Monday, April 15, 2013

Migrating Winged Ones

In the musical "Mary Poppins" the Bird Woman is an elderly woman who sits on the steps outside St.Paul's cathedral in London. She asks by passers to buy a bag of seeds for a tuppence. She is earning a living, but seems to care for the birds and wants to help them be fed, too.

I have always loved birds. They are beautiful, easy-going, and they can fly. I like flying creatures; fairies, birds, witches. Even the occasional bumble bee catches my attention. They are fun busy bodies who can never sneak up on anyone, as they are noisy when they fly. They love my herbal garden and give the patch a vintage, nostalgic feel.

It's the time of year in Norway when birds return. Migrating birds appear in the sky, forming formations and finding new homes, starting families, and spending the summer in a land with less disease and fewer predators. It's amazing how they fly in formation. Even fighter pilots who train formations for a living are in awe over how migrating geese seem to fly in a perfect V with ease. And how can birds fly from this northern country all the way to the tropics? Amazing, isn't it?

The main reasons for migrating are food and breeding. And this is not a phenomenon in the last days caused by a changing climate. Migrating birds have been recorded for 3000 years. Homer and Aristotle wrote about it, even the prophet Job in the Old Testament.

When my children were little I used to sing them to sleep. Feed the Birds featuring Julie Andrews works beautifully as a goodnight song to calm little ones down. It is about the Bird Woman's love for the winged ones.

I am grateful I don't have to fly miles and miles twice a year. It suits me better to have a home right here at the Duck and Cherry.

Today's water color is called "Coming Home".

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