Recognise this guy? Yep. It is the little White-throated Sparrow that has become the iconic face of World Bird Wednesday. It was October 30th, 2010. Joe "the bird whistler" Paquette and I had left the Motor City that morning for a weekend of guitar playing and photography with my brand spanking new Canon T2i Dslr Camera. Joe's talent, among others, is his ability to call in birds with weird whistles and clattering noises. The strange and unusual forest creatures I seldom see show up unaccountably when he is around. There is that aura about him.
I was still lugging in my fire gear from the car when Joe called for me to hurry up and come to the back yard. I was kind of tired and did not wished to be hustled after a night of firefighting and the two hour drive back home. "Wait!"
When I gathered myself and got out there to see what was troubling him, he pointed to this feathery confection, an ounce of wild life that would change the course of my Wednesdays forever.
I bolted for the camera, a million thoughts tumbling through my mind. The Dslr was still foreign to me as I had barely a thousand blurry shots under my belt. I didn't trust the damn thing to take a good picture with me operating it. What lens should I use? What setting? Was the battery charged? Would the sparrow still be there?
The bird had not moved much and was busy gobbling down a hornet. It began to occur to us that something was wrong. No bird, even a juvenile, would tolerate the close, ponderous presence of a couple of large men. Our bird could not fly.
I trusted the camera and began to take pictures in the Program mode, the inboard electronics making the important decisions concerning shutter speed, and f-stop. A wise choice in those days. The object of our attention began to hop around, agitated at it's predicament, and fell into a four foot deep, wood framed ditch that was dug out to accommodate the large egress windows my basement is fitted with. We couldn't let him stay trapped there so Joe went into rescue mode and fished him out. It was time to leave the bird alone, all this photography was not helping his prospects. The next morning Joe happened upon our little sparrow laying underneath a blue spruce, it's spirit having passed from this world and so it's body rests, buried there 'till this day.Matthew10:29 goes something like this:"Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."
This verse has stuck to me with some essential truth that I could not quite grasp. It struck me one day that in order for this to be true, everything; rocks, clouds, air, and even the very soil we tread upon, must be conscious and enlivened in some way. Thus, when the insignificant sparrow falls, the Earth receives it knowingly. I felt the tingle that accompanies true epiphanies.
Frank Zappa asked the musical question to the lilting Philosopher,"Who you jiving with that cosmic debris?"
It is a good thing philosophy and religion can not be fact checked, it would ruin their usefulness!
Just a couple weeks after this encounter I took the plunge and started World Bird Wednesday as an extension of my four month old blog, The Pine River Review. How could a year have passed already?
Back in those lonely days I took inspiration from and patterned my own unremarkable efforts after three exceptional blogs.
Me, Boomer, and the Vermilon River was a model of steadfastness. Gary never wavers in his efforts to chronicle the natural world in his niche of Northern Ontario and shows that if you make the effort to get out, nature will reveal herself endlessly.
Hilke's One Jackdaw Birding set a level for insight and native knowledge of bird life that is welcoming and enthusiastic. To me, her seal of approval meant my efforts were gaining credibility.
Lastly, Owen's Magic Lantern Show illuminated a path of possibilities for me, that a combination of brilliant photography along with personal, eclectic, and amusing writing like his, could raise the level of simple journal blogging into a powerful art form. Heady stuff!
World Bird Wednesday, such as it is, owes much to these influences. Today, a year later, this list has grown immensely as I have learned, laughed and been jaw dropped by a hundred different approaches to this pastime we share. It is wonderful to behold the light of so many kindred spirits!
To this date WBW has been shared in 122 countries, that amazes me. It is a tribute to the fine bloggers who participate with their blissful posts for our enjoyment and especially to those who leave their comments of encouragement to further those efforts. The currency of praise can not be inflated to highly!
Light a candle, lift a toast, because...
This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in--just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!
World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.
#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/
#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.
#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!
The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!
Come on it's your turn!