Category Archives: images of birds

The Egret Tree: Sunday Trees 324 , Jan 28, 2018

(Enlarge by clicking on first photo.)

There is usually at least one of these mammoth trees with resident herons in every little village around the lake.  It can be a noisy proposition, especially if its inhabitants are night herons, but in this case, it is snowy egrets, another sort of heron, that inhabit Grandmother tree.  For close-up photos of egrets and chicks, go HERE.

For the Sunday Trees 324 prompt.

Circling Closer: The Magnificent Frigate Bird

When the pelicans stayed away for the past few weeks, the frigate birds were out in full force. Usually, it seems to me that these birds soar high above, swooping down only to steal other birds’ prizes, but two days ago, when the pelicans and fish came back as well, they appeared by the dozens, swooping down on the beach to claim bait left on the beach after the fishermen cleared their nets. It was an amazing display. Here are some of the hundreds of  photos that I took of them that capture their numbers and antics to a small degree. Please click on the first photo and then the right arrows to proceed through the enlarged photos and to read the captions that tell the story of their visit to civilization:

Circling Closer:

 

The Magnificent Frigate Bird

They polonaise up higher,
far above the rest.
Not once dipping to the land.
Do they ever nest?

I never see them fishing,
foraging or chewing.
As though their wings are made for art
but are not made for doing.

A gentle crease within their wings
looks folded and unfolded,
but keeps its shape no matter what,
as though it has been molded.

This rhyme is not so fragile
nor so graceful as these birds.
I guess such elegance as theirs
cannot be caught in words.

 

(I wrote this poem a few years ago and published it in a series of poems about La Manzanilla. It seemed appropriate to publish it again with these photos.)

Trilling

Click on any photo to enlarge all.  jdbphotos

Trilling 

Don’t you hear the mockingbird
trilling out the whole absurd
story of the passing year,
giving voice to shock and fear?

Listen to the mourning dove,
warning us from far above,
the starlings, wrens and birds of prey.
Our debts all nature has to pay.

How can it be that those in power
sit and ponder and yet cower,
too intent on their own needs
to enact necessary deeds

to bring a tyrant fool to task—
to do what all the sane men ask?
Shame on these godly well-heeled men
who fold their hands and say amen,

but let sick children go untreated,
tenements to go unheated,
our waterways to be polluted,
laws and edicts instituted

that benefit the filthy rich
to raise themselves another niche

while milling masses unenlightened
vote heedless as their belts are tightened,

favoring the autocrats
in fear of what the democrats
“might” do, when all around them all
democracy proceeds to fall.

Hear  her there, up on the limb,
surveying all who follow him?
Simple nature mocking us?
Laughing at our furious fuss?

Perhaps more knowing than we know
when raging fires and piles of snow
assault us, it is nature’s way
to lead us and to have its say.

We cannot think of only our
needs and exercise our power
for special interests without paying.
This is what all of nature’s saying.

Mudslides, hurricanes and drought
may show us what it’s all about.
Balance, sanity and sharing
fairness, ecology and caring

will bring about a world that’s lasting
beyond our legislature’s casting.
God-fearing men, do you care
about how your children fare?

And as those whom we’ve elected,
oh so naïvely selected
pad their pockets and close their eyes,
our world around us swiftly dies.

Those are the truths clearly absurd
told to us by the mockingbird.
He sits above on swaying limb.
Why are the masses deaf to him?

The prompt today is trill.

Unscheduled Visitor

 

Unscheduled Visitor

I hear a rapid rapping and I’m wondering, “Who is it?”
It’s too early in the morning for a casual drop-in visit.
I’m still in my pajamas and the dogs and cats aren’t fed.
How can company be calling while I’m still here in bed?

The knocking is insistent but I have no way to spy
upon whatever passer-by refuses to pass by.
My intercom is broken, so I call out from the door,
“Who is it?” but it’s obvious they aren’t there anymore.

I wander back to bed again, feeling somewhat tense.
Only when I’m sleeping does the knocking recommence.
“Who is it?” I scream out again, accenting every vowel.
The dogs sense my frustration and they begin to howl.

My bedroom sliders are open, so my voice soars over the wall.
Any passerby could hear if they could hear at all.
But still nobody answers. This Saturday morning’s still.
There are no other noises up here on my hill.

No car horns and no dog barks. No children’s noisy play.
No birdcalls. No construction to mar this quiet day.
Except for my invectives as the rappings start again—
louder, oh much louder than they have ever been.

As I charge out of my front door, I grab for an umbrella—
in case I need a weapon to fight off some unknown fella
intent on ruining my day, but when I turn the key
and open wide my front wall gate, there’s no one there but me!

I roar in my frustration. The whole town must hear my wails.
I throw that damn umbrella. Over the wall it sails.
I stalk back to my room and pull the covers over my head,
praying for more silence, but what I get instead

is the steady rat-tat-tatting that now upon reflection
seems to emanate from a different direction.
I draw aside my bedroom drapes and wonder, “What the heck?”
sweeping my sight across my yard, I finally crane my neck

and see it far up in a palm—an industrious woodpecker
whose ruthless drilling is the thing that’s been my sleep-in wrecker!
I cannot throw a shoe at him for I can’t throw that far.
If I tried to knock a golf ball up, I’d be far over par.

At last I view with humor this ridiculous affair,
and so I pull on Levis and smooth my ruffled hair.
I shuffle off to feed the dogs, the kittens and the cat
and just accept as music this rat-a-tat-tat-tat.

 

The prompt today is casual.

Pelicans

IMG_3473
Pelicans

They float upon the gentle swells,
with chins tucked in politely.
Of all the birds, most dignified,
their movements never sprightly.

They look like grumpy butlers
named Oliver or Jeeves
in morning coats of softest gray
with wings tucked in their sleeves.

They may be only scouting
the source of their next meal,
for soon they take off to the air
with energy and zeal.

And soon they’re diving down again,
straight like an arrow shot,
down into the shallows
to see what can be caught.

Bobbing once again,
they lift their bills and then let slide
all that’s in their pouches
to another place inside.

I wonder if the fishes flop
all the long way down,
and this is why the pelicans
then fold their arms and frown?

 Version 2

The prompt today is shallow. This poem is a rewrite of a poem published a few years ago..