Monday, March 2, 2009

My First (and as yet only) AMAZING Bird Story

I have lots of REALLY COOL bird stories and experiences, but I only have one truly AMAZING bird story, and it involves my truly amazing Grandma B. It was in the early 90s and I had taken my mom, dad, and grandma to Sharon Woods for a little birding. My Grandama B, being of the Irish persuasion, was a well-known “lucky lady,” and this was going to be her first birding trip. I remember saying, “if you’re lucky, we will see a Scarlet Tanager because they live here during the summer,” knowing full well they spent most of their time in the canopy and were usually heard but rarely seen. After all, I had been birding there for years and had never seen one, but within 3 seconds of the words leaving my mouth, a Scarlet Tanager flew down and perched on a bush not 3 feet from us at just under eye level. He was there for well over a minute looking at us frozen in our tracks looking at him. Many times I’ve had cool birds light on trees or bushes beside me, and I marvel at their beauty every time, but never a Scarlet Tanager, and never right after I uttered its name. I remember being in total awe, and realizing my grandma had some sort of connection with the big guy, or the big gal, or possibly the big bird, and that being Irish was really a good thing.

...a really quick colored pencil sketch 
of what I remember from that day.

Today would have been grandma’s birthday. Just like me (and Aunt Pat, and Aunt Becky, Aunt Bonnie and Grandpa H), Grandma B was a Pisces, and that always made me feel special. I’m sending this out to The Three Sisters. I’ve gone walking on the trail many times since then, but the Scarlet Tanager has never returned, but every time I reach that spot, I stop and can feel that day and that moment with all of us standing there, amazed, looking at that beautiful bird, and it feels good.


Kallen305 said...

What an awesome story. I believe your grandma did indeed posses some lucky powers!

Happy Birthday to your grandmother and wonderful photo.

Chris said...

HI Kelly,
a wonderful story and I guess a lot of emotion in this day... It looks like this bird is magnificent from your painting.

Shellmo said...

Such a beautiful sketch that brings life to your story! I've only seen the bird once too and it is truly magical. Your grandma had the touch!

Diane said...

Your story is beautiful, Kelly; as is your art work!

Laure Ferlita said...

You have the touch too, you know. You simply have to believe that you have it! After all, your Grandma B's girl!

The next time (in the appropriate season) that you go to the woods, stop before getting out of your vehicle and imagine - with all your senses (how you would get instantly still, and feel the excitement humming through your veins, and hear the breeze, and smell the blooming flowers - that you see the Scarlet Tanager! Don't worry about how, or where or when. Just know with conviction that it is going to happen.

It may take a few tries, but I have not doubt that you can make this happen - you have connections on the "other" side now!

Anonymous said...

Lovely sketch Kelly.
From a fellow Piscean.

The Early Birder said...

Lovely memory linked to a lovely sketch.

Steve B said...


Kelly said...

Kallen...thank you!

Chris...Thank you! He is beautiful, and the sketch didn't scan well, missing out on some of the color. At only 3 feet away, he's spectacular!!

Shelley...Thank you!! She was very fun too...

Diane...Thank you!!

Laure...I don't know if I have the touch, but you're right. I have some of Grandma B in me, so next time there, I'm going to visualize and see what happens. If he appears, I know it will have something to do with grandma...and if he does appear, you can be sure I'll post it!!

Roy...thanks! Yeah for the Pisces! I just dropped by your site today. I loved it and all of your artwork too. I just added it to Red's Favorites.

Early Birder...thank you! It's good to record these memories. It's all part of birding.

Steve.... thanks! :-)

Eve said...

What a wonderful story Kelly! Thanks for sharing it. A beautiful sketch too. Being Irish...and a Pisces, I'm startin to feel right at home here!

Nick S said...

Wonderful story. I have a few like that :-)

Kelly said...

Hi Eve...thanks for stopping by. Yeah for the Pisces! There seems to be a lot of us, and I definitely like being one. I hopped over to your Sunny Side Up blog and fell in love with that woodchuck!! Ack...he's cute...and the Guinea kids were hysterical. Seeing them run in the wind made me fall in love with them too.

Nick...thanks! those stories. That's what makes birding special.