Friday, August 15, 2014

Birds of a Feather

(Adapted from Chara! 365 Days of Joy, a work in progress)

Cedar waxwings enjoy backyard fountain

Bird watching never used to be on my radar.

Sure, I could chase chickens with the rest of the kids or tell you that there were three crows staring at us from the power lines. But that was about the extent of my interest. Oh, and the partridge in the pear tree. I've always liked that bird.

But now. I am a bird of a totally different feather. It all began as I spent hours in the passenger seat looking out the windows while my husband drove us to various locations, near and far. I started noticing birds. Different colors, shapes, sizes, and activity levels of birds flocked to my attention. I transformed into a bird watcher with cat-like aptitude to (mentally) crouch and take notice of anything that flitted or landed.

American goldfinch devouring my sunflower seeds (out of many, only ONE photo offered a bird that was slightly recognizable)

And out came the bird identification guide.

It lives in the passenger seat door pocket, all 340 falling-apart pages held together by the hard plastic of the door. Many an hour has been spent scrutinizing bird silhouettes, flight style, body shapes, sizes, colors, and habits, all while riding side seat to my personal chauffeur. Birds are fascinating creatures, both timid and easily put to flight and aggressive to the point of defending nest and offspring against all foes, regardless of size.

The kitties think they should help me ID birds! They haven't yet figured out that they can hunt the birds.

Adult birds sheltering nestlings beneath their wings is a dear picture. That same image, written by the Psalmist in chapter 91, verse 4, was clearly intended to illustrate our feelings of security and well-being when taken under the wings of God. Considering that God the Father is the protective and sheltering parent, under whose wings we may take refuge, it is indeed a comforting image. I find peace and joy knowing that He is there.

I am a part of His flock and under His wings I shall take refuge.

Psalm 91

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