mercoledì, novembre 15, 2006

A bird in the hand is worth you in my bush

Here's something none of you know about me, and I'm sure you don't because I forgot about it myself until last night when I was trying to explain to Figaro why I need a twelve times zoom on the digital camera I plan to get before long. Sorry for the long sentence - I was reading the chapter of Busman's Honeymoon last night that's in the form of the Dowager Wimsey's diary. Her sentences are mighty beasts.

I really like birds. I like watching them and photographing them, I used to do that in an organized fashion with my mum up North, and I decided I needed a ridiculous camera when J*Fish showed me a picture he'd taken of a sparrow wherein you could make out the individual little feathers on its chest. It makes me sad when there aren't enough birds around and disproportionately happy when there are - even if its just a bunch of fuckhead starlings roosting outside our bedroom window on a cold morning waking us the fuck up.

Toronto is hard in a sense because almost all the birds are pigeons. Even though it's so much warmer than where I grew up the grind of the city keeps them away and the lake is too out of my way to go admire the diving birds more than once every long while. So I get pigeons, and starlings and sparrows too, which Lexie occasionally attacks and - twice - has caught. But then when I wake up early enough and look out back - even in the mess of urban jungle where I live - I get to see cardinals, which we didn't have up in North Bay, and blue jays, which we did but I'm still fond of. And of course, the occasional turdus migratorius (pffffft!) which is unduly exciting to spot this late in the year since one expects them to have left this stupid shitty weather behind long ago.

And there maybe is the mystery of why I like these smelly, filthy little creatures so much, besides as a plaything for my cat. They don't really have to be where they don't want to be. Either they leave or they die. Pigeons aside (although I maintain a well-groomed wood pigeon would be one of the handsomest animals in creation if its head wasn't so tiny), they shun insalubrity and keel over when you bring them into a mine with too much carbon monoxide or whatever in it. But if they're happy, they sing, and what's more, fly stupidly huge distances to get to the places that make them happy or else find ways to adjust to ridiculous temperatures like in North Bay - by huddling or standing on a badly insulated roof or something - so they can be happy in retarded weather.

The times I was happiest in Paris - where, for all my complaints, I was often happy - was when I was walking home from parties at five or six in the morning. I'd always have to walk instead of take a cab or the metro because of the birds. During the day, Paris is just a pigeon's paradise with no sounds in earshot besides traffic and French people - but at dawn the whole town erupts into a symphony of beautiful birdsong . . . I've been to alot of beautiful places but I don't know if any of them were as beautiful as Paris when the birds are singing.

Anyways, my point is that I need a camera with high resolution and twelve times zoom. And that birds taste delicious.

6 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

I have similar memories about Finland. Walking home - the sun had finally set just a couple hours ago and now it was dark enough to see one star. Then, the birds are all aflutter because the sun is coming back up. Their excitement is contageous.

We're lucky with our location because I can bring my binos onto the roof and birdwatch on it. We have cardinals who come and make a beautiful racket and blue jays. There is a bird food buffet next door so there is always someone around. There's a blue heron who likes to hang out at the pond across the street and sometimes he'll fly by when I'm on the roof. One time he settled on the neighbour's roof. Ottawa is great for some things. THanks for reminding me.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Ottawa is nice for that, I remember.

Aren't herons lovely? They're like pterodactyls when they fly, like something so primordial and powerful. I wonder what they taste like.

Anonimo ha detto...

You're horrible! How could you imagine eating something so beautiful!

There is something - maybe it's that they're primordial - special about herons. I've seen so many in Northern Ontario and Ottawa but they still have an effect on me. I love to watch them fish. They're a predatorial statue waiting until the right moment when they have lured the fish into a false sense of safety and then out of nowhere their long beaks pierce the water.

Melbine ha detto...

You're right - I didn't know this about you! You should see the little mecca for birds my backyard is. Not because of me, but all my neighbours like to feed them. Plus we have all that undeveloped land behind us so it's a quasi-natural environment for them...

A 12x zoom digital camera - that IS a lot of dough!

Anonimo ha detto...

you could probably have a bird-feeder on your roof/balcony thing, Spliffy. but then you'd probably get lots of pigeons. but you'd probably also get a couple cool birdies.

and i'm sure there are tons of pretty flying things that hang out in High Park. i haven't been there in FAR too long.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Just ignore me, Sugar, I'm being a doofus. Besides, as you say they're beautiful statues - probably wouldn't taste of much.

I found one for about $400, Mel, less if I buy it in the States. We'll see. I might wait until after Christmas and look for the sales - failing that I might wait until I leave the country to dodge the sales tax.

High Park'd be lovely about now, I reckon. If this sun lasts we should go this weekend.