Friday, July 16, 2010

The Robin


The Robin

There is an old stone birdbath that stands, flower height, in the midst of a bed of pink vinca along my front walk.  In the center of the birdbath sits a small fearsome gargoyle, bravely guarding the feathered bathers from Milo, the neighborhood cat.  Apparently, the rather diminutive size of this scrunched-face stone creature in no way lessens his ability to perform his appointed duties with success, for this particular birdbath is quite popular, the pathway that borders it often wet from the enthusiastic splashes of jewel toned bathers.
One of these bathers is staring at me now, hot and impatient.  

At present, it seems that Mother Nature is too absorbed in the creation of her magnum opus - the hottest year on record - to remember her other obligations, so it has fallen to me to provide refreshment for the flowers that have begun to suffer from lack of rain and, as I stand with my watering can poised over the vinca, I can feel the Robin’s unwavering stare.  I glance at him over my shoulder, and the trees hear me mutter, “Oh, just go ahead and get in the bath.  I won’t bother you, you should know that by now.” 

And instantly, I hear a flutter of wings as the Robin lights softly on the bath at my feet.  Peering up at my face for a second, he proceeds to hop right into the water, gleefully splashing fat droplets all over my linen-clad legs.  Close enough for me to touch, he seems perfectly content in my presence, not unlike a Disney bird with a cartoon Cinderella.
I don’t think I’ve been paid a better compliment in years.

42 comments:

  1. Amazing how creatures tolerate us sometimes, even when we are on "their" turf....or in this case, pool!

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  2. A greeting from me in a very hot Stockholm to you ! I wish you a wonderful day.

    xo
    Ani

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  3. Birds and other wildlings seem have a sense for gentle folk who mean them no harm.
    Who painted the beautiful piece at the beginning of this post?
    Cenya

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  4. What a wonderful moment..Sending you cool greetings from a very hot Hilltop.:))

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  5. I have been doing much the same thing for weeks now but fortunately we have had some rain. I love the illustration you have used.

    I enjoyed reading your last post about our queen, she is remarkable indeed. I wish I had half her energy.

    Re your comment on my blog, I am sure your little friend regards you as a fairy godmother, I always wanted a tree house but have never come across one with a chandelier before!

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  6. Oh how lovely! And is that an Arthur Rackham picture illustrating this blog post? I do love a good illustration. :)

    I am also very fond of robins - I think ever since I read The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe as a child and a merry robin lead the children through the woods. i think after that I always grew up thinking they were on 'our side', whatever side that is!

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  7. I love to watch the birds at the bird bath. Especially if a group of them come in, they seem to chatter and twitter all the time!

    Its chilly here in melbourne but I get back to the tropics in two weeks time!

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  8. wauw what a wonderful experiance..
    and you talk to animals too...
    I thought I was the only strange woman who does that...hihiih

    Did you visit my blog in the last few days?
    I become a grandmother...
    my Remy is father of 17...

    http://remysfirstyear.blogspot.com/

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  9. It's wonderful how little creatures can tell we are not going to hurt them. The rabbits in my yard are the same way. One I have been feeding for two years. He will sit in front of me and eat his carrot. I never touch him, but I could.
    Simple things that make our hearts happy. :)

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  10. Robins are the best judge of people.

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  11. Loved this! Once when I was watering a little humming bird came and sat on the end of my hose! She begun to play in the steam of water! What a gift, maybe my best.

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  12. This is a beautiful blog to discover. Its a good day!

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  13. It’s been unusually hot even in Maine this summer. Lucky birds! Stay cool.

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  14. How wonderful it is when the little creatures who live around us learn to trust us.

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  15. What an evocative image! I also particularly like the line about Mother Nature's magnum opus. We are in Portugal at the moment, where the sky contains not even a whisp of cloud. Hearing reports of rain in England, though . . . and I hope your flowers get some refreshment soon.

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  16. Robins seem particularly brave and friendly little creatures when it comes to tolerating (wo)man's intrusions!

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  17. Trust from wild critters is amazing, isn't it!

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  18. I feel exactly the same way, Pamela - honored if an animal or bird chooses to live or visit or nest nearby. I love Michelle May's comment about the rabbit.

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  19. Okay, now this is almost scary - I had almost the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE on Monday!!!! Yes, extreme heat, birdbath wrapped with pink (and purple) vincas, little angel guarding it; I'm watering, and a ROBIN appears, perches on the edge, watching me for a few seconds before beginning his bath.

    Like you, I was thrilled! But my account of the story was not quite so eloquently told - afterwards, I rushed into the house and told Fred, "I was watering the flowers and a bird flew into the birdbath right where I was and took a bath!"

    How boring. I do need to take some lessons in prose from you.

    Beautiful, magical post!

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  20. Somehow I am not surprised that he found you non-threatening...

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  21. Yes Pamela, robins are tame here too (although I think our robins are different from yours). One often follows the farmer when he digs in the vegetable garden and hops around his feet looking for worms.

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  22. Robins are the 'bravest' of birds aren't they? They always hang around me when I'm gardening and peer at me through the windows as if they are asking for food. I swear they communicate in their way.

    We are getting a lot of rain here in Wales - M even lit the Rayburn today!

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  23. We were wandering around a small cemetery in Grasmere (Lakes District) looking for Wordsworth's grave and I commented that I had never seen a robin - right on queue one of these beautiful little creatures flew up and landed on Wordsworth's headstone. It was if he'd heard me talking! Leigh

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  24. Loved your story today and it is nice when creatures, can learn not to be afraid and are happy to be around.
    We have a thrush out in the garden that is really quiet and just hops around while I am gardening.

    Have a happy weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  25. Love the painting at the beginning of your post, - I am not surprised that you have this lovely empathy with the robin, Pamela.

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  26. Oh, what a lovely memory, Pamela! I am sure the dear Robin sensed your gentleness.

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  27. The image is so hauntingly lovely and of course your prose never ceases to delight.

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  28. What a lovely description. Trans-species communication is alive in well in your parts, I'm glad to see.

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  29. What a thrill! I always feel so privileged when wild creatures trust me enough to come right up close.
    Hope things cool down soon.

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  30. Animals have wonderful instincts. I'm not surprised that this dear bird would feel so comfortable in your calm presence.
    Have a wonderful weekend Pamela.

    xo
    Brooke

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  31. What a magical interlude for you, a blessing from the birds!
    I love the Thumbelina painting, another one of your exceptional finds. (I'm assuming Thumbelina, it would fit the story. Who was the artist?)

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  32. What a lovely story - robins are often friendly little creatures and this one has obviously learned to trust you. My Dad used to have one follow him around the garden and sit watching what he was doing - especially when he was digging and exposing worms:)

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  33. I know the feeling Pamela. In our mountain garden blackbirds and thrushes regarded me as someone who was there to protect their backs and faced away from me to forage under the trees.
    It is always awesome when wild creatures place their trust in us.

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  34. I haven't witnessed a bird playing in a bird bath for years. Those simple pleasures are so grand. My father gets a good number of hummingbirds visiting his yard and he takes such delight in watching them. He even makes them their food, free of dye. Hoping your having a playful weekend Pamela? x

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  35. Yes, how horribly hot it is!
    Half of New York is dried up.
    Some people bother to water planters and things and others are quite oblivious.
    Buster sends greetings to Edward and Apple.

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  36. A charming and delightful fairy tale written by one of my favorite writers.

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  37. that family room in blue on your web site - that is gorgeous!!!!! gorgeous
    !!!!! love love love it.

    btw - that twilight magazine cover, GrannyAppleGreen blog made that for me, she's a huge fan too.

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  38. Ahh animal attraction, beautiful gift.

    Have just been reading the past couple of posts and was riveted again. Adore also the fan story, how adorable that this was passed on to you. I've always wanted fans from an early age but was discouraged as "we have electricity, why need a fan". Because they are beautiful. You are too.

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  39. How well you capture a beautiful moment. Robins are so daring - I just love them. We have too much rain - shall I send you some?

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  40. I love this post and especially enjoyed hearing about your close encounter with the Robin! :-)
    Your experience is very unusual, as they are usually quite aggressive birds.
    Robins make quite a lot of chirping sounds around people, to try and keep them away from their nests but people think they are being friendly!
    The robin you made friends with must have trusted you and saw your fairy energy! ;-)
    I also loved the fairy illustration.
    Thank you for your kind comments at my place. Good to see you again, Pamela. xx

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