Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The flower beds and birds you can count on


When one is a wildly famous photographer of flowers and birds, like I am, one quickly learns that one cannot get by on dandelions and wildflowers alone. One is dependent upon the selfless offerings of neighborhood flower gardeners. These tireless, sun-bonneted dirt hobbyists who toil season-long over their colorful beds to bring forth the bizarre, showy monstrosities of the plant world, are all that saves this blog from being an endless parade of dandelions and snow glories. Magnolias and cosmos don't just randomly spring up out of the roadside strips in my neck of the woods. Tulips and daffodils are not naturally lining the river or the railroad tracks.

So I am appreciative of my local flower gardeners, and though I prefer not to interact with them, when they try to open up a friendly chat with me, perhaps saying "What are you doing in my yard!", I am inclined to indulge them and amiably reply "Whatever, grandma!".

But to my horror this Spring, I have found that the better the flower gardener, the more likely they are to pack it all in.

Apparently being a flower gardener of any serious repute is so demanding it breaks the spirit. All the best ones in my neighborhood are selling their homes, giving it up, and taking up goat farming deep in the countryside. All the best flower beds in town are being plowed up for lawns and sidewalks, and they are festooned with "For Sale" and "Sold" signs. It's all very disturbing for one whose extremely famous photography relies so heavily upon them.

Fortunately I am also a bird photographer. And I can tell you this already:

The flowers will come and go, but the Robins are everywhere and forever. They will outlast the pigeons and the cockroaches and the grass itself. They're really kinda pretty too, in a scrappy, down to earth sort of way. And on top of all that they're about as friendly as a wild bird gets, if you give them a chance, bide your time, and set your standards low.

And the pictures! Well, I have three billion pictures now of Robins. Yes, they all look pretty similar, but for some reason I don't get tired of taking them.

As to the looking at those pictures, your mileage may vary.

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