Exploring new ways of seeing, new ways of being with an open heart and an open mind
Sunday, May 15, 2011
From Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to the Creole Farmers Stomp
For the past couple of weeks or so, the bird feeder outside my kitchen window has been a very busy place. At least a dozen Red-winged Blackbirds have become regular visitors. In addition, there are several pairs of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (taken from my kitchen window), Brown-headed Cowbirds and the Common Grackle, which have not taken over the feeder, for which I'm very grateful, but have been forced to behave themselves and share. A week or so ago, I put it out there on the wind that I'd like to see a Cardinal and, lo and behold, one went through my yard a few days ago. Ditto for a Baltimore Oriole. I had not yet seen either at my place. I wasn't able to get a photo of them worth sharing, but I'm glad for the sightings.
There have also been purple finches, various swallows and warblers, and a Red-breasted Woodpecker or two. The thing I'm most excited about, though, is what I saw a few minutes ago sitting in my rock garden and what I believe was his mate. Are you ready? Drumroll, please. An Indigo Bunting. I've heard they are very scarce, but there they were, no doubt about it. Now, here's the interesting part: I read in my bird book that they are actually black, like the Blue Jay, but their color is refracted sunlight that makes them appear blue. In the case of the Indigo Bunting, almost an iridescent blue. What a little beauty. Isn't it funny, how happy a little bird can make you? Well, me, anyway. The really big question is: when did I become my grandmother?
The other thing on my mind this morning is how the farmers of Louisiana are doing. I know that river is just doing what rivers do, and the engineers that made the decision to open the spillways are doing what they do. A tough decision had to be made. Unfortunately, it always seems that those who can least afford it are left with the destruction these decisions bring with them. I hope they are on their way to higher ground, if not there already. And I do mean that both literally and figuratively. I'm sure they are tough and resilient folks, but it can't be easy to watch all your hard work go underwater. The problem with flooding is not just the loss of crops, but what it does to the land, leaving behind muck and sand and debris. It will require a real massive effort to get it back to workable land again. I would hope some compensation will be made, but there is no compensation for what it does to the hearts and minds of people who have worked and loved their land, often for many generations. I hope they find courage in their communities and the good folks who share their lives.
A couple of years ago, I spent some time down in southern Texas and picked up a great compilation of Zydeco that I couldn't stop playing. It was infectious music that made me happy and even got me dancing in the kitchen a time or two. Whether Cajun or Creole, and yes, there is a difference, in honor of those farmers, I bring you the opening cut from that group of great tunes, The Creole Zydeco Farmers and the "Creole Farmers Stomp." It's not meant to be watched, it's meant to be danced to, so let's dance, sort of like a prayer, for all those Louisiana farmers. And for those who'd like to read about the heritage of both I found this to be a fairly concise description: http://www.landrystuff.com/creole.htm
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How exciting to have all the birds once more in the garden, and to include the Indigo Bunting [which, of course, is completely unknown to us but which sounds wonderful].
We remain so concerned about the river levels and flooding in your part of the world, mention of which was made on the BBC Radio News this morning. We do trust that all will be well.
Do love that music...puts a smile on face. I didn't know there was a difference??? Wow! The more I know, the more I know I don't know...ReplyDelete
Lance and Jane, It was beautiful, very small and just this side of cobalt blue. A real treat for me.ReplyDelete
It appears the flooding will continue and more than likely worsen as the next few days pass. It seems to be a strange and unpredictable world everywhere.
Lynn, It's hard to sit still when it's on.... so maybe we shouldn't. :)
Hey, that's pretty bouncy music. I did some ab work to it. Boy do I need that. That picture of the Rose breasted Grosbeck is fantastic. And taken from your window, yet. Good work. You have a bird sanctuary in your yard. Must be interesting. I never see birds around my house. Not enough trees yet, I guess. This is a new development in Bozeman and my yard is filled with smallish trees but the neighbors aren't planting. BoooReplyDelete
Hi Manzi, I like Zydeco. It captures a flavor to match their culture.ReplyDelete
The birds do make life interesting. Entertaining little things.
I have never seen an indigo bunting. But now it seems like a perfect bird, so I'll put out the word. What a wonderful menagerie of birds you have!ReplyDelete
Your birds are wonderful! I watched the rising waters of the Mississippi on our NZ tv news this evening. So awful.ReplyDelete
DJan and Joan, Thank you for reading and commenting. The birds really add to my enjoyment of this place where I live.ReplyDelete
The waters continue to rise. Sometimes nature reminds us we are not in charge nearly as much as we like to think we are.
Dance those troubles away.A lovely idea Teresa.The grosbeak sounds fun, I have noit seen any yet, so perhaps they headed farther north.Put out a grape jelly feeder and see if the orioles visit. They also like my hummingbird nectar until I get the jelly out.ReplyDelete
I've never seen a grosbeak, that one is beautiful, off to listen and read about the creole farmers, my heart goes out to all near the mississippi. I had an idea the other day about a ceramic bird seed feeder and this reminded me of that. thanks.ReplyDelete
I'm wondering if that's an accordian, my brother played one, sadly he died a a young age.ReplyDelete
Hi Steve, I will try the grape jelly feeder. I've heard they can make all the difference. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Linda, It's a tough time for many, all along the river. And yes, it is an accordion. They are often the small version somewhere between an accordion and a squeezebox, and a mainstay of Zydeco.
I hope you'll tell us about your accordion-playing brother sometime.
Check out Jo-El Sonnier singing " Joli Blon " teresa...It's a Cajun standard...ReplyDelete
love the birdies! thank you for sharing the song, i'm a dancin'!ReplyDelete
Paul, I will. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Corinna, Dance, dance, dance! :)
What great music...I never heard of it but I suppose it is like people that aren't from around here never hearing of 'Beach Music' either...isn't traveling wonderful?ReplyDelete
My summer birds are just starting to show up ~ it makes me happy!ReplyDelete
Mother Nature is still doing damage isn't she?
Keep safe Teresa!
Tracy, I love discovering new music. This was a fun one. And I do love to travel.ReplyDelete
Catherine, It's been a tough spring for many. Yes, the birds are here and everything is getting very green. Finally. Thanks, Cat.
That red grosbeak is quite handsome and I envy you the indigo bunting. We have orioles here, but, they are rather illusive. I've seen them at the birdbath and yesterday I could hear them calling to each other high up in the trees. Last year, I could hear one, and just kept clicking my camera, pointing high up in the sycamore. When I zoomed in, there he was, smart as cold be. Our first winter here, after a very windy few days, we noticed something on the chaise on our deck. It was an oriole nest, woven like a stocking. A perfect pocket for eggs. The wind had likely broken its strap and there it was. I keep it safe and put it on the Christmas tree. I was glad they came back in the spring and built another.ReplyDelete
Penny, Those nests are so interesting. I think the study nests could become addictive, the elements they use, the swirly designs, all unique. What a great ornament.ReplyDelete
Let the good time rollReplyDelete
Let it roll and roll some more,
Roll down the bayou.
It's fun damn it! Good stories and I hope people down south see this. Good stuff!ReplyDelete
One Fly! It certainly is! Can't sit still... Thanks!
Love that song! Bless those farmers...it's just so disheartening to see their land being devastated like that.ReplyDelete
That grosbeak is such a cool looking bird, I think...it really does have a gros (large) beak!
Cheryl, Yes, it certainly is. So very sad.ReplyDelete
I thought it was an interesting combo, too, that red patch and that beak!
Don't know how I missed this post, but I love zydeco and keep hoping to see some of the birds you mentioned. I put out an oriole feeder that uses nectar...no interest from any kind of birds. I'm going to stick grape jelly in it and see what comes...ants, maybe. :-)ReplyDelete
Nancy, I'm considering the grape jelly route, too. We'll see...ReplyDelete