Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feeling Blue

Finally getting a bunch of photos out of the camera and into the blog. When I get a bunch backlogged in there, it's hard to have time to sort through them. Not that I have time now...but sometimes I just have to get out the shoehorn and MAKE time!
This is a sad photo. The subject's name will be read with a different, more solemn inflection that it would have been read a month ago, because now I have seen this one dead, and I know its form in death more intimately than in life, and I know the weight of the thing in my hand.
The indigo bunting is one of the greatest avian joys of the farm, to me. Never before the farm have I definitively seen this gorgeous creature the color of a South American butterfly. They are birds of the woodland margins, the edges where the meadows meet the trees. They frequent the shady spaces...I see them most closely along the west sheep pen lane. They are not given to perching on telephone wires in neatly mowed right-of-ways along highways.
In death, this one proves all the more beautiful for being able to hold it in my hand and turn it this way and that, seeing the light play on its incredible azure plumage. The colors shift from intense sky blue to deep violet-indigo. And the diminuitive size surprises me--it's smaller than a sparrow, about the size of a tame finch. In life, they seem larger.
I am comforted that there are others on the farm...I saw one later that same day. I might worry about why this one died--West Nile Virus? Bird Flu?--but realize that there are many reasons for a small bird to be dead, and that an isolated death is not cause for alarm.

Thank you, little bird, for your beauty in death as well as life.

No comments: