Telling a simple story…Finding joy in the simple things in life…Birdie…

This adorable pair of Northern Cardinals visits us several times each day. He’s sharing the nuts with her that we leave on the railing. How sweet is this!

Our lives aren’t always about the vast experiences we’ve somehow managed to include in our travels. It’s not always about exciting adventures, risky situations, or new and unusual challenges.

Taking photos of lions in the wild only 10 feet from our vehicle, snakes on the veranda, giraffes in our yard, the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden near Oman, or a scary trek down to Queen’s Bath all play a role in defining only a part of our years-long “journey to everywhere.”

As we reflect on past experiences we often find ourselves giggling or even becoming misty-eyed over the small things that have crossed our paths during these past almost 30 months.

Our multiple times daily visitors, a Northern Cardinal and his mate. He’s the one that makes so much noise attempting to gain our attention. At times, he calls for her to come to share in the treats.

Today, we share a tiny ongoing experience here in Kauai that makes us laugh every single day, an experience we’ll look back upon in years to come as a treasured experience, a simple experience, that warms our hearts.

It’s about a bird. Actually, it’s about four birds, two pairs, male and female, that we’ve come to know. Actually, they’ve come to know us following us as we open the blinds for the day, looking in the windows to see what we’re doing and if we’re moving about. 

If we sleep in and don’t open the blinds until 7:30 or as early as 6:30 am, within minutes this male Northern Cardinal is there chirping at us with such vigor that we can’t help but laugh.  He’s asking for nuts. He’s learned, as have the pair of Red-Crested Cardinals, male and female, who follow suit in their persistence in the fact that we have nuts.

She’s quite adorable even with her dirty face from eating walnuts.

Oh, our nuts aren’t those boring grocery store bought bird seed. They consist of hand-chopped organic unsalted walnuts. Nothing but the best for these four birds that visit us several times each day.

With little originality, we call him “Birdie.” Then again, with even less originality, we call all of them “Birdie.” The magic of this is that when I call out to the trees beyond our lanai in my usual goofy high pitched talk-to-animals-voice, “Birdies,” they come. Oh, not all four of them at once. The two breeds don’t get along.

The same breed pairs get along quite well, often sharing with one another as shown in today’s main photo. It’s not often all four of them visit at once instead one or two of each breed stop by at a time, more often the males.

This is the male Red Crested Cardinal (previously posted photo) that I taught to feed from my hand. It took a while for him to feel safe enough to step onto my hand. I’d love to be able to share a photo of him standing on my hand but Tom’s photo-taking skills make it difficult for him to capture the moment.  (Sorry, Honey).

The best part of all is the male Northern Cardinal, “Birdie” who’s our first visitor in the morning and the last visitor before the sun finally sets. I’ve tried to make a video of his persistent chirping at us. It’s not easy to capture through the glass or the screen. He stops when I open the door.  I’ll continue to try. 

He’s determined to gain our attention by singing the likes of which neither of us has ever heard. As we approach the window, he gets louder, making certain we don’t miss his requests for those tiny bits of nuts.

The two breeds don’t get along so well.

Northern Cardinals are known to be shy seldom getting close to people. I can’t get him to eat from my hand. One of the Red-Crested Cardinals, the larger male, will eat from my hand each time I offer. The other three are more tentative.

He’s so cute. And, he sings like nobody knows!

Ms. Northern Cardinal often joins him. At times, when he’s here alone, we detect a specific call to her that there’s food. Moments later, she alights on the lanai railing to join the party.

The Red-Crested Cardinals, although, less persistent sing quite the tune attempting to gain our attention. The males wait patiently when we open the door. The females may fly to a nearby tree to wait until we leave the lanai after placing the nuts on the lanai railing.

The big challenge is keeping the pigeons away. They scare off the Cardinals by pecking at them to leave. Tom’s become masterful at making a sound that sends them on their way. Oddly, when he makes that sound, the Cardinals stay on the lanai knowing Tom’s noises aren’t directed at them. 

Mr. & Ms. Birdie.  Excuse the blur. It’s challenging to get a photo with both of them through the glass.  He’ll stay on the railing if I open the door but she flies off. 

In a funny way, we’ve come to think they know that we’re sending the pigeons away specifically for them to enjoy our offerings to avoid the pigeons taking over. As we’ve observed these four birds and a few others on occasion, we come to realize that birds are a lot smarter than we may ever have suspected.

Bird lovers and owners of household pet birds have no doubt as to the intellect of birds and how they may be taught to respond to our often persistent desire to somehow communicate with them. 

Birdie, contemplating his day.

In essence, we find ourselves cherishing the opportunity to observe and occasionally communicate with nature, whether it’s a Northern Cardinal, a zebra, a warthog, or an albatross. 

It’s all a part of this glorious life we’ve all been given that provides us with the opportunity to treasure other forms of life that surround us, everywhere we go, in one way or another. For this, dear readers, we are grateful and we are in awe.

                                               Photo from one year ago today, April 9, 2014:

This display of shoes bespeaks the colorful flair of displays in the souks of Marrakech, Morocco. One year ago on this date, we prepared for a road trip. For details, please click here.

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