balance bird

Where I wave at the sky
And understand love, knowing our August heat,
I see birds pulling past the dim frosted thigh
Of Autumn, unlatched from the nest, and wing-beat
For the south, making their high dots across the sky,
Like beauty spots marking a still perfect cheek.
I see them bend the air, slipping away, for what birds seek.
—  Anne Sexton, from “The Balance Wheel” featured in Selected Poems of Anne Sexton

Growing new stuff in the weirdest spots.

On a sidenote, I do think that the chopping of the trees in my neighbourhood for the sake/ curse of a paved road disrupted the natural balance here quite a bit. I thought initially that I have such fewer variety because of the seasonal changes, but I am sure now that many birds have lost “their” trees in the course of all this. I do miss my Redbellied Woodpeckers a lot, as well as many other regulars. I hope this is just temporary and nature will find a way to balance things out again. Have a great beginning of the week!


Tail Feathers Wanted_DSC8126 by Dan Ripplinger
Via Flickr:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird preening. This is another picture of the bird that is missing tail feathers. If you look at the space in the middle of his tail you can see the new feathers.

Scottie Spliffen
Scottie Spliffen

Dikembe - Scottie Spliffen

I’m no good with maps

and no sense of direction

and I can’t write anything

without autocorrection

I just can’t keep up with this curriculum

I wish I could learn in my sleep

I’ve got a problem with problems

I’m not punctual

I get lost in context

and sentence construction

I’ve never said this to anyone before

I’ve never said it out loud”

The Garden Fantail

This is widely considered to be the original Fantail. ^v^

You can see in this first bird the traits that were exaggerated into the American. The high, out thrust chest, the back angled neck, the forward lean up on tippy toes…

But this is a weanling, probably under ten weeks old, with a VERY full crop. 

Look at the following adults, showing the normal stance for this elegant breed.

Unfortunately, these aren’t shown in the US.

Which is such a shame.

Look at how well balanced this lovely bird is!

Look at the mobility of its lovely tail! It can choose to flair or drop it as it pleases. It can walk. It can fly. 

Look at them go. ^v^

Garden Fantails are still deeply beloved in England, where they are proudly shown. 

Colored birds are referred to as fantail pigeons, but white birds are colloquially referred to as fantail doves. 
They are still both pigeons. Same species. Same breed. One is marked and the other is not. (Specifying to clear up the terminology.)

You will occasionally find these in the US in pet shops, but they are not common and, God, what a shame!


Lost in Lantana_RGB3265 by Dan Ripplinger
Via Flickr:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding on Lantana.


Check out my Bird of Paradise tutorial on Alo Yoga’s YouTube channel :)


We Are Havin’ Fun Now_DSC8230 by Dan Ripplinger
Via Flickr:
Juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird playing in the rain.

I would have loved him
in any era, in any dark age; I would take him
into the twilight and unwind him, slide
my fingers through his hair and pull him
to his knees. As it is, this afternoon, late
in the twentieth century, I sit on a chair
in the kitchen with my keys in my lap, pressing
the black button on the answering machine
over and over, listening to his message,
his voice strung along the wires outside my window
where the birds balance themselves
and stare off into the trees, thinking
even in the farthest future, in the most
distant universe, I would have recognized
this voice, refracted, as it would be, like light
from a small, uncharted star.
—  Dorianne Laux, As It Is