Sitting in the patio, sipping some hot coffee, on this cool and rainy morning, it was a sheer pleasure watching all the cardinal couples flying around from branch to branch and the bird feeders. This particular one was sitting in the wet branch about ten yards away from me.
That got me wondering whether there is a reason we call this pretty red bird a cardinal. This is what I found – and this goes back to the days when the European settlers came to this country. This bright colored bird was new to them and it apparently reminded them of the bright red robes worn by Catholic Cardinals back home when they performed their religious duties. Further, the pronounced plumage on the head reminded them of the high headgear worn by the same Cardinals.
And that is how they named this bird a cardinal … and it has stuck…
The cardinal was mighty suspicious of the spotted towhee that landed too close to its nest for its comfort.
The picture was taken with a DSLR from about fifteen yards away. The light was poor (only some sunset rays trickling in thru the forests) and I had to deal with the fact that the shot had to be taken thru two upright bars of the patio (you can see the white blur on either side). I dared not stand up to get a better shot lest the birds fly away…
The moment our car emerged from our property and turned east on the dirt road, Niki and I noticed the rich pink color in the sky thru the trees. We pulled forward for a couple of hundred yards where the trees started clearing up and was immediately faced with the usage of a riot of colors. We could see yellow, orange and pink. Then there was sky blue and dark blue. Crisp, cold morning.
The sight was ephemeral though. Three minutes later, as we came to the end of the dirt road, we noticed that the distinctly pink color was gone and had changed to bright orange!
This morning, you could sense the stillness of the moment as the hills and forests struggled to wake up thru the blanket of fog to another day. Occasionally, the serene tranquility would get interrupted by a startled darting deer here and a falling water drop from the leaves there. The dirt roads lay still by the horse farm picket fences unmolested as of yet by the tires of cars scampering the equally sleepy kids to their schools.
It was like time had stood still.