Sing Me a Song

A Purple Coneflower flower in the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

A Purple Coneflower flower, July 24, 2014

The sun was just making its way past the tree tops. I was mesmerized by the light reflecting off of the dew drops when he called to me. From high in the branches of a leafless tree, a Northern Cardinal sang the morning song. He straightened up, lifted his head and sang over and over again until he flew away. This was last Thursday, July 24th.

On Friday, July 18th, a Gray Catbird flew from the sign post at the entrance to the Restored Prairie to the grass only 8 feet in front of me. He appeared unfazed by my presence. He fanned his tail feathers, jumped about, sang, found a few insects in the grass, and then flew away.

I had all but given up on trying to photograph the birds. They usually perch too far away or hide in the branches and the leaves of the trees. Their songs fill my days with cheerfulness. I am content to listen.

After walking through the Restored Prairie on Thursday, I went into the woods a little ways. There were blue wildflowers I hadn’t seen before. On the way back to the car, I passed a young songbird tucked away in the branches of a tree.

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Culver's Root flowers in the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

Culver’s Root flowers in the Restored Prairie, July 24, 2014.

Rattlesnake-masters flowers in the Restored Prairie at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

Rattlesnake-masters flowers in the Restored Prairie, July 24, 2014.

Roadside wildflowers at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

Roadside wildflowers, July 24, 2014.

Woodland Sunflowers flowers on the roadside at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

Woodland Sunflowers flowers on the roadside, July 24, 2014.

Tall Bellflowers flowers in the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

Tall Bellflowers flowers in the woods, July 24, 2014.

A young songbird tucked in a tree on the edge of the woods at the Iowa Arboretum, July 24, 2014, "Sing Me a Song."

A young songbird tucked away in a tree on the edge of the woods, July 24, 2014.

I had a different set of photographs selected for this weekend’s post. The birds wanted to be seen, though, so I have given the spot to them.

Take care and thanks for reading.


About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
This entry was posted in Nature, Video Clips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Sing Me a Song

  1. Shady_Grady says:

    That catbird let you get pretty close. πŸ™‚
    I like the bellflowers. My gladioli flowers are finally starting to bloom. I need to find a rod or stick to tie them to so that they don’t fall over.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Shady πŸ™‚

      The catbird was funny πŸ™‚ The birds usually fly away as I approach. I was standing still looking at the flowers on the edge of the prairie. I saw him fly to one of the posts on the sign and turned to take a picture of him there. He immediately flew to the grass right in front of me! Didn’t seem even remotely concerned πŸ™‚ I have heard their song since the spring and I saw one dancing about on the pavement of the driveway outside my apartment. I didn’t know they were catbirds until this one let me get a closer look. They have an interesting song. It isn’t melodic necessarily, but it is easy to pick out. And they do dance. They fan their tail feathers out and then flick them from side to side. πŸ™‚ I have a video feature on my camera and I could have taken a video. I would have to invest more, though, to put videos on this site and I haven’t decided whether that is worthwhile.

      The bellflowers are both pretty and interesting πŸ™‚ I saw a different variety of bellflowers along the road earlier that haven’t made it into a post yet. I have a surplus of photos. This is good because eventually the weather will change and keep me indoors. I was thinking about going out again this morning, but I let the weather forecast discourage me. Looking out the window, it looks really nice. I wish I would have gone. I will go some morning during the week. I hope the bellflowers are still there. The wildflowers usually don’t bloom for that long. I didn’t get a good look at them because it was at the end of the visit and time to go home. I walked into the woods to see if my current bug protection was good enough. Last time I went into the woods, I was besieged by bugs and had to retreat. I have improved my get-up since them. I wear a ball cap and put netting over the cap which has a draw string at the bottom. I put a bandana around my neck and tuck it in. I have a windbreaker, old jeans, thick socks, hiking boots, and gardening gloves. I have to take one of the gloves off to use the buttons on the camera. I spray everything with Dr. Schulze Bug Block and put the Bug Barrier on my hands, face, and ankles. I am sure I look odd πŸ™‚ but it has meant I can enjoy the early mornings and not come home covered in bug bites. I don’t think many people have walked on the paths in the woods recently because there were spider webs crossing the path. The bellflowers were near the beginning of the path. I thought there would be too much shade in the woods now for wildflowers. I am wondering what else might be in there so I will have to go back and look.

      I think gladiolus flowers are really pretty πŸ™‚ They do tend to bend under the weight of the flowers.

  2. Shady_Grady says:

    Catbirds evidently prove the truth of the saying that if the Lord didn’t want you to shake your tailbone he wouldn’t have given you tailfeathers. πŸ™‚

    It was cool that the catbird wasn’t worried by you. Hopefully though, the bird can tell the difference between you and a cat. Because if not it won’t be dancing for very much longer.

    I would like videos if you decide to go that route.

    • Sarah says:

      I was thinking about the shaking of the tail feathers saying when I watched the bird πŸ™‚ It was really funny. I will think about the video option. I have a few short videos I took of the owls, young mallard ducks, and the killdeer songbirds earlier this year. I don’t know why the bird was so trusting. I can’t imagine he mistook me for a tree πŸ™‚

      My Mom said I should take a picture of myself in the get-up. I don’t know about that πŸ™‚ Those shirts look interesting. My windbreaker is bright blue, the ball cap is tan, the bandana is a different shade of blue, the netting is black, the jeans are faded since they are old and the hiking boots are purple, gray, and black. The gardening gloves have a colorful pattern of bright flowers on them. I found them in a local store. They were the ones that fit the best. And I put bright yellow rubber bands around the bottom of the jeans and at the wrist of the jacket. There is nothing tastefully subtle about the get-up. It is more the make-do-with-what-you-can-find sort of thing πŸ™‚ It seems to work, though. I didn’t have any bug bites after the last two times I went out. This is good since they itch like the dickens for days.

      • Shady_Grady says:

        You should take a picture. You make it sound like Paddington Bear after he accidentally had some psychotropic marmalade.. =)

        • Sarah says:

          That’s really funny!! πŸ™‚ Well. Maybe one day when I am out I will try the self-timer on the camera. This morning, I was taking some photos and videos of the barn swallows living in a nest over the exit sign that is just under the landing outside my apartment. They have grown a lot in the last couple of weeks. I think they must be ready to leave the nest. There are four young ones and they are overflowing the nest. Last year, I heard them outside the window when they were learning to fly. Once they can fly, they leave probably for the meadow next door and more space. I went out to take the photos after running and had to come in because I was hungry. I don’t know if today is the day they fly, but I can’t stand out there all day waiting for it. πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: The Monarch and the Clover | A Wildflower's Melody

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