Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Wingkeeper

That I'm going to write a post without a picture will be very strange. It will be strange for me because I need to show in order to tell. But the fact is, there is no picture. There was only a shadow. I will try my best to tell you about the wingkeeper.

Yesterday was a beautiful, warm, sunny March day right here in the middle of Texas. My gardens and yard were calling to me for much needed grooming. But I just could not seem to get the energy to get started. I really just wanted to sit inside and watch the birds from my chair by the window as I had done all day Friday.

Finally, I put on some work clothes, my garden shoes and gloves and stepped out the back door. That's all it took. The warmth that greeted me was delicious. The first thing I needed to do was leaves. I leave them as long as I can hoping the March winds will carry them away but they mostly just blow and collect in the lower patio. Raking and gathering leaves takes a lot of energy and I take a lot of breaks in my chair swing that is a perfect place to watch the birds feed while I rest.

The red birds perch on the feeder and dine. The chickadees and titmouse land, grab a seed and flit to a branch to feast on the morsel found inside the shell. Then they come back for one more. And again and again. I watched a couple sparrows bully the red birds away. I witnessed male and female red birds courting. And the chickens come and scratch around under the feeder. But yesterday the wingkeeper was in the swing.

I was watching a titmouse flit around the feeder. She did her land and grab several times and then she came to a branch closer to me. I was very aware that she was looking at me. Then she hoped to a closer branch. Then closer. Then she came and lit on the swing chain about 15 inches from my face. She cocked her head from side to side just looking at me. I sat very still and looked at her. Then she fluttered to the back of the swing. Closer. She flew around to the chain on the other side. I turned my head and she cocked her head . We were eyeball to eyeball. And I knew what she wanted. So I sat as still as a cemetery statue and waited. She jumped on my head and began working. I'm sure she thought she had hit the jackpot of nesting material. She worked and worked and tried and tried to pull out my hair. In her frustration she stopped and pecked my head just like a woodpecker. It was all I could do to keep from laughing. But the neatest thing of all was that the sun was to my back and I could see the whole thing in a shadow on my leg. It looked as though she was getting quite a load of gray but when she left she had none. I went in the house and fetched my hair brush and put on the top of the feeder. After a few loads of leaves, I stopped for another break. Sure enough she came back and it all started again. Land and grab. Again and again. Then she spotted the hair brush. she took some of the hair and flitted to the ground. But instead of leaving she came to the swing. This time, she was quicker to jump on. She spent about five minutes each time trying her best to no avail. I wanted so badly to share, being the Wingkeeper and all.


  1. That would take my breath away. I'm so glad you shared this with us. :)

  2. That is so amazing Sharon! I don't know how you kept your composure. The coolest thing I have ever done was hold a hummingbird. It knocked itself out trying to get out of the garage and I picked it up, he came around, sat there for a few seconds then flew off.
    Happy Easter!

  3. What a wonderful story. You must have been absolutely thrilled.


  4. You painted a picture with your words.

  5. I love this story it is so well written. I felt I was there with you as an observer.
    Your posts about the Blue Birds are wonderful, I loved seeing the little eggs and the baby birds.
    My Husband just bought a Eastern Blue Bird box that he will put out tomorrow...we are hoping it is not too late in our area. We saw five Blue Birds at our feeder some time ago...that is when he ordered the box on the internet.

  6. what an amazing experience sharon!!
    a once i a life time story!
    she loved you in an instant ;)) trusting you completely while looking into your eyes!!
    i hope you can catch a picture of her one day sitting waiting only for you near your swing!!

    enjoy the easter weekend!!

  7. OMG! That must have been such a thrilling moment while she pulled and tugged at your hair. Isn't it wonderful that she knew in an instant that she could trust you. You are indeed The Wingkeeper.

  8. What a great story! I guess you're destined to have close encounters with birdies :)

    Thanks for your fan pull suggestion. I wish I had one in the house to take a photo of. Up here in Vancouver it's rarely hot enough to warrant one

  9. OMG!! That is both funny and amazing! Did it hurt?? How sweet to know that maybe some of your hair could be keeping baby birdies warm and safe. This is so lovely.

    You did good Wingkeeper.

    xo Rella

  10. Felt like I was there on the porch with you watching this amazing event.
    Have a wonderful week.
    Sandy :)

  11. and now you have revealed another creative side to are amazing. I didn't need a picture, your words were enough for me to "see" what was happening. thank you for sharing Sharon.

  12. WOW How cool is that! YOU are most certainly a Wingkeeper! Thanks for sharing. When you have a minute stop by my blog for some exciting news! Thanks and Happy Tuesday! {:

  13. Oh, my....what a wonderful post and absolutely did NOT need a picture. Perhaps what you had written down for us to imagine was worth more! I can just imagine what is going to come from this... I can't wait to see!

  14. Oh, Such a wonderful story...I loved it and oh I could just see the shadow of the bird on your head pulling at your hair....
    Lucky Wingkeeper.....

  15. OMG isn't nature amazing? WOW, I just love it!!!!! Thanks so much for seems to put everything in perspective:D

  16. What a lovely story Sharon, imagine the artwork you could produce, 'sisters with birds nests'. Did your little friend leave you any feathers in exchange for hair?

  17. A wonderful read - thanks for the images!

    Your story reminded me of a friend who puts brightly colored ribbons and yarns out for the birds to weave into their nests.

  18. Loved your story about the windkeeper.It was really hilarious. I love nature and birds and animals so really could imagine that happening to me out in the garden.

  19. Sharon, When my son was young, he would sit on the front porch being very still with his hands outstretched, palms up.....patiently he would wait...then hummers would come and sit on his hands. He loved it and so did we, watching from a window. Your story reminded me of that long ago time. And, a happy spring to you! Pat

  20. What a lovely story, your hair must feel soft and comfy, just the right stuff for new babies! You are so lucky to have some nesting close as well, loved the transformation from blue eggs to blue wings!

  21. Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing such a lovely moment/s in your life...makes me stop and think about spending more time in the garden...
    Thanks also for sharing your "sisters" with everyone, I have sisters and it feels too hard for me to make art about it all...but it's started me thinking, it could be healing to do so?...


  22. What a beautiful story! I have just found your site and it is lovely. I love to garden also, and birds, but have not heard of a wingkeeper?!
    Thanks for sharing...Roxanne

  23. Oh Sharon, how wonderful. Creatures have a sence of knowing who loves them. You are one special Wingkeeper. xo connie


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