The day of the dead birds

Peering into a tulip


Our day is now complete.  We have gazed into the secret inner world of a tulip and she has whispered her secrets to us.  

Don’t you simply thrill to hear what her perfume says?  She urges us to linger in the moment and to expect the unexpected.  She insists that life is beautiful (even though she has her moments with those pesky insects and droughts and wilting heat and freezing cold and the way her petals disappear in the autumn.) 

Mystery bird


OK, I’m backing up to yesterday.  Or maybe the day before.  Too many stories to tell in one blog.  Too many photos to show in one day.  You almost want to tell Life to slow down until you can hatch all the stories.  (No, Life!  I didn’t mean it.  Don’t slow down.  You show such delicious stories every single day…) 

See the bird perching on the window sill?  Actually, I do believe he showed up on Sunday morning because neither Barry nor I were at work.  We had just discussed the pregnant does in the yard, munching grass, looking like they might give birth eminently.  

And in case you don’t know–our does give birth around Memorial Day weekend.  Every year, rain or shine, they birth those spotted beautiful fawns in our forest.  Then they leave them.  That’s right.  You read that sentence correctly.  They leave them while they go forage or do whatever deers do.  The babies lie motionless beneath the trees or in grasses, waiting for mama to return.  Apparently, newborn fawns have no scent.  Predators don’t eat them for dinner too often.  

Every once in a while, a human will stumble across a motionless forest fawn.  Do not pet.  Do not come too close.  Just hope you have your camera.  Someday it will happen to me again.  And this time the camera will be ready.  Someday. 

Back to the bird in the above photo (I actually wrote the rest of the blog without ever returning to discuss the Mystery Bird.  Coming back now to tell you the scoop.  We had never seen that kind of bird before.  Ever.  It kept coming pecking at the windowsill.  We cruised the bird identification books faithfully.  Finally–an identification!  The bird most certainly is an American Redstart.  I will look for an on-line photo for you to compare and hopefully agree.  OK, click here for dozens of photos.)  

Pregnant doe...almost time to give birth, Mama.


Now comes the dead bird series.  All you squeamish folk–turn away.  Turn away now.  Go to a civilized blog where they don’t show photos of dead animals.  This blog has never claimed to be civilized. 

Or, as Dawn suggested in yesterday’s comments:  have a glass of wine first.  Then peek. 

Dead seagull by the waterfront in L'Anse


I found the seagull just before yoga class.  Of course had to lean down and examine the poor bird.  Wonder about the circumstances of its death.  Felt sad.  Reached for the camera.  Because it seemed to lie in such strange repose.  Don’t you think? 

Dead yellow finch. 😦


Imagine my surprise upon arriving home to discover a dead finch.  What was this?  The day of the dead birds?  This one, I’m pretty certain, had struck a window and died.  

Reflections in the Keweenaw Bay in L'Anse


Since we can’t end this blog on a morbid note, here is one photo of still waters beside the dead bird.  A beautiful morning to be alive… 

As for tomorrow’s post:  you’re never going to believe it.  Suzi from Laundry Line Divine arranged a play date.  Never mind that she lives somewhere Out East.  We were going to “play” today at 12:30 p.m.  Go visit her blog and see if you can guess what we were doing.  What this blog is going to be about tomorrow night…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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28 Responses to The day of the dead birds

  1. holessence says:

    Kathy – I loved and loathed this blog! No kidding — both ends of the spectrum. That’s a GOOD thing! That means you don’t just deliver to please — you tell/show it like it is. You don’t sugar-coat it. You are real. You are transparent. You are YOU. The real McCoy. And I sincerely appreciate that.

    • Kathy says:

      Yep, Laurie. That’s the uncivilized part coming through along with the civilized. Death and life intertwined. The good along with the bad. The challenging along with that which is beautiful. Yep, that’s the real McCoy. We can’t fake it. And guess what! Want to know something so cool? The pregnant does are lounging on the side lawn right now. Lying down! They are so beautiful…

  2. Dawn says:

    The birds are still beautiful even though they’re dead. Didn’t need that glass of wine after all.

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Dawn, that’s what amazes me about these death photos. The birds are still beautiful. They are still–and their beauty envelops them. (I didn’t need a glass of wine either. Today it was jasmine tea in my new yixxing teapot. Bought at fountainpen’s urging…)

  3. We have gazed in to the galaxy world of Kathy and seen wonders upon wonders!
    Goodnight dear playmate! See you tomorrow! Love, S

  4. Fountainpen says:

    My goodness, that tulip would fascinate Georgia
    O’Keefe for sure!!!!!!!!! what a picture!!!!!


  5. Oh my, I had no idea about the does leaving their young. We saw one last year in Empire. On a busy street. Well, as busy as it gets in Empire. the little thing was tucked in between the little figurines and flowers and it looked as though it was a little figurine itself. We gawked and took pictures and were hoping that it was alright. Now I know it was 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Glad to be able to set your mind at ease, Iris. And now you can share this with others who might have been worried too! The mamas do this. She probably saw the figurines and thought, “Good place to leave my baby for awhile.”

  6. ummm…of course it wasn’t sitting in the middle of the street. I should have clarified that it was deposited by it’s mother in a flower garden.

  7. Beautiful in life and death…..Awesome to have does right nearby!!!!

    Amazing sharing of life and death in a gret way…No wine needed……

    Thanks for that great camera!


  8. Jessica says:

    Hi Kathy, I’m popping in for a bit. If I went through an old calendar/daytimer, I could probably find a day titled Day of the Dead Birds. Sometimes I write down the days that strange coincidences like this happen. If you start marking your calendar by titling your days based on atypical events, ethereal patterns emerge.

    The deer in my neck of the woods are scruffy this time of year, too. I posted pics of them on my Picasa account when I went to the foothills to measure a house for gutters.

    • Kathy says:

      Jessica, I love titling days like this. The Day of the Dead Birds. The Day of the Snake. The Day of the Bears. Of course, the day contained so much more. But it’s kind of fun to remember them like that. Will have to put them on the calendar! Except…this blog is kinda becoming like a calendar for me! So good to see you…

  9. flandrumhill says:

    Kathy we saw a deer coming back from our walk this morning. I thought of you and how often you get to see them in your neck of the woods. They are such gentle creatures. Getting a photo of a fawn would be absolutely amazing.

    • Kathy says:

      Amy, it always is surprising to remember that not everyone gets to see deer every day. We didn’t in Lower Michigan growing up, although they hung around in the woods down there, as well. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a fawn photo this year!

  10. Cindy Lou says:

    We saw a little one out at camp last year but alas! No camera! Next time!

  11. nancy says:

    Kathy I think I need a copy of the tulip picture maybe two.

  12. Karla says:

    It is such a treat to come here and learn something new. I just figured mama and her little one roamed together like we saw in Bambi. And now I will make a conscious effort to call “those yellow birds” that dart all over the yard by their proper name! It’s a good thing I’m not squeamish. Thanks for the lesson!

    • Kathy says:

      Karla, so glad you’re not one of squeamish ones. I think sometimes the mama and fawn roam like Bambi in the woods–but not until later. Not much later. But not in the first days, anyway.

  13. Carol says:

    Was your little yellow bird truly a finch? I would have guessed warbler, but hey, I learn something new everyday. That’s what makes me know I’m still alive!

    Love your viewpoint!

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, we have lots and lots of finches here…the warblers stay further out in the woods. I am 99% certain it’s a finch! (I love learning something new every day, too.)

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