“A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.”
- Ernest Hemingway
My favourite tree is my magnolia tree. It sits now in quiet splendour, dormant while the buds await warmth and rain before the annual explosion of blossoms that herald the coming of spring. The filigree branches are dusted in snow, and within there hangs a caged suet block filled with seeds and berries to help the birds along during the cold, lean months of winter.
One of my favourite visitors of late has been a small bird, a finch of some sort, not unlike a chickadee. To say my favourite little bird is black and white the way a chickadee is black and white would be misleading. One could say a chickadee has black wings and cap, and white-ish bits here and there. While it’s true that the little bird is also black and white, he is coloured quite differently, with black bits and white bits equally distributed around the entire bird. What sets it apart and really grabs me is his little scarlet cap, which sits perched on the back of his head like a tiny yarmulke.
I’ve yet to hear my little scarlet-capped bird utter so much as a peep, but we do commune as he pecks at the suet block and I admire his yarmulke from the other side of the window. He keeps a beady eye on me, and most particularly on the Resident Feline, who sits by my side watching ardently as the little bird goes about his business. It’s funny the way a well-fed cat hangs on to instinct; he knows there’s something he should be doing about this bird, but he hasn’t quite figured out what.
Which suits me, and the little bird, just fine.