The Cardinal



heard before seen
vermillion flashing
heartbreak extreme
false sky then crashing
limp but still warm
with blue milky eyes
spirit, transform
return to the skies



  1. What happened do you soon as I saw the eyes I realised it was dead ... maybe it was old and sick, I guess one will never know, very sad, such beauty, even in death.

    Koby is looking with curiosity.

    xoxo ♡

  2. dianne: no. it flew into the window of my new studio. and so it is christened with the death of a bird i was so excited to have visiting. It is a juvenile female. and i am sick about it.
    thanks for the hugs.

  3. That's a big cardinal, and very red. We had a pair of bluejays at our birdfeeder this morning. Nasty birds but very pretty.

    I work in a multistory building with tinted glass windows and this time of year I hear the birds crashing into them all the time. Most are stunned and then shake it off, but every now and then, one dies. Last year a bird died and landed about 2 feet from the outside ashtray in the smoker's area. You know that bird layed there for days until bugs and animals finally tore it up. All the while dozens of people just smoked while standing around it. I'm not sure what that says about society.

  4. Koby looks sad. Nice poem!

    Boudreaux at TTR.

  5. I really like cardinals. Wonderful plumage and calls. This makes me sad.

    Try these tips to prevent bird strikes.

  6. Your pup has expressive eyebrows just like moose! It's my favorite when they do. The pups are also invited to the wedding :) They can hang out with Moose when we put him at the house during the reception :)

  7. we get
    one or two
    here each year
    it's always sad to see

    i can't help it -- your photo makes me think, "a cardinal, a bishop, and a priest go into a bar..." -- sorry

    × × ×


  8. Well that just sucks. I love cardinals. Very distinctive song. They just make me smile when I see them.


  9. ((hugs)) Sorry sweetie.

  10. It is likely the bird had some vision/orientation dysfunction or it would not have flown into the studio. Perhaps this special bird was blessed at it's last breath by St Francis to land where respect would be granted via action and poetry.

    Beautiful dogs!

  11. Oh, so sad. I've had this problem before and studied up on it. The trick is not washing your windows. There are other tricks, but none as easy and free, too. Some people go for screen. Others chickenwire, but not washing the glass inside or out really works.

    Your poetry is tragic and exquisite.

  12. :-(

    What a beautiful color. One not matched by anything man-made. So vibrant.

    Your studio is in a flight path of birds? Oh no.

    I'm sorry this happened.

    (I love seeing the dogs together.)

  13. We don't have cardinals as visitors so I've never seen one. But we have birds that bite it all the time, flying into our windows, and I hate it. Once, one hit so hard, it left a perfect wing-spread imprint of itself, feather detail rendered minutely, in the film of dust on the bathroom window. For some reason, I left it there for a long time.

  14. ohhhhh, i'm sorry ..
    i know this upset you.

    hopefully some of the suggested advice will work without you having to compromise on light and view.

  15. I'm so sorry chickory, that is sad, I know that would upset you.

    I have curtains on both my large study and bedroom windows which face the garden at the back, plus insect screens ... this doesn't stop the sulphur crested cockatoos from striking my windows occasionally. When I hear a crash I always go outside to check, one or two have been a little dazed from the experience and have most likely had an awful headache.
    I stay with them to make sure they are ok and until they fly off; thankfully I haven't had any fatalities. xoxoxo ♡

  16. I know people are commenting on how sorry they are.

    Death is inevitable and how beautiful that this bird met his in honoring your new studio.

    I think it is a blessing of the highest order.

  17. so sorry about the wee thing :(

    perhaps she has a sis who will have many chicks...

  18. buzz: very red - but greyish on top so i think a female. i like sassy blue jays. i dont see them as often - they were very susceptible to the bird flu. I saved one from a cat once and it died in my hands. beautiful thing. i always hold onto birds for a while so i can really look at them before i bury them.

    what does it say about society? jaysus that says it ALL.
    i hate glassey office buildings. bird killing structures.

    troll: thanks. koby was mystified by the cardinal.

    xl: thanks for the tips link. it is sad. i loved her and i only knew her for a little while. i used to have the hawk stickers on my old windows, but i just didnt have time to think about this as i am not yet using the studio. i still have insulation and sheet rock to go.

    edith: Koby is a big galoot. clumsy with big plow feet. not ready for prime time!

    /t: i thought about catholic cardinals too...same red. did they name themselves after the bird?

    shamy: yeah, dang. *sniff*

    dani: thank you. i accept.

    fishy: what a lovely thought. lets hope so. i took lots of photos of her and then buried her in a bandana. no doubt she will grace a painting some day.

  19. nina: thank you. that sounds like a good fix...however i think that will eventually bother me. Maybe i will stretch some poultry netting across the window. its not the wire, its plastic and its flexible.

    boxer: thank you so much. i am outside in ATL right now, supervising the hens on some free range. at chickory they are out all day with hardly any worries but here its dangerous. anyway, i was just noting how red their little combs are with the sun shining through.

    moi: you know what? i totally understand leaving the imprint on the honor the loss. no cardinals out there? but you have those little quail dont you? and magpies?

    thanks, aunty. ;-(

    foamy: i cant compromise on light. can. not.

    dianne: you are such a good steward of your garden. lucky the bird that has an accident are a protector.

    su: thank you. thats a comforting thought and i do know death is a natural part of was just i had wanted a cardinal and i finally got one...and then...

    you know, i have far fewer birds at chickory than in the city. i wonder is it because the forest is full of food for them, or because i am so heavily forested. when i put feeders out in the field, the bears tear them down.

    laughing wolf: ha! i hope so!

  20. sad. i recently saw a dead sparrow on one of my walks. i fotografed it. sight of a dead bird always makes my heart sink.

  21. A spider dropped into my morning bath yesterday I scooped her up and out as quickly as possible but her body lay limp, still and wet on the edge of the tub the entire time I was in the bath. I killed her ... or failed to save her. Today I scooped a spider up from the wall that surrounds the tub as I was about to pour my bath. I released her (him?) outside on my bedroom windowsill and carried on with my morning. I was lounging in my lovely land of bubbles and scent when I realized the spider's body from the day before was gone. The spider I had just released outside and into the garden must have been the spider from the day before. The spider I thought was dead, that I felt sure I had, inadvertently, drowned.

    I know, that you know, how very happy this made me. It thrilled me. And I know how sad you felt about this beautiful bird's death. lots of love, xo les Gang

  22. Desmond Susu, only you would bring us the beauty of what has happened, thanks. I am suddenly reminded of how it was I came to find the chest of the Quail is glistening chestnut gold instead of dirt dragged from the ground and the length of the Western Flicker's tongue used to scoop thousands of ants. When they individually hit the glass and broke their necks I ran to find them and was astounded. But their "accidents" always afford the moment to be closer to God and Nature as the bodies are placed lovingly on the highest hill for Vulture nourishment in which the Quail, Flicker, and a number of others pass into the next chapter.
    Thanks for putting it all into its right perspective.
    The worst was seeing a rabbit on a roof, dropped by a juvenile Raptor. I waited all day for a Vulture to claim it and take that Soul back into the system where it belongs.

  23. I'm glad you explained what happened, I thought maybe the dogs got the bird. She may have sacrificed herself as a blessing on the new studio, perhaps she will be immortalized in pure K9/Chickie fashion by being featured in a wonderful new artwork.

  24. I love cardinals and was so happy find we have them here in Florida too. Grew up in Michigan with loads of them, bluejays and robins. But the cardinal would always excite me. When I hear one singing, I try to find where it is and point him out to my Aussie husband. He loves them now too.

    I like XL's suggestions for your windows. I'd be sad too if I felt I had inadvertently caused the death of something I had welcomed. it's easy to say "death is inevitable" until it happens to you or a loved one.

    Why do we get upset about some bugs dying? like a butterfly or dragon fly or lady bug? Yet, can't wait to smash a fly or cockroach?

    I loved your photo shoot.

  25. Did the bird get a proper burial?

  26. Good morning Chickory,

    Nice poem, you honor the Cardinal well. Yet, it's passing is part of nature.

  27. Too bad it wasn't fresh, could have cooked it up for lunch!!

    How'd you keep the dogs from eating your prop?

  28. Just so you know, from what I understand (and read up on)...Female Cardnials do not turn that shade of red, only the males do.
    Female Cardinals are a brownish (almost green color sometimes) with red coloring on the tips of their wings and tail-feathers. . Only the males turn this crimson shade of red.

    This doesn't make the loss less grevious, but this particular bird was not an egg layer.

    The poem was gorgeous and heartbreaking. A smooch to your pooch :) (both of them!)

  29. yes -it was a male. i was thrown off because his back was so dull. i think he might have been young.

  30. So sad that it crashed into your window. Startling photo with the dogs; but very imaginative.


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