. I always feel so honoured to have gained their trust.

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  6. Love your photos, as always. We were also hand feeding chickadees and titmice this weekend here in Upstate (really upstate) NY - Mendon. Also had nuthatches and even a Downy Woodpecker stop by! As you write, when you're feeding the birds, that's all there is at the moment. Love how quiet it all is as they make their selection and then the quick whirl of wings as they fly off.

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  7. Astonishing! Love the photographs. I hand feed a chipmunk at our cabin each summer. I like to "pretend" it's the same fellow each year, but most likely not. It takes me several weeks to gain their trust to take a piece of cracker or chip out of my hand. They don't like raspberries, but they LOVE wasabi peas! LOL

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  8. Keep an eye out for coyote when you're in Pelham Bay Park.

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