Our Garden’s Color Palette…

Daffodils image by Andreas BRUN @andreasbrun. Found via unsplash.com

Rewarded for back-aching bulb planting
In rock-rampant soil,
We revel as daffodils hula so slightly in the wind,
Then pose in upright rows day after day
Until their too-brief performance nears its end
With bows toward the earth to which they return.

From the rust-colored magnolia bushes,
the daffies’ similarly hued fauna counterparts
Burst forth with ungaudly golden flashes;
What signals the goldfinches’ en masse arrival?
The dandy males displaying opulent good health
to charm their drably olive mates.

Mr and Ms Cardinal also reflect
Darwin’s dichromatic observations:
He vibrantly bedecked; she chicly sedate
To tend her babes in relative anonymity.
Mr Blue Jay—or his bride?—fiercely bedazzles
She’s just as deeply blue, a smaller rendering.

We’ve named our daily visiting woodpecker,
His white breast and black/white back/tail
Ensemble brilliantly set off by a red beret;
Hence “Marcel,” working away at unseen tree
Mites with seeming brain-concussing fervor;
His mate a smaller redhead, less obsessed.

The birds’ return signals forgiveness:
We failed them when they needed us most—
The feeders too snowbound in winter’s maw;
The feed store inaccessible to snowed-in cars;
With spring’s loveliness in still-chilly April air,
We welcome this treasure, Nature’s artful gifts.

NB: After reading the above, the keeper of our bird sighting list claimed:

“You got a legal letter from the firm Nuthatch, Titmouse, & Dove, representing Swallows, House Finches, and the Grackle Group, Ltd.”

In response, I hereby extend my formal apology for their omission.

White breasted nuthatch; image by Patrice Boucherd @patriceb. Found via unsplash.com

And I add this note, knowing it’s out of sync with my poem, simply because it’s fun.


31 thoughts on “Our Garden’s Color Palette…

  1. Clearly spring has found you, you lucky soul. Had snow last week. It didn’t last, but it did make for a grumpy day. Enjoy your bulbs and your birds. It’s a beautiful world if we don’t think about half the things you write about ha ha. Just kidding. Keep up the good work! And thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Competing with Jill Bickett, eh!

    I am sitting on our back porch reading and watching finches, brown birds, black birds, chickadees, woodpeckers, cardinals, et al gorge themselves on my feeders.

    Have enjoyed regular visits to the bald eagle which occupies a nest just off River Road near Feigle Field in Bogota.

    My eyes burn like hell from the pollen!

    There you have my life!


    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Dennis—

      I suppose I should know who Jill Bickett is. I turned to the googles and found two—neither seemed right.

      Sorry for your pollen attack; maybe you can view the feathered splendor from indoors? Not the same, I realize.

      Addendum: I now know which Jill Bickett you mean. Not ready to take anyone on a photographic tour of my garden just yet.


    1. A fine idea; anyone is welcome to write it.

      Neil, when I saw your name, I wondered if your blogs about your colorful journeys (eg, quest for orange) had subliminally suggested this topic. You are my favorite hue-man!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun poem! Anything to do with nature pleases and relaxes. Since moving my office to the kitchen table, I sit right by the big window and can see the birds and squirrels all day long. So much nicer than what is usually on my computer screen!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jill. I quite agree. Nature’s restorative powers are especially important to help us maintain our balance in these strange, often frightening times.

      We have a squirrel, Rusty—because of his scraggly, rust-colored tail—that comes to our window sill when s/he’s especially hungry. I wonder if I had your view of the outside if I’d accomplish anything!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awwww … I do love it when our squirrels (both grey squirrels) get on the windowsill and peek in. One of them is beginning to trust me, and sits just a few feet away waiting patiently when I take the peanuts out for them in the morning. I do still manage to get done what I need to, and the cats love sitting in the windowsill watching the critters, though if I open the door, the cats to into hiding!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful and rich imagery here. I think the poem is more colorful than photographs of the same things would be.

    It’s a curious point about nature that, while in so many species (not just birds) the males are the ones that are gorgeous to look at and it’s the females that mostly do the looking — humans are one of the few species where it’s the other way around.

    I imagine they were forgiving. The birds in your area must be able to cope with the local winters, or they wouldn’t exist. Or maybe they just fly to Florida for the duration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Infidel: As you know how much I enjoy your poetry, I’m very pleased that you enjoyed this poem. (I’m always tentative about my poetic efforts.)

      The male/female color distinctions in the animal world have long intrigued me, and I knew they had evolutionary roots (no surprise there) based on competition for mates and mothers protecting their young by being unobtrusive. (There are probably other reasons too.) To make sure, I checked before I wrote the poem; there’s a link to a Scientific American article below.

      I was once lectured by an ardent birder that it was cruel to have feeders because the birds get used to them and then are lost if you don’t keep up your end of the arrangement. So I worried…


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Seriously, I really like what you’ve done with alliteration and word usage here. It’s very vivid.

        Thanks for the article. Pretty much every innate trait of a species seems to be traceable to natural selection and reproductive success. That might be why the displaying gender / onlooking gender dichotomy is “flipped” in humans compared with most species. Most features that are judged sexually attractive are actually indicators of health. Pregnancy is more metabolically costly in humans than in most other species (at least most other mammals), so female health is probably a bigger factor in reproductive success. And the features that humans find sexually attractive in other humans wouldn’t particularly attract predators, so that would never have been an issue.

        I guess there’s always the risk that doing anything to help an animal could establish dependency. I hope Jimmy the penguin didn’t get the idea that whenever he caught the attention of an orca, there would be a boat to jump into…..

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Much appreciated, Infidel. When you speak about human features not being particularly attractive to predators, I assume you mean non-human predators. 🙂

        As for our friend Jimmy the penguin, I hope he’s concluded there’s safety in numbers and will avoid his little solo swims!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I was enjoying a similar scene in my own life when reality intruded. I love watching birds make nests. But not when they fly through a hole in the trim and do so in my attic.

    A few hundred dollars and some new soffit trim later, I am ready to rejoin spring, which is already in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alas: when our fellow fauna enter uninvited! We’ve had squirrels and raccoons in our attic over the years—occasionally outsmarting our reengineering efforts.

      Spring seems particularly delicious after our pandemic year.

      Liked by 1 person

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