Thursday, February 17, 2011

Treasure Galore

Black -capped Chickadee


White-breasted Nuthatch

Purple Finches, the new kids on the block, they will only stay a few weeks.




Female Northern Cardinal


Tufted Titmouse


Lucky the Squirrel



A bird was singing when he woke up. He listened to the tune and wasn’t familiar with it. He listened to a short chirp that almost sounded like it said sweet. Then a melodic song rang out. The covers felt really soft today and he brought them up under his chin. This almost gave him the same comfort as when his mother would come and tuck the blankets around him. He dozed a bit and heard the bird again. He wasn’t sure whether to get up and look for it or stay under the soft blankets. He knew if he moved there would not be any chance to resume this comfortable pose. The call sounded again and looking out his window he saw a titmouse, singing it’s tiny heart away. He lay there and tried to imagine where the other one was and drifted back asleep.
A tap of a branch in the wind woke him from his slumber and he decided to get up. There never was any hurry in his life, but his stomach did feel a bit empty. He had worked outdoors all day in the cold, but today seemed a bit warmer. Putting on his boots he went to the door and breathed in the fresh air. Warmer weather was here, at least for a day and he walked outside to take a look. Going out he remembered his treasure he had found earlier and wondered what was in the mysterious cigar box. The birds were all starting a different song and he watched to see who was nearby. A chickadee pair was eating at the grain he had spilled while feeding his horse. The second bird followed a quick swoop down from a branch up high and back to the perch, when they decided it was safe. It didn’t seem like they could hold that much in their tiny beaks, to stay full with all of the flying.

He walked over to a water bucket and was pleased to see it not frozen and cupped his hands to splash off his face. The water was very cold, but he needed to clean up a bit. Washing became a fast pace and a hurry to get a towel inside, carrying his long johns over his arm. The cabin felt warm from the outside and he mopped off his wet body. Looking in the mirror he thought it might be a good time to shave off his beard. This would be a good excuse to go into town. He put on clean clothes and saw his treasure again sitting on the table. Filling up his coffeepot he set it on the stove and stoked a fire underneath. He sat down and opened his cigar box. It had been left behind by the original owners, possibly set off to the side and forgotten. It sat behind a few garden tools he really hadn’t used yet that were forgotten also.

Inside was a small bundle of letters tied together with a few loose ones. Thumbing through the bundle they looked like they were addressed to the same lady. In the loose ones there were some with that same first name but a new last name. It felt funny to look at someone’s mail, but he wasn’t even sure where he or she went to live, just back home. The first one was a letter from a parent asking how the farm looked and what it was like. Looking through the others concern grew over money and staying out in the middle of the prairie without anyone else to talk to. Sincere thoughts asked if help was needed and money was sent, but they wished for them to return to where they had family. The last one was dated two months before he arrived and said they were glad to have hopes in seeing them again. Hope was offered to recover any of the money they had spent. It was a hard life for this couple, neither had really farmed at all. The crops didn’t always work as they should and left them with a lot of problems.

Filling his coffee cup he looked at the first letter in the bundle and saw it was a love letter. He sat up and looked it over, finding some empathy for this young couple’s quest. He sat back after reading it and thought he might ask a few people if they had heard anything from these people. It was obvious to him that these were keepsakes and he put the bundle back in the box. He thought of when he opened his heart up to others through a letter and knew how special they may have been. It was too nice out to stay inside and he packed his art satchel and headed for town, it was a day to get rid of his wispy beard and to remember lost love. His smile was carried along with the calls of the birds on a gentle prairie breeze.
.
..
.
A thought came to me today
Carried from days gone by
Of times spent with others
And especially with you.













21 comments:

  1. The story reminded of me of birds nesting in our mango tree but unfortunately they left the tree after a strong typhoon. They used to chirp every morning and it's like music to my ears and before the sunset they all went back to the tree and find their own places to rest.

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  2. Beautifully written, Steve. The character seems lonely. Love, perhaps, beyond his grasp, at least for the moment.

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  3. I'm getting quite an education from reading blogs of birders. I had to look up the differences between a house finch and a purple finch; and, sure enough, you've captured a purple finch here. I'm not sure I've ever seen one. If I have, I probably thought it was a house finch. Wonderful photos, especially Lucky the squirrel.

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  4. Beautiful photos of the birds and a beautiful story. Thank you.

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  5. Hi Steve, The birds can bring us so much love, can't they? (I'm not sure about the squirrels though... ha ha )

    My birds got mad at me this week since they cleaned out the feeders before we got home from our trip... BUT--they forgave me and came back today!!!! ha

    Have a great Friday.
    Betsy

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  6. Purple Finches! I don't think I've ever seen those. If I have, I might not have realized it. I'll have to keep an I out!

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  7. That was really nicely written. It makes me want to go read love letters! :O Oh, and the photos are GORGEOUS! Makes me want to finally learn some things about photograpgy! :D

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  8. What a great collection of photographs, Steve. I think the birds and Mr. Squirrel are enjoying the warmer weather.

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  9. Beautiful shots. Makes me so ready for spring!

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  10. Great birds at your feeders...we have the purples viist us in winter too--then they take off. Enjoyed the story very much-

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  11. Love these photos! Especially the cardinal and titmouse...Looks like spring won't be far behind!
    Happy weekend to you!
    hughugs

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  12. Gorgeous photos of the birds. I was with my grandson at the bird store the other day, since he wants me to help him write a story about parrots, and I was fascinated and enamoured with the little things. The tiniest birds look almost cuddly.

    Interesting story. I think it would be cool to find such a treasure trove of letters in one's house.

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  13. Hi Steve, I was reading this story while listening to a nuthatch singing outside. My PC is in a back room on the second floor of our home and every morning without fairm, this little nuthatch is on the hedges singing away, but sadly I never hear a response.

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  14. Sweet but lonely story and ever wonderful photos!

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  15. nice selection of birds today. I haven't been seeing much of anything flying in to my front yard lately

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  16. I had a purple finch on my feeder yesterday! I was so excited! they are beauties, aren't they? Great bird photos. I've not yet had a cardinal come to visit. Perhaps some day soon.

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  17. Your pictures contain some of my favorite little critters. And your story is as good to read as always.

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  18. You really take care of the critters in your area, don't you?

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  19. Nice pics- it's hard to catch those little nervous titmice!

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  20. That last poem is so beautiful, Steve.

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  21. Beautiful little birds ans I love the squirrel.
    I saw some in America, two chipmunks, a robin and a few mourning doves. Over here squirrels have not the same color. They are red/brown.
    Have a nice week-end !

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!