Scarlet Surprises

So the other day while walking in the woods my eye was captured by a flash of scarlet on my left in the maple grove. Turning toward it, I was treated to the sight of two scarlet tanagers perched near one another.

At first, I thought they might be visitations from the other side — maybe Pat and Martha, friends who had died in the past several months. But for some reason, that didn’t quite resonate for me. I looked up scarlet tanager when I got back to the house, to see what the world of totems and portents had to say about these beautiful birds. Turns out it wasn’t much.

Tanager — (A species of songbirds of the southern forests consisting of over 240 varieties which often cross over into other species.) Traveling by night and catching meals on the fly. Riparian entertainment of a beautiful male song. A convoluted family tree.

Blue-Grey Tanager (Blue Jean) — Restless, noisy and twittering away life.
Hepatic Tanager — One who no longer associates with their family or group. Now considered,more related,to the cardinal family.
Scarlet Tanager — A harsh message must be heard
Summer Tanager — (The only entirely red bird in North America.) Add color to your life and remember that everything you do is of importance.
Western Tanager (Coffee Bird) — Maintain a secure,,food-filled home and the coffee tastes better too.
Yellow-Winged Tanager — Listen to a higher calling

The harsh message portent didn’t really resonate for me, either, unless it was telling me to consider the stream of noxious stories coming from various levels of government these days. Hmmm, did I need to pick just one message from the gushing firehose of harshness?

It’s several days later now, and I never came to a conclusion about the two tanagers. There have been a couple of other sightings in the days since, but not by me. My favorite theory, since these two were both males, is that it was a brief, unplanned and unpublicized visit to a key primary state by my favorite couple in the Democratic race — Pete and Chasten.

That’s my story for now, and I’m sticking to it. (And in the meantime, if you’ve got any ideas, please let me know…)

Happy Friday, folks!
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6 Responses to Scarlet Surprises

  1. Pingback: Lady Slipper Spring | JordanCornblog

  2. Katie says:

    True story: I just googled images of tanagers and I swear to God, I saw one today in our backyard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is awesome, Katie! They’re pretty much impossible to miss – SO bright and SO scarlet. I was in awe. Haven’t seen them again, and will probably hurt myself…walking along with my eyes in the treetops!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nyeanh says:

    Red Bird Explains Himself

    Yes, I was the brilliance floating over the snow
    and I was the song in the summer leaves, but this was
    only the first trick
    I had hold of among my other mythologies,
    for I also knew obedience: bring sticks to the nest,
    food to the young, kisses to my bride.

    But don’t stop there, stay with me: listen.

    If I was the song that entered your heart
    then I was the music of your heart, that you wanted and needed,
    and thus wilderness bloomed that, with all its
    followers: gardeners, lovers, people who weep
    for the death of rivers.

    And this was my true task, to be the
    music of the body. Do you understand? for truly the body needs
    a song, a spirit, a soul. And no less, to make this work,
    the soul has need of a body,
    and I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable
    beauty of heaven
    where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes,
    and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart..
    –Mary Oliver


    • Wow, Alice – this is definitely the answer! It’s not a poem of hers that I know, and I LOVE it. Thank you SO much! (I’m heading to NY tomorrow and will say hi to Hoosick on the way through…) Thanks again for sharing this…


      • nyeanh says:

        It’s an especially beautiful time of year for your drive. I’m sure there will be more red birds, too. Mary Oliver’s poem connected so well with your essay, I couldn’t resist sharing it. So glad you liked it. See you when you return. Enjoy your getaway!

        Liked by 1 person

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