Robin and Kunmi
Monday June 13th 2011, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Friends,Wildlife

Robin and her knitting-group friend Kunmi, having flown out together to visit their families here, stopped by today. We were chatting, and then Kunmi glanced out the window and exclaimed, “You have goldfinches!”

We walked over into the family room with the big picture windows and the feeders just outside and I discovered a fellow enthusiast.

The birds played their part perfectly: I scooped out a little suet cake and tossed it on the box, saying that that would bring in a Bewick’s wren, and right on cue one flew down from the trees to the patio, then the dolly, then up to that box for its snack. They’re friendly, I explained, and plentiful right around here but nearly extinct on the East Coast; I treasure mine.

I described how my son Richard and Kim had given me a book for Christmas that both describes various species and lets you play their songs–right up close to my ears where I can hear! Cool! So, Friday I’d been playing the calls the book says that Cooper’s hawks make when something threatens their nest.

I looked up to see that everything had fled, gone, the patio, the feeders, the hanging cake, the box. Even the squirrels. Too funny.

But even funnier was sitting down at the computer the next morning and, not having seen either hawk since most likely their babies fledged a month or so ago, there was the adult male: right on the box, right there, looking eye-to-eye with me through the window.

For about a minute.

You know how breathtaking that is. And it was a cool morning, so midway, he fluffed up his feathers a bit; I wanted to stroke them, they looked so soft.

Hey, hey, none of that thought, and he fluttered over to the dolly and looked again from a little bit farther away. Cocked his head and looked around; there hadn’t been any prey around when he came in, it’s as if he simply wanted to make sure about those sounds he was hearing the day before. Or something.

American goldfinch, lesser goldfinch, house finch, Cassin finch, Oregon junco, plain brown California towhee vs the brilliant colors of the Eastern ones, Kunmi loved it.

In came a jay, and she exclaimed over how different it looked from the ones back home. They laughed when I said, Yes, it’s long and thin like it’s ready to hit the beach.

I told the story of the new world-leading cardiac center at Stanford that came to be because of a blue bird, I’m assuming a jay because of its willingness to hold still through all that.

A moment of kindness that changed the world of cardiology.

We went off to Coupa Cafe, where both of them found a way to treat us all; we went to Apple’s flagship store, about to be–hmm, re-shipped? There will soon be a much bigger one.  (Hey, Robin, I bet your brother already knows about it.) We meandered through some of the old areas of town and neighborhoods near Stanford, enjoying the architecture.

It’s wonderful to see the place where you live through the eyes of those who do not.

6 Comments so far
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I am up early, about 3:45 am and I can hear the birds calling to each other,it’s still dark out.Seems they are getting ready for the day. Me , I want to go back to bed. This bird is tuckered out.

Comment by kristy phipps 06.14.11 @ 1:46 am

It’s fun to be a tourist in your own town, isn’t it? I never bother anymore, unless someone comes to visit…

Comment by Channon 06.14.11 @ 7:29 am

Living near Toronto and Niagara Falls, I never miss a chance to take visitors up the CN Tower, or to the Falls. I love them each time.

Comment by Sandra 06.14.11 @ 7:47 am

Seems that the birds know their cue to come on ‘stage’. SHOWTIME!

I just spotted the error you mentioned. It’s fixed, at least for today.

Comment by Don Meyer 06.14.11 @ 8:58 am

“It’s wonderful to see the place where you live through the eyes of those who do not.”

sometimes we just take what is around us for granted, and sharing it with someone else helps us “see” it again

Comment by bev 06.14.11 @ 10:33 am

there are many more mportant things our new home must have (an accessibel bathtub and bathroom in general, accessible kitchen, lots of light for Oscar’s S.A.D.) but I can;t help hoping there will be room for a bird feeder or two in full view from those windows, and perhaps a place for some raised container gardening.

Comment by Diana Troldahl 06.16.11 @ 10:47 am

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