22 May 2008

Close Encounters

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing a scissortail flycatcher on a fence not far from my home. It was awesome to see that long tail which seems to double the size of the bird. I was driving on my way to a dear witchy friends' house that I hadn't seen in a while. I considered it something of a good omen as I'd never seen one before and it was a joyful experience. Scissortails are listed as common around here but I still consider it a lucky occasion. I've seen numerous interesting and rarely sighted critters when I've been driving and these sightings very often have special meanings attached to them or they seem to accompany certain events.
Some days later I had to rescue a chimney swift from Dave the cat. Thankfully, Dave only had the birds' wing in his mouth and not its head or neck. Poor thing was so scared it flew out of my hands straight into the window on the back door. But when I finally got it outside it flew off like it was fine. A few days later I was filling the birdfeeders, of which we have three for regular birdseed that need filling every single day, and I just happened to look down and see a black snake. It had been so long since I'd talked to Snake that I didn't realize it was already spooked. So I reached down, like I always do, to pick it up and it bit my hand a couple of times. It freaked me out because I've picked up black snakes my whole life and never been bitten. In fact, I'm not even sure I knew they had teeth. They do have teeth, but no fangs or venom. The spot on my hand itched a little for a while but it was forgotten by the next day.

There have also been two pairs of Orioles around lately, which is a rare treat. I had only seen one other, a male, over ten years ago. We've also had two different kinds of woodpeckers drinking from the hummingbird feeders, which I imagine the hummingbirds don't like. Woodpeckers have been known to check out hummerfeeders before but never before here on Windy Hill. We've had summer tanagers and lazuli buntings, rose breasted grossbeaks and many others. We've got kittens on the back porch and more in the barn and upstairs. The wasps are filling the air, while, alas, there are no bees yet. But still, spring is ablaze and the animals are as wild and wonderful as ever.

Black snake image from Missouri Conservation site
Flycatcher image from Birds of Caddo Lake
Oriole image from President Avenue Birds


Meka said...

You must love animals. I wish I could see nature like you do. I live in the city. You are a whole lot braver than me because if I seen any snake I would pass out. Beautiful pictures you have.

Livia Indica said...

Actually, the photos in this post came from other sources. I do love animals and am so grateful to live in the country. I understand many people have a strong aversion to snakes but it's good to remember that, like most animals, they're usually more afraid of us than we are of them. And hey, even in the city there's usually quite a few birds to see, maybe you'll get lucky and see something amazing. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting, I appreciate it.