Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seeing Red

For anyone who has regularly read this blog, you know of my obsession with the Kentucky Redbird (also known as the Northern Cardinal).  For some reason I relentlessly pursue the perfect photograph of my favorite bird, and while I like a distance snapshot of their vibrant color off on a distant branch....close-ups are what I covet!

 You can imagine then my disappointment as for weeks on end when I would be alerted to a Cardinal being on the kitchen window feeder, time and again I would arrive with my camera to see the Redbird was already gone. But about a little over a week ago I hit the jackpot!  A female was on the feeder, and so I decided to grab some pictures....and when I got to the window with my camera....she had a friend with her! 

Since female cardinals tend to defer to the males when they come to the feeder, she took off after a few moments, but the big guy hung around for a LONG time and I was able to get lots of pictures! 

We were having some very snowy blustery winter weather that day, so I got some unique shots in this series.  I was amazed at how his plumage was blown around by the large gusts of wind.  How do these guys can stay warm in the winter!  God's sustaining hand is truly seen best in songbirds!  (At least that is my thought on the subject!)


Excerpt from Charles Spurgeon: “The Treasury of David” 
Psalm 143

Verse 5. I meditate on all thy works. Let us look for God in the future more earnestly than we have done in the past,—look for him in vineyards and orchards and harvest fields,—in the bright plumage of birds, and the delicate bloom of fruit, and the sweet gracefulness of flowers,—in the dense foliage of the forest, and the sparse heather of the moor,—in the rich luxuriance of fertile valleys, and the rugged grandeur of the everlasting hills,—in the merry dance of the rivulet, and the majestic tides of the ocean—in the gay colours of the rainbow, and the splendour of the starry heavens,—in the gentle radiance of the moon, and the gorgeous light of setting suns,—in the clear azure sky, and the weird pageantry of clouds,—in the snow mantled wintry landscape, and the brilliant effulgence of a summer's noon,—in the virgin loveliness of spring, and in the pensive fading beauty of autumn,—let us look for him with an earnest, eager, and unwearied gaze, till we see him to be a God of wisdom as well as power, of love as well as sovereignty, of beauty as well as glory.—A. W. Momerie, in "The Origin of Evil, and other Sermons," 1881.

That wind can ruin anyone's hair day!

Feathers are flying but those little feet are clasped tight on the branch!

Last weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count...all my nieces and nephews participate in that birdwatching and counting event every year.  We took a hike in the woods to look for birds, but sometimes the best place to spot them is with a feeder out your window!  Case and to the right!  Getting close to a cardinal without a feeder is tricky... you half to be SUPER stealth and patient!  That prompted me to pick up a book on my Kindle called "Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding"
so I could find out just exactly how the birds in American were observed, painted, cataloged etc.   (Coincidence there is a cardinal on the cover!) 

Interesting topic...but to me backyard birds are just a nice way of seeing God's glory without having to go very far!

I have a series of shots where he was looking at the ground below the feeder, plotting on how to hop down there and eat.  I like this shot because you can see he became snow covered while sitting there.

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