A Cardinal Moment

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Much can be said about the beauty of our feathered friends. The variety of shapes and sizes. The tail feathers. The varied beaks. Wing spans. The chirps and the songs. Their flight patterns and eating habits. Nest building and mating. Food choices.

The more colorful, the more timid (at least in our neighborhood). Cardinals are one such bird. They are a delight to witness when they choose to appear. Cardinals always seem to be in pairs. As in many of natures species, the male is the brighter of the two, but certainly no more important.


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It is unusual to find a Cardinal perched on a feeder. They normally forage on the ground or in trees and shrubs. For this male, the temptation must have been too great to be relegated to bottom feeding. As for the female, she chose to dine with company !


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Photograph disclaimer: These two were shot through a glass door and with zero-time to prepare which translates to not-so-vivid images. We enjoyed them anyway. Always a blessing to see God’s handiwork in action.


May you find color in life today.

Finally !


Finally, we saw our first Cardinal make it to the bird feeder which contains a seed mix specifically for Cardinals and other songbirds. We have had a variety of small songbirds, constant visitations by several Blue Jays, and various neighborhood squirrels. They eat the most and have become emboldened with each visit to the feeder. The photo quality of this male Cardinal is not very good as he wouldn’t stay still and I couldn’t focus in time for a better image…they are very shy. The female was close by, but she didn’t come to the feeder. We have a pair of Morning Doves who have been getting closer and closer to the seeds each day. Yesterday, one of them finally made the plunge. Beautiful.


As I witness these birds and squirrels move toward the feeder bowl, I see how much they are like people. Some are very bold and some very timid, while most are somewhere in between. And some, like our Robins, don’t like seed at all, but prefer worms and grubs. The Robins remind me of many folks who simply enjoy what they are used to rather than look for something more exotic.

There is an adage which states that, “Variety is the spice of life”. For many this is true, and yet for some the same routine, the same surroundings, the same friends, and games, etc. brings them just as much satisfaction.  Another adage states, “To each his own”, which opens up all sorts of options to living. Both adages have a certain degree of relevance, and both can be viewed as either favorable or not. It all depends on one’s outlook about life.

What lies beyond your front door depends on the scenery and your season of life. When young, the world is your domain, and while older the front lawn may be just as dynamic. This is a personal observation and is not a universal truth. For me, I derive satisfaction from both worlds. How about you?

Cardinal Luck

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It is rare (at least for me) to get a long look at a Cardinal staying in one place for more than a few seconds. They are timid and like to hide. So, I was a bit lucky to capture this male, however, it was at a full 300 mm zoom so the image is not as crisp and vibrant as I would have hoped for. However, it beats not having the photograph.

There is a special quality that this particular bird reveals when he stands tall on a branch. Besides his beautiful red coloring and unique beak, there is something more…something intangible. Perhaps I consider him as being regal due to his appearance. Perhaps, I simply notice how handsome he is. As with people, Mr. Red can’t take any credit for this fact. Only his Creator can. But, what if he wasn’t so handsome? Would that lessen his uniqueness…his beauty? As with people, something to ponder. Are we unique and beautiful because that’s how the world sees us or are we all that way simply because that is how we were created? I choose the later explanation, and hope you do, too.

In keeping with my thoughts about winter ending soon and spring turning to summer, I share this song bird with you. Celebrate his (your) uniqueness.

Red in Green

5-22-15 015This morning I shot a bird, but not in the sense of hurting it. As I walked a local park right after sunrise, I spotted this cardinal alight on a tree branch. It was rather far away so I had to go full zoom to capture it. Although not the clearest of photographs, it was worth taking anyway. These birds are timid and difficult to capture through a lens as they seldom stay in one place for but a few minutes, and they hide in thick-branched trees. He was happily singing away right before I shot this image.

Cardinals are native to the Midwest, but I also saw several other bird species which are not. The avian migration period is coming to an end so we will see less and less foreign birds who are moving on to their specific geographical regions for the summer. Thankfully, we have our resident robins and blue jays, starlings, doves, and a variety of song birds to bring us enjoyment all season long.

I have always wondered what it would be like to be “free as a bird”…to take flight at the slightest whim, to pause wherever I wanted, and to have a “bird’s-eye view” of our sphere of domain. I can only imagine. What birds take for granted, it would be sheer delight for humans to fly without the aid of machines. I can only imagine.