Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No fight zone

As I type this, a brown thrasher, a cardinal and a goldfinch are hanging out together atop the chain link fence in my back yard. I've been watching them for a few minutes now, and they have been perfectly serene companions. Normally, the thrasher would make it his business to chase away any bird within chasing range, but he's just looking at the other two as if he's curious about what they might do. The cardinal seems happily tranquilized, like a guy halfway through his third beer after a long day. The goldfinch is rocking back and forth on the fence. He looks as if he's considering whether to make a comment on the weather.

I don't know if it's the unusual cool snap or some happy alignment of the stars, but for some reason, peace has broken out among the feathered residents here. No more mockingbird wars, no feeder raids--even the hummingbirds are making nice. I like it. I know potential conflict is always lurking in the background, as in Hicks' painting (click the image to enlarge it), but even a brief season of harmony is beautiful.

Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks, c.1834.


Bozo said...

Coincidentally, I was sitting in the yard yesterday watching a purple finch poke around in the feeder, when suddenly Sneaky the cat came flying out of the garden, batted the finch out of the air, and ate him. He broke up the peaceable kingdom, but he did it with the grace and aplomb of Michael Jordan. Quite a sight.

BitterGrace said...

At least Sneaky had the decency to chow down quickly. You'll notice that house cats and birds don't make it into Hicks' peaceable kingdom. Guess he was a realist.