Picture credit: Walkingfox
You know the old saying, “when God closes one door, he opens another?”
After the fighting, the endless, wasted phone calls, the many days of ugliness and pain, connected to our Forest and the constant logging trucks full of pine trees going up our road, I was exhausted, defeated and depressed.
It had all been for nothing, they had won, the trees had lost. (today again, as I write this, six more trucks filled to the top.)
I did not think I could or would ever feel like writing again!
But, the day before yesterday, out of the “blue” showed up, not one, but a pair of beautiful Bluebirds and I had not seen one of them since many years ago in Yellowstone.
And if that was not enough of a blessing, quite unbelievably, they chose one of our nest boxes and are now making it their home.
Then yesterday morning, a blessing to end all blessings in my bird admiration, obsession lifetime, and the reason to give thanks yet once again to God, for giving me/us eyes.
For these eyes would see a bird that I have never seen in my life, but have lusted after forever, a painted bunting was in the feeder right in front of my kitchen window.
I had longed to see it in person, after years of staring at pictures of it in my countless Peterson Bird books and had always thought that when God made this stunning bird he said:
“hmm, let me think, I will make a bird and then paint a rainbow on it.”
The result I believe, is the painted bunting.
If you, like me since forever, have never seen one, don’t worry, your day will come.
But, back to yesterday.
I tried not breathe too loud, for fear of scaring him away and stood for what seemed like an eternity.
He kept eating, I stood perfectly still.
Finally, he filled himself up and left to go sit in the tree in front of my window, (it is on the left in this picture) where he stayed for over an hour, just watching, looking.
A reader of my gator-woman.com site had many years ago, sent me a gorgeous picture of hers in her yard in Orlando, which is about 35 miles Southeast of us.
Of course, I thanked her profusely for the generous gift, to show to others, but deep in my gut, I was so jealous.
That was years ago, and she had told me that they come to her yard every year.
So, I waited impatiently and wondered, what did they have in Orlando, that we did not here on the edge of the Ocala Forest?
So, yesterday, the waiting, the jealousy, the pining away, all ended.
He came back several times yesterday to eat, but I was sure it was to be a one time gift, or a one day stop-over.
But, unbelievably, here he is again today.
I did have several questions though, while watching him again this morning, eating furiously, mostly the peanuts, until he was full and then flying off once again.
But, of course, I am not content to just revel in his rainbow glory, I am now wondering where his mate could be?
(The books had said that they do not breed until late April and only winter with us before moving north to do so. It also said that the male often goes ahead alone to stake out an area)
Now, this is the greed or gluttony part!
Is he here looking for a possible home for them?
Can you only imagine, if his wife shows up in a few days and they decide to move into one of the other of our four nest boxes, in spite of what the books say?
There would be no containing my joy.
Looking back at what I have written here today, a movie we watched recently comes to mind: ” Seven” and the deadly sins.( with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.)
As you can clearly see, I am or have been guilty of several of them, when it comes to this bird!
A final PS:
My children used to say that they knew one day, they would get a call about me being killed while driving my car looking up at a bird! Not such a bad way to go really~
Places to learn more:
The Great Florida Birding Trail: Painted Buntings
Want to hear it, go here: Painted Bunting Sounds
I hate to say, but do you think their home went by in one of the logging trucks?
I don’t think so. They are not quite ready yet and won’t be until late next month the books all say~ Even the Bluebirds that just arrived at our nest boxes, are in the making sure it is the perfect place phase right now. Fingers crossed~
pretty birds… the shrill songs got me unawares… my volume was way up there… thanks for the post… in spite of your lost to the loggers.
Thank you so much Eric.
I listened to all of them, loved it~
But then I am a bird junkie!
I love to look at birds from a distant. However I have a phobia, I am scared to death to have a bird touch me. What a beautiful,and uplifting Blog. Thank you so much for being brave enough to continue your writing.
Oh how sad that makes me.
We must get together and I will try to help you overcome this.
I have had birds all of my life since childhood.
They make me so happy. I love them all!!!!!
As for the logging trucks and pine trees, I am disgusted with this entire backwards thinking state. Every person that I talked to passed the buck, it was always someone else’s problem.
They finally said that our road was not a state road and that someone from Fl. Highway Patrol would have to contact us about the trucks being over weight.
Each one of them is just about 30 times overweight.
I don’t expect to ever hear from anyone.
Sad losing habitat. Glad the birds came for you.
Thank you so much for your kind thoughts on their behalf!
As for me, wahoo!!!
I clicked on the photo to enlarge it to my full screen (17″) because, to my knowledge, I had never seen a painted bunting. I took a good long look at this beauty and NO, obviously Palm Beach County is lacking in them too. Great shot, you needed that king of a boost to your spirits (or were the spirits lifting you?)
Yes, and yes!!!!!!
Look at the close ups on the links, they will give you a much better idea.
He is shooting though the screen of our kitchen window with a tiny camera, with no zoom.
But he got it!
Yes he did!!
I am very very happy for you to have a painted bunting grace your life. They are such a glorious bird.
Thank you so very much. Yes, they are stunning!
I knew we were kindred spirits…. 🙂 Just a few days ago, for the first time EVER, a painted bunting visited my feeders outside my little home. I walked through my house, and saw his magnificent little self, and just grinned ear to ear. NEVER had I seen one in my yard — and while I hadn’t witnessed the horrific devastation you did, I’ve been going through some serious life changes of late. So his presence truly thrilled me, too. *GRIN*!!!
How absolutely wonderful for you.
Are they not breathtaking?
I can feel your joy from here my little tree hugger!!
Wish you were up here to put some seriously ugly KARMA on these tree murderers,
whose 2 trucks are still killing them all day, every day.
This is week #3!!