Kathy C and as Kathy would do
Monday July 18th 2011, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Friends,Wildlife

Speaking of visitors… I got a heads-up last night from my friend Kathy: were we still on for tomorrow?

Oh honey you bet!

And so at noon she swooped me up and took me out to lunch. I treated her to Kara’s Kupcakes afterwards, hardly a fair trade except that we promised to do it again and take turns. Then we headed for my house, where we sat and visited and swapped stories and just plain spent the time that a good friendship deserves. She is such a treasure.

As she sat she was facing my birdfeeders and I was tickled that they caught her eye like they do mine. “You could never be bored with this out here.”


She exclaimed over the variety of birds, and then over the pretty stained-glass feeder my daughter-in-law had given me; I told her the squirrels have managed to get on it just once, maybe twice, but immediately learned there was nothing for them to scramble up to that they could hold onto and actually eat. And since it’s not where they can leap downwards to it, they can’t chew up the wooden base and so it’s safe from them.  It is left alone.

Kathy went off to pick up her son, I soon after went to pick up my daughter and life returned to normal. I did want to show her the Lisa Souza Alpaca Silk I was sure would arrive today, and it did–at 5:15. Mailman was late. She’d just missed it.  I told her I was holding off on starting another project till it got here because I didn’t want anything else in the way when it came.

Evening settled in, dinner was over; I was about to head outside to water the amaryllises when I heard the smack. A finch. I looked up to see not the expected hawk ready to retrieve its fair meal but the neighbor’s cat who has no need of such things. It saw me and scrammed over the fence and away.

Poor little bird. I opened the slider and checked on it. It pulled its wing back to its body and in such very slow motion over the next half hour, seemed to recover somewhat: she pulled her head back into a normal position. Her eyes were watching. She shifted position a bit.

It was getting dark, so I started watering the plants at last, free now from the dangers of the sun but wanting to be able to see what I was doing. The little finch followed my movements just ever so slightly.

At last I bent over her. I thought about it, and then as gently as my huge human hands could manage, I stroked the back of her head gently. Her eyes closed. I stopped. Her eyes opened. I stroked. She seemed to enjoy it.

I didn’t want to leave her exposed to the raccoons and possums of the night. What to do. She wouldn’t leave.

I thought about a book I’d read that one of my birder friends had recommended (thank you Sally), that described birds lost in a fire in Santa Barbara because they simply slept through the noise of the flames and the smoke till they were overcome by it. It said that birds sleep very soundly.

It was night by now. And in the best way to heal, my little finch had fallen asleep. I stroked her gently again and she roused a little and looked at me and settled back into herself.

There was only one thing to do. All my childhood warnings from my parents came back to me, the don’t-touches, the warnings about downed creatures in the deep woods we explored all summer long and I ignored them and gently scooped her up, cupped between my hands. Her feet reached for a proper footing, her wings moved tentatively, wonderingly, but, it felt to me, with somehow a sense of trust.

I put her up on that stained-glass feeder. She did not fall. She gained her perch.  She has food; whatever may come, she is safe.

6 Comments so far
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You’re a treasure to be with, too! I bet that poor finch is thinking the same thing. And that alpaca silk is lovely – enjoy the knitting of it into your beautiful shawl, as I enjoyed the afternoon with you!

Comment by Kathy in San Jose 07.19.11 @ 12:13 am

Oh Alison!! What a tender, thoughtful thing to do. No wonder the critters love you and your yard so.

Comment by Channon 07.19.11 @ 6:42 am

She knew.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 07.19.11 @ 6:55 am

ample evidence that we are God’s hands — what an awesome thing

Comment by Bev 07.19.11 @ 7:49 am

Oh Alison, that is so touching. I would even send some of the blackberries for her to eat – if my own backyard birds hadn’t eaten all of them.

Comment by Afton 07.19.11 @ 7:54 am

I wouldn’t expect anything less of you.

Comment by Don Meyer 07.19.11 @ 9:02 am

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