Hi, Daddy Bunting

I have been accused of producing fake news and alternative facts.

Last year our maintenance man, Kevin, who is by far the best naturalist I have ever known with a life-time acquaintance with wildlife and conservation, spotted an indigo bunting in the brush 20 yards from our patio. Indigos are very shy – tiny and they blend into leaves and shadows despite the blue. When I looked up indigos, I solved a mystery. A small dull gray bird was in my seed feeder all the time, but I could not identify it. It was the female. I only rarely saw the male last year, and Kevin never did again.

I waited to see if they would come back this year. Sandy saw him first, sitting on our patio table looking in at her, which is not indigo behavior at all. An alternative fact according to Kevin. The indigo has done it once more that she saw. I see him often in our feeder or more often on the ground, even when I am sitting on the patio. Kevin keeps looking. No luck, even though he takes breaks on a deck above and to the right of me. That apartment is between tenants. Fake news he says, when I boast about it.

By dumb luck I have proof. On my first try I got a shot of Daddy Bunting, gone a hunting for food. Not quality photography, taken through a closed window to avoid spooking him, but acceptable in a court of law. Monday morning we go on trial.

I declare this boast day. What do you want to crow about?

They say, the people of science, that an indigo is not really blue, but black.  It is, they say, a trick of how the light reflects off the feathers. I get it a bit, but is not all color just a trick of how light reflects off something? Red looks red because all the colors but red are absorbed, I believe the people of science say.  So how is the blue of the indigo . . . oh, never mind.

What is the mystery in your life today?

88 thoughts on “Hi, Daddy Bunting”

  1. Regarding the “buntings are not really blue” canard, I once heard the same thing said about blue jays and my reaction was the same—all perceived color is due to the portion of the spectrum an object reflects.

    Robin and I once came upon a flock of indigos in a patch of sumac. Their iridescence is quite memorable. I think they were migrating through because we never saw them in that place again. What is it that your maintenance man disbelieves? That the bunting is not shyer?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It is all a joke plus his jealousy. He grew up on a farm run by a father who was as much driven by the nature on his land as his cultivated land. Down near Blue Earth. The DNR paid him to nurture the Canada geese, of which there were few around then. Now they flock by the hundreds in hundreds of flicks. Kevin’s yard is a wild life park. He is a bird watcher as a part of it. He keeps his eye on the woods that wrap two sides of this building. He gets the corn free for me to feed the squirrels, free from a farmer friend who is also a naturalist. He gave me feeders from when his mother had to move to a nursing home. He looks for odd species and quirks of nature, very good at identification. I bake bread for him and his wife. They are in their mid fifties, kids gone, time to dote on wildlife. I just showed him the photo. He said his wife is going to be jealous because he will claim it as a sighting.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Let me add he tracks and gives special attention to the old farts in this building. He always offers to drive me to appts for which I cannot drive and once did. He is just a very caring man and can fix anything. A trained draftsman.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. The color “indigo” refers to the dyestuff, derived from several plant sources, the color of blue denim, among other things. The indigo designation of a position on the spectrum between blue and violet isn’t a true representation of the color.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. First produced in India, makng it exotic and prestigious. Several European countries banned it to protect local dye makers, as I just read. Sound familiar?
        Also just read it is a food dye, named blue (some number). It is natural, so I suppose . . .

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was going to make a similar statement. In the stage lighting world, for me, blue is the hardest color to find one that works right and looks right. In the gel swatch books, there might be 24 different shades of blue. How can there be that many colors of blue?? And one that looks pretty on the page, once put in front of 750 or 1000watts of light, it washes out to nothing.
          Gam 915 is a wonderful pretty purple blue and it’s one of my favorites. OH! But then Rosco came out with 2006, a truly lovely blue without the purple tint and that’s one of my favorites too! So many shades!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Blue is a difficult color for florists, too. There are few blue flowers, and many of the ones with blue tones, like tourenia and cornflower, are not practical for cut flower arrangements and corsages. If you want blue, there’s hydrangea and delphinium, and some irises that are a kind of blue/purple.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Re my boast: rabbits are NOT penetrating the front yard fencing tim gave us last year, so our flower garden in the front yard is growing. We got to enjoy the tulips 🌷 in bloom this year despite the late snow. The rabbits did not chew them to the ground. Furthermore, the Black-eyed Susans and Pink Cone flowers which were eaten to the ground last year are 2-3inches high. WooHoo.

    Mystery: Could it be the turmeric I tried really is reducing my allergies this spring? I have tried many herbs over the years. Most do not work better than ibuprofen, but I am wondering if I have a miracle here!

    Indigo Buntings are a shimmering wonder. Many years ago, in the 1990s we saw dozens of them near Lanesboro, Mn. There were tiny blue birds everywhere in the trees by a road. NS, I have seen one sitting on my suburban deck twice now (not to mention the Pilleated Woodpecker at the bird feeder). Stick to your guns! I believe.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Like a black tulip, a lot of purple tones.
    I was told once the two hardest colors to match are black and white. BLack has so many directions to go when you set one next to another and white is white until you set it next to another one then one is blueish white and the other is white with red or yellow

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They say that the indigo changes its color depending on the light. Duh. What doesn’t? My cardinals are rather dull in the shadows and vibrant in direct sunlight.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Bye, Baby Bunting is an odd sort of nursery rhyme. My mother recited it often because she saw in it the harsher realities of life, of which she wanted her children aware.

    Like

  5. beautiful torrent sky in orange clyde
    i wish you could do finger painting techniques on large canvas ala monet and his waterlillies
    the technique is wonderful and composition is strong

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have you tried pastel with e side of your hand instead of the stick? Put it on with the stick but distribute with the side of you hand. You have to work bigger and use more chalk but the rewards are great

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  7. With the concentrated migration, birdwatching has been especially fun this year. One unusual sighting yesterday morning of a Hermit Thrush in my flower garden. No Indigo Bunting so far this year, but not giving up hope.

    My boast: I did a presentation at Concordia Language Village’s Norwegian adult weekend…included in the presentation I told 3 fairy tales…had such a good time and the feedback was so encouraging…including a “brilliant” Encourages me to tell them to other groups. PS I even did one in Norwegian.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. I lost my boast and mystery this morning to WordPress goblin

    Boast is my kids
    Doing well in a world that allows you to figure it out

    My mystery is how long noisemakers will be allowed to influence. I was at the dem convention to nominate the sheriff and county attourney, mike freeman had a challenger who loaded the floor with his loud rude obnoxious interrupting supporters that ultimately overturned the freeman campaign and won the nomination. Freeman said he will be on the ballot regardless. He will split the vote and make it possible for right wing law and order nazi to win
    Dayton ran without the indorsement. He knew the nomination process was flawed and whomped a weak competitor. I don’t think freeman can do it. New guy is single issue guy. Second chance… which is good but the county attourney running to be sure guys who get convicted get a break is a dangerous top and single priority. Maybe it’s a good addition to the platform but it’s hard to believe it will straightened out soon

    I really dislike where politics is right now
    I am working with Phillips to unseat paulson the invisible man. I heard over the weekend senator Jason Lewis from lake I’ll decided to close town hall open meeting agenda because it was obvious people who did not support him were showing up with questions they expected him to answer.

    Facist politics is embarrassing

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Something I admire in Northshorer’s comments on birds is they reflect someone who cares about wildlife and actively looks for it. While hunters and bird watchers differ in some ways, they share a heightened awareness of wildlife. This is like photographers and painters who become sensitive to nuances of light and color. Any appreciation of the natural world has to start with awareness, with being alive and paying attention to beauty.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks. Comes from the woods being my playground as a child. People do not believe this story when I tell it, but I did go off in the woods alone for up to three hours when I was four and five. I was never at risk.
      I was not about identification. I assumed the bunting of Bye, Baby Bunting was a snow bunting, the only bunting we had. But it would have to be, I assume, a bunting found in England.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Steve. the bragging started was a request for you to tell a Liam story or two, which you have not done in awhile. My CA grandson is interesting in many ways. He is simply beautiful. Every stranger remarks on it. Obviously he looks nothing like me. Irish and Russian mix I think mostly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve not been around him enough to make observations I can share. He suddenly is involved with hockey and soccer, so his time is heavily scheduled. I have mixed emotions. My childhood was fabulous because of all the free time I had. But Liam’s childhood has been difficult at times. Right now he is getting praise for athletics, which I think he truly needs.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Sorry you do not see him. Youth athletics. I will bite my tongue, or fingers, hard.
          My non farm girl granddaughter won six awards yesterday at the area FFA banquet. One major one.
          They each tried youth sports for a bit. Not athletes. They have always had free time, much of which is devoted to reading.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I have all the same doubts about youth athletics. But this is a kid trying to find his way . . . which is probably true for every kid. He loves athletics and is getting so much honest encouragement for doing them that I won’t speak against this.

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  10. I tried to spray paint a black chicken with yellow paint over the weekend. It was oddly fascinating to watch the black feathers absorb the yellow paint. She sort of turned out with a green tint… but not the same green tint as the real green tinted chickens.

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    1. I’m mystified, Ben, why on earth would you do that? I often make the mistake of thinking that there has to be a reason why people do things, in this case is there one?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course there was a reason.
        I caught her eating eggs. I knew someone was breaking a few eggs / day and eating them. So I wanted somehow to identify her. And spray paint seemed like a good idea at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, I didn’t say the paint was a “good” idea… and I know of the leg bands, but didn’t have any. Didn’t want to do a string around her leg or anything as they peck at that stuff.
          Next time I might try a ‘ziptie’ around a leg though…

          The paint has not seemed to affect her; she’s still running around the yard.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. I’ve been mulling this over in my mind, and I’m not sure I understand your reasoning for wanting to be able to identify the culprit unless there’s something that you can do about it. Short of wringing her neck, is there something you can do to make her stop? Also wondering, if she’s the only one doing it, does she have some sort of nutritional deficiency, or is she just being a bad seed?

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    2. Kevin found a welded metal sculpture of a flower, abour 20 inches tall. Some rust, no color. he left it on our deck as one of his jokes. Sandy hated then loved ita. I offered to paint it and a bike pot holder which was only a dull gray. Did it yesterday. Turned. Out all right. He has already spotted it on our d3 k while indigo hunting.
      OT my less than a year old Asus computer is going to the hospital today. Sigh

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  11. Today’s mystery arrived via private message on Facebook this morning.

    The background story is long and rather complicated, so I’ll spare you the details, but here is the message I received:
    “Margaret – I have bought a ticket to Minneapolis from august 15th to October 17th – and the guy I should stay with says I cannot stay with him anyway – and my sister did say ok – you can stay with us – and then her daughter has said that she is moving home june 1st with her boyfriend and in september his mom is coming from Libanon – so It might me too much for them to have me there – David and Celeste I stayed with two years ago have a very ill friend they are taking care of – so I am looking for friends who could take me a week or a few days from monday to friday maybe the week from monday september 24th to friday September 28th – and if you do not want to or you do not have time for it – it is ok – the reason why I also ask you is that I want to use as much time as possible at the textile center at 3000 University Ave. but I also want to have some good talk with you – definately – lots of love to you – and anyway tell me how you are – all the best from Lisbeth”

    Now as I said, this woman is Danish and lives in Denmark; it’s a mystery why she writes to me in English. I’m also wondering why this woman thinks nothing of inviting herself to stay with “friends” who clearly don’t want to have to deal with her, including her own sister who lives in Andover. I have met this woman exactly twice, twelve years ago.

    She obviously doesn’t understand subtle hints, so my reply was very straight forward and to the point. “No you can’t stay with me. In fact, I’m not interested in getting together.” – in Danish, of course. I really hate to be unkind, but this nutcase has used or abused several people affiliated with the DAC, myself included, and I don’t intend to let it happen again. She has absolutely no boundaries, so I have clearly marked mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. DAC? Danish-American Center?

      I’ve noted before that Europeans seem comfortable making (and presumably accepting) long house visits. Or that is my experience with the Dutch. But your firm boundaries seem entirely appropriate with this person.

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        1. In my experience, this isn’t an American vs a European thing. We’ve had young people we’ve met while traveling crash with us here for shorter or longer stays over the years; people from Denmark, Canada, England, Australia, Japan and America. But it has always been with a lot of mutual consideration. I think most people appreciate hospitality and help when they’re in a strange place, but it’s not something they take for granted. Lisbeth does, and she puts herself in the same situation again and again, and doesn’t seem to pick up on the signals she receives that she has overstayed her welcome. She can’t afford a one week stay in America on her own dime, yet, she expects that casual acquaintances will put her up, provide her transportation, and wine and dine her for two months ever few years. Every single DAC member she has been in contact with want nothing to do with her, but apparently feel obligated to come up with reasonable excuse to say no to her request. The best excuse I could come up with was that I’m fully booked between August 15th and October 17th. That doesn’t sound plausible to me, so I opted for the truth.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. “Mysteries, Yes”
          by Mary Oliver

          Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
          to be understood.

          How grass can be nourishing in the
          mouths of the lambs.
          How rivers and stones are forever
          in allegiance with gravity
          while we ourselves dream of rising.
          How two hands touch and the bonds
          will never be broken.
          How people come, from delight or the
          scars of damage,
          to the comfort of a poem.

          Let me keep my distance, always, from those
          who think they have the answers.

          Let me keep company always with those who say
          “Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
          and bow their heads.

          Liked by 3 people

  12. My boast: Yesterday I played handbells at two church services, rehearsed bells for an hour, planted 8 peonies and a Baptesia in our church’s new contemplative garden, planted 8 tomato plants at home, and baked a two layer chocolate cake and a raspberry cream pie for a coworker’s birthday today, and was in bed by 8:30. I had no nap, either!

    Liked by 5 people

  13. My boast is that, thanks to the little “band” I’m in at UU, et al., I am becoming known as “the lady who likes to sing, and lead others in singing.” That’s what I hope is happening, anyway.

    My mystery is how to stay focused on what I want to accomplish – it may mean letting go of some things in order to have more time to spend on a few things, which means deciding what’s most important… nothing new really.

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    1. I would rather hear about chicken-painting. Nobody else does that. Other people embellish shoes. Embellishing chickens is just so….so much more, well, Baboonish.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t like doing the whole killing and butchering part…

          Usually a chicken eating eggs has just developed a bad habit.
          And I want to know it’s her in case I decide to quarantine her.
          The last two days through there hasn’t been broken eggs. Maybe she just wanted the extra attention of me carrying her around for a while.
          Chickens are so weird.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Ooh, now there’s an entrepreneurial idea. A chicken carrier! Urban chicken coops are all the rage. Perhaps a good chicken carrier would be a hot item in a chicken boutique – along with the chicken vests that Bill posted above. What do you think, tim? Surely you know someplace in China that can manufacture them after Ben has perfected the design? Perhaps a way to bankroll our retirement village?

          Liked by 3 people

  14. OT while I chauffeur Sandra around, my entertainment is playing with license numbers. I have calculated the odds of a double, two numbers or two letters the same, and find they seem to occur a few percentage points ahead of my calculation, not that I am writing them down as I drive. I have made it a joke with Sandra, well, more with myself, that a double triple would be the el dorado. Today parked next to our car at Barnes and Noble, 888 VVV. Makes up for the computer crash.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Most states (if not all) that allow vanity plates have a rule against vulgar or profane content. Like, for example, you wouldn’t be allowed to pick the number 69 for your vanity plate. I’ve always wondered who does the refereeing on that. It seems like the description for a really odd job.

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      1. I heard William Least Heat Moon talkin about following a little red smart ass car, his term, across S.Dak. It took him a few miles to decode IDGAF. So a few get by. You would think anyone with that job would be suspicious of the letter F.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I really enjoy his writing. Even I didn’t take but two seconds to figure that one out. Roads to Quoz.

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        2. What? I may have found his subject matter more or less interesting, but I’ve always found him very readable.

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  15. OT: my son and his partner have been working on producing a reality cable series for a year – she had done much of it before they met. This week, she’s meeting with the top dozen talent agents in the country. They’ve seen her “sizzle”, a 2-minute video condensing the theme, and are rushong to represent. It’s caught on like a wild fire. They all recognize that there is nothing like it on TV. She’s not pitching it because they’ve already decided that they want to be connected to it.

    Next week, she and Steve are meeting with five cable networks, all of whom want to buy the production. Netflix, Amazon, Travel Channel, Bravo, Nat’l Geo Graphic. It appears that their passion for connecting the 3rd world with the 1st world is being realized. This woman, a writer, traveler, and grounded has won the big guys over. Her plan for meeting with the networks vying for the show is to walk in, slap down a large fish, and gut it in front of them. A bit unusual, but representing her earth spirit in a very visual way.

    And so, rather than seeking, she’s being sought. This is a dream come true. It’s no longer a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of “when”.

    Liked by 3 people

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