Birds from Walden Goldfinch

Goldfinch

The goldfinch is one of the brightest most colourful birds that frequent the gardens and bird feeders around Walden. ‘Finch’s’ are seen throughout the summer in the northeast. 

These miniature birds are yellow with black markings (almost like a miniature yellow oriole). Sometimes they are green and look as if they are wet even though they are not. 

They travel in packs and will most often be seen flocking a feeder together in numbers of four or five at a time. 

If there is safety in numbers there is also beauty in numbers as a group of goldfinch’s together will radiate remarkable sharpness and vivid deep detail. These little birds tend to stick together because in their world there truly is safety in numbers.

If you are really fortunate you may witness blue finch’s. The same small bird but blue. the blue finch is another wonderous sight to behold.

As far as flying they are not the best. They go forth in 10-20 foot spurts and then drop a bit before pushing on again in what looks like an elevated struggle to travel further. The distance is covered in sections instead of a smooth sail like the red-winged blackbird or the soft glide of a grackle.

Personally and selfishly these are one of the most delightful birds to watch.  Their bright yellow colour is only made sharper by the black cardinal-like mask over their face which aides in protecting their eyes from the sun that shines as bright as the Goldfinch itself. 

Birds from Walden Canada Geese

Canada geese

As I sat staring at the water in deep thought I heard a noise from far away getting closer. It was the unmistakable honking of a pair of Canada geese flying directly towards the pond in anticipation of a late afternoon swim.

Canada Geese are graceful for their size and when they arrive, they come in like flying ninjas. Originally appearing as if they will land on the ground feet first, but alas they opt for the water.

They immediately look like they were swimming in the pond for hours already.

They can be seen careening their necks back and forth in order to move in the water. After some time the geese eventually step out of the water to dry off in the sun as they walk over to the lily pads searching for frogs.

Awestruck by this treasure provided by nature, I noticed the bird staring back at me and not moving for 30 minutes and then it went in the water again.

After the staring contest the geese swam around for a bit longer and then it was time.

More squawking meant they were calling radio control in the form of the red-winged blackbird to announce take off. 

After being cleared by the control tower to the west , the 2 geese squawked louder and faster. They positioned themselves at the far eastern edge of the pond.

They started flapping their wings faster and got even louder before eventually becoming airborne and barely clearing the tree line as they flew towards the setting sun. And like that they were gone until the next time.

Geese are the closest thing to a jet plane that we find in the Animal kingdom. The 747 jumbo jet was most surely modelled after someone watched in amazement, this marvel of engineering.

Birds from Walden – Oriole –

Oriole’s are a type of blackbird. Waiting until spring is in full bloom to make their entrance they are exquisite in their sharp orange color which similarly to the red cardinal, stands out beautifully, highlighting any green backdrop of trees, bushes and shrubs.

The Oriole is a unique bird with beautiful popping colors so bright that there is a radiant glow in the landscape when they inject their presence.

Found nesting in the canopy of a tree, these birds prefer the higher elevation for protecting their young.   Sometimes they build their nest low, only a couple of feet off the ground in shrubs, long grass or bulrushes.

Orioles are a beautiful mix of orange and black. The most common in the northeast is the Baltimore oriole, however, there are other types including –the orchard oriole and the spot breasted oriole.

Oriole’s can bend their tale inward and hang of the side of the feeder. This is a brilliant display of the way birds can manipulate their bodies to experience dimensions that humans could only dream of .

An interesting observation made after spending significant time watching the hummingbird feeder is that Oriole’s seem to be the only other bird around Walden pond that fly in for the sweet nectary taste of sugar water.

Sitting above the plastic flower pedals of the red feeder, Oriole’s can be seen careening their neck down and around into the fake yellow pollen pedals to take a good long drink.

Where one is found there are usually more around. In the early morning they can be heard with one of their signature song patterns; a high,low,high, whistle that is unmistakable.

Some birds run into glass windows or doors thinking that it is an opening, the oriole seems to do this more than most birds except for the red-winged black bird.

Birds from Walden HummingBird

Hummin bird

 The hummingbird is a special sight to behold. This miniature, magical, majestic bird comes in many colours and sizes. It can be seen flapping its wings so fast that it appears to be floating on the spot.

This little creature is a marvel of physics and biology.

It is the only bird in the garden that can fly backwards which only add’s in making it a true joy and delight to watch. A pretty remarkable trait and in a sense, an animal super power

There is a tiny green hummingbird that frequents the feeder around Walden pond. It is so small that it can sit on the edge of the feeder and drink the sugary “nectar” without the humming sound of energy buzzing in the background.

Most of the hummingbirds around Walden have beaks the same length as their body,

 Attracted by a simple mix of 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, ‘real’ plants or flowers are not actually needed to attract this beautiful bird.

Although this type of bird comes in many sizes and colors it is always unmistakable with its long beak used for getting right inside the feeder to inhale a long drink. Even with eyes closed they make an unmistakable noise.

The hummingbird feeder is pleasant to watch in the late spring and early summer. It offers a superb spectacle for children and adults alike, bridging biology and nature in lessons that simply can not be taught in a school setting.

The design of such feeders, along with the hummingbirds beak, make it so that other birds can not get the nectar because their mouths are not long enough to take a drink of the sugar water. 

There is however one other bird that fondly frequents the feeder, The Outstanding Orange Oriole.

Birds From Walden – Robin

The red-breasted American Robin represents the official start of spring and of new beginnings.

 The Robin is a powerful symbol of parenting and hard work in the bird kingdom. Its values are as firm as its boundaries. Visibly willing to sacrifice itself for its young by distracting anything bigger that comes near its babies, it shares this innate, altruistic trait with humans.

The Robin shows how to care for its young by regurgitating its food and putting it directly into the throats of the babies in the nest. The babies are too helpless to feed themselves and rely on the adults of the tribe for food and shelter, another shared human trait.

Upon breaking out of the egg, the baby is extremely weak and tired. They can often be heard chirping for food.  Their bodies are so fragile that their eyes are barely open. Even though they are unable to fully open their eyes, they innately know that they need to stick their neck straight up and open their mouths to receive a meal from their parents.

The mommy and daddy birds spend their days hunting for worms and foraging the forest to support their young.

Shelter comes from relentless work and Robins will spend their days finding hay or dead grass to weave and wrap tightly into a perfect nest. The nest is hidden as best as possible. Nests can be found in trees, on top of wood fences, anywhere that they will be semi-protected by the elements.

The Robin will only stay in the nest long enough to lay the eggs and keep them warm for a while. The signature eggs are so unmistakable that Crayola has named a crayon after them, Robin’s egg blue.

Once the babies are hatched the adult bird will stay away from the nest, not too far away, but not so close that predators can easily spot the babies inside.

After a couple of days, the robins are ready to leave the nest. They do not travel far though; they first need to practice flying. In the days following their initial departure from the nest, the babies can be seen flying short distances at heights that are close to the ground.

While the adolescent birds are learning to fly, the parents can be seen close by. Happy with their role in the reproduction process. I have been fortunate enough to witness these beautiful button-eyed birds begin to share the joy of nature with the youngest and newest tribe members. 

These birds can often be seen looking like stealth ninjas fluttering towards each other. As one bird moves in for the attack, the other jumps upwards a couple of feet off the ground maneuvering remarkably before torpedoing downward on 45-degree angles.  From my observation it is unclear whether this is a pattern of mating, playing or fighting. My guess is that it is a game.

The song the Robin sings to the other birds and other robins, in particular, is original in its own right.

This bird signifies renewal and is one of the first of the spring.

By May the Robin can be seen aerating lawns around North America while digging for worms.

If you see a nest, you may get close up and view the beautiful blue eggs but please do not touch them or momma will be mad.

*New Series* Birds from Walden Red-winged Blackbird

“The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not come within the scope of my science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation.” -Henry David Thoreau-

When I moved to Walden pond there were many unknown’s to discover, both inside and out.

One of these unknown discoveries is the many different birds that live so intentionally and peaceful in a harmony, rarely seen in man.

I have arranged some of the most intriguing birds into a series of articles that will appear weekly for your enjoyment.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” -Henry David Thoreau-

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Red winged blackbird

The red-winged Blackbird represents re-birth and renewal. After a long winter in the Northeast, this beautiful bird is one of the first that we see softly, sweetly, singing songs of spring.

One of the songs is a whistle. A mating call that is accompanied by symmetrical body movement. The dance consists of stretching out large and circular like the sun.

As the deep cooing call comes, the red-winged blackbird spreads his wings in full display, appearing twice as large and more appealing to potential mates.

At first glance, it looks like almost any other blackbird just with a bright red stripe sitting above a yellow stripe, on the shoulder of the wings.

Once the mating song has been sung, the bird opens its feathers to show its prowess, displaying the fullness of its wingspan and deep colours.    

 This beautiful blackbird spends most of his day flying back and forth from tree to tree, opting to sit atop the crowd wherever it lands.

This stunning and graceful creature directs the traffic of all the other birds around Walden pond with his unmistakable whistling voice.

At times acting as a radio control tower, the bird can be heard clearing the runway so that Canada geese can take off like jumbo jets after their swim.

It also acts as a defender of all nests and will help the other birds in the forest by distracting anyone who gets to close to said nests.

This bird is a leader among birds. One who takes pride in the tribe protector role and it shows through the harmony that is seen in abundance around Walden pond.

There is one particular red-winged blackbird that I have come to adore for its whimsy and innovative nature. On the comical side, the bird keeps flying into the window at the front of the house.

It will start on the ledge and try to fly upwards, attacking the two fake bird decals that are affixed to the window.

The fake birds are there to prevent real birds from crashing into the window and this seems to be a counterintuitive approach when it comes to the red-winged blackbird.

This beautiful bird will repeatedly smash into and then fall back down the face of the window in a feeble and funny effort.

The innovation aspect the bird shows is in morse code. How many humans know morse code? Exactly!

The bird can be seen perched on the metal antenna attached to the outside of the home. Intentionally, the bird starts pecking his message into the metal frame and over the ether, communicating with other birds.

At first, it seemed unfathomable but after continued observation it was unmistakable. A message would get sent and from another antenna 500 ft away, a return message would arrive seconds later.

Back and forth these messages would continue. I do not know morse code so it is unclear what the birds were communicating but they were clearly speaking back and forth through the rattling of metal.

The first time I thought it must be an echo however, the pecking patterns perceived were different from each other in both length and speed.

In the early evening with the sun at its back, the bird will sail smoothly towards the feeder and the effect is the colourful yellow and red wings appear as a solid orange.

At other times the bird can be seen exiting a tree and diving down to the cattails at the edge of the pond, bracing onto a long stock as it bends but does not break. The bird will almost touch the water before bending back the opposite way and then it will sit still soaking up the sun.

The red-winged blackbird is the initial start to spring around Walden and next comes the Robin, the official bird of Spring everywhere.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “Z”

Z is for Zygote

“A zygote is a gamete’s way of producing more gamete’s. This may be the purpose of the universe”

Robert A. Heinlein

The dictionary defines a zygote as “An egg that has been fertilized by sperm”

This is a natural biological process in humans and animals and is the initial stage to reproducing .

It is in essence life itself , the first manifestations of a soul’s entrance into the human experience.

The Dali Lama the explains the intended objective of a zygote beautifully when talking about how suffering can create joy.

After exploding on the scene through the birth canal, we see how suffering can very quickly be turned to joy.

A child is born and another point of attention connects to the rest of the universe. 

Some children will remain lighter and vibrate higher throughout their lives. Unfortunately due to the conditioning received and chemicals, foods, water, and other external forces in the public sphere, the overwhelming majority of the people on our planet have been so conditioned out of their natural state that they are more dense and their waves are vibrating incoherently.

What is needed is a return to Abundance of health , Benevolence of being and a call to Creation. A return to quiet time and time to go within. A return to healthy grown fruits and vegetables and clean and pure drinking water.

All of this will allow the zygotes vibrate higher from the beginning.

There is no irony in the fact that at the end of Alphabet soup for the soul ,we are starting back at the beginning. it is intentional. it shows the cyclical nature of all things.

The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and, the end!

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I want to thank you for taking this journey with me through Alphabet soup for the soul.

I will be launching a new series for your enjoyment next week called Birds from Walden.

Below is the link for the first series that I posted on Words from Walden.

12 steps to a spiritual awakening

Other articles that may be of interest;

How do I find my purpose?

Becoming Limitless

Cloud Cover

Alphabet soup for the soul (FULL)

Thank you again!

Alphabet soup for the soul – “Y”

“Believe you can and your halfway there”

-Theodore Roosevelt-

Y is for You

You have everything you need inside you already.

You have energy and light and electricity coursing through your veins so you have access to higher dimensions and realms that can not be measured by science.

You are electric, your thoughts are liquid.

You are a wave of light and energy.

You are a radio and every single moment, you are transmitting your vibration across the universe. A big part of the vibration signal you send out is based on what you feel as a body and what you think as a mind. And, therein lies the problem.

As the French philosopher , Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said;

“We are not Human beings having a spiritual experience;

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Those who are spiritual will understand this while

Those who are not, suffer under an affliction of their own mind and also their bodies.

You have all the tools and if there is any doubt about that, just read through the Alphabet soup for the soul starting at A is for abundance . You will quickly remember that everything you need is inside of you already.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “X”

X is for -” X marks the spot

“If ‘X’ marks the spot of the destination of our life journey, then ‘Y’ should be the reason we’re choosing to go”

– Cedric Crawford-

The phrase ‘X marks the spot’ has a couple of different attributions. One version is that old pirates would bury their treasure and the way they would remember where it was, was by placing an X on a map close to a landmark that they sought out as the burial site.

Another version is that it was used by the British army. When performing executions, A soldier would mark a piece of paper with an x and positioning it on the heart of someone sentenced to death.

Somewhere along the line we became less barbaric in the approach to this phrase.

For the purposes of this article you are X and X marks the spot where you are standing at any time or point in the world. You are at the centre of your own world at all times.

This means that you are the center point of your own reality. Everything you come in contact with on a daily basis is a message for you and you alone.

The guy you pass on the street at a certain time everyday, he has a message for you.

The lyrics to a song that stir up feelings inside you, pay attention to that message.

The bird that lands beside you in the park or the cat that crosses your path. The email you get or the book you read. All of these are messages for you in your world.

Other people are receiving their own different messages. There is magic in song, scenery and surroundings.

Sometimes we don’t even know what the message is until a future time and date. Have you ever experienced this? Something happens and you instantly recall a song or a book you read in the past. The reason you realise right away is that it was meant for you.

This happens sometimes without our knowing. Maybe you wanted to run first thing in the morning but when you woke up your foot was sore. instead you decide to run later in the day and on that run you happen across something that you would not have otherwise seen. that is also a part of the magic.

Do you believe in something you cant see but you know is there? Just like a WIFI signal that we know is there because our phone is working yet we cant see it, God is the magic and is there at all times. Unlike the WIFI signal she doesn’t ever cut out on us.

You are the X and the map is your imagination. So, start with right now, , where you are and with whatever you have.

Alphabet soup for the soul – “W”

W is for Work

“I learned the value of hard work by working hard”  

Margret Mead

If you do the work , you will reap the rewards. And, if you do what you love it will not feel like work (most of the time).

 Working hard is not about money or fame but rather about being the best version of you that you can be for your level of consciousness at any given time.

The goal is to evolve, but personal evolution does not simply happen by creating your future from a closed trans-like state of becoming nobody and no-thing, in no time, from no place and nowhere. There is another step that is essential.

After you create your future from that meditative state , that spiritual dimension , you must re-enter the physical body and play in the 3D world of physical form.

The trick is trying to stay conscious without repeating the negative thought loops, patterns and unconscious behaviours, that are hardwired inside each of us. Neural networks that have been laid down over a lifetime.

We must ask the question, What can I do so that i don’t fall from grace today?  And, If I do fall from grace , How can I shorten the refractory period ?

 Have you ever been upset about something you have said or done and then hours, even, days later you are still upset about the same thing? 

This is where you must forgive yourself and move forward in an effort to become lighter and vibrate higher. This is where we realise we are human. We get up and dust ourselves off and return to doing the work.

As long as we just keep working and taking action in the direction of our goals and dreams then the prize is inevitable.