Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cardinal in Winter and Jack Sparrow Breaks Out

A cardinal sits on the branch of a birch tree and fluffs up his feathers against a winter wind. One of my favorite outside birds, the cardinal sings lovely songs and adds a touch of color to the winter landscape.  Cardinals are fascinating to watch at the bird feeder. Despite their delicate voices and lovely appearance, they can be aggressive and in the spring when they are raising young, they are fiercely protective.  We realized just how fierce they could be last winter.  It was long before any birds were even thinking about starting a family when a male cardinal began hovering around the porch, dive bombing whoever came to the door.   Evening visitors began to feel unwelcome, and coming home seemed downright dangerous to us. Eventually we realized that the target was not us, but the wreath hanging on our door. We had left it up after Christmas, thinking it was more of a winter than a holiday wreath.  Two small red birds adorned the greenery and, though they did not look real to us, they fooled the cardinal, at least when the porch light was on.  He did his best to drive them away from his territory.  The wreath was taken down immediately, though we hang it again this year. As of this writing, it has not yet been attacked.

Jack Sparrow Goes AWOL

Speaking of birds, we have several inside the house also. Last week during an ice storm, Jack Sparrow, one of our cockatiel birds decided he had enough of his cage and walked out.  He is a very clever bird and breaks out occasionally, but he really loves his home and his wife, Canola, so he never ventures very far. Usually we find him hanging on his cage and screaming to get back in, because it is much easier to break out than to break back in.  On this day we found him among the houseplants, staring out the iced window as if to ask, "What happened to my beautiful view?"  He always makes us chase him a little - it is a fun game - until he decides it is time to go home. Then he just stands still and lets someone catch him. If he is home, Larry does the catching.

Cardinal in Winter is an 8 x 10 acrylic on stretched, wrapped canvas. It has been listed on Art Helping Animals and Daily Painters. It will also be on Chisholm Trail Art.


Graceful Moments said...

I love your beautiful painting of the cardinal. I have tried to paint cardinals and for some reason they never look true. Your's is so amazing! I have a lovely cardinal that has been coming to the birdbath in my container garden. He is so brilliant against the gray background!
What a fun story about Jack Sparrow. I have been thinking of getting a bird. I wanted another dog to keep Ellie company but John asks, "please no!" So maybe a lively bird would keep her company.
Thanks so much for visiting me and leaving that lovely comment. You are the best! I am always inspired by you and so glad that you were blessed by my post. God bless you.
Love, Vicki

Doowmée said...

What a nice story though a bit scary: lol: I had the same problem with a rooster. One day in a barn, I started to imitate the crowing of the cock, what I do to perfection, given what happened. I saw tumble down the yard, Mr. Rooster in firecracker, which was seeking its rival. The thinking behind me, spun it around my legs, and left empty handed and furious.
Baffled by what had happened, I reiterated my song, and again on his hind legs, the flamboyant animal, threw his anger towards me, but no opponent could not find his size.
To my knowledge, we have no cardinals in France, but what a beautiful bird and what a beautiful artistic representation, thou hast done.
PS Can you tell me if my texts are understandable ...

dellartist said...

Thanks, Vicki. You are an inspiration to me also.
Thank you also Doowmee. Your texts are perfectly understandable and delightful to read as well.