Monday, January 26, 2009

Bluebirds of Happiness

Wind Farm, Woodward County, Oklahoma

After yesterday's gruesome post about the dark side of western Oklahoma, I thought I would counter today with the proverbial bluebird of happiness and celebrate the beauty of that same part of Oklahoma with its big skies, rolling prairies, formidable sunsets and...bluebirds!

Mountain Bluebird, Freedom, Oklahoma

Let's not think of relentlessly slaughtered coyotes for a moment, let's think only of mountain bluebirds flocking and foraging -- reaping the bounty of nature in arboreal splendor on a crisp January day in western Oklahoma.

An overcast, hazy, windy, dusty day that makes a perfect sepia-toned backdrop for birding in the wild west. Ok, it wasn't that perfect - there was a 30 mph ice cold wind coming right out of the north and my hands ached trying to hold the camera; but it looks good on film.

American Goldfinch, Motmot Manor, Little Axe, Oklahoma

However, the weather the day before was a perfect 75 degrees at Motmot Manor in Little Axe. That's what we are famous for here in Oklahoma - both the changing weather and the weathermen famous for preempting your favorite TV show with the first sign of a snowflake. You can expect an ice storm to descend at the exact moment American Idol starts. Zip it Gary England - and keep your doppler-loving, net-rad trapped closed until the Idol finals are over or until the first tornado is spotted - in Oklahoma!

Bewick's Wren, Motmot Manner, Little Axe, Oklahoma

It was, as always, a delight to visit Motmot Manor and watch the flock of regulars that feast on the Zick dough. If you are an Oklahoma Blogger passing through today - please stop over and visit "Drawing the Motmot". And then go here and vote for Motmot in the 2008 Okie Blog Awards for Best Unusual Blog.

OK, if you insist, while you're at it - you can also vote for Jean Warner or for little ole M.E. for Best Cultural Blog - Jean has done an enormous amount of good for women in this state and deserves to win -- but I am a Leo and am astrologically predispositioned to wanting to win - so it's up to you - vote for Oklahoma women or coddle my starbound little leonine ego. If I win, I promise to do my best Norma Rae and I am also paying out $25 per vote, just so you know. I mean honestly, what's the big deal about women's mental health and equality and self empowerment? Geez. Who else brings you fried sheep's private parts and the Closing Ceremony from China; make-up wearing shamans from Siberia, first hand accounts of Amazon adventures and snorkeling with endangered monk seals in Hawaii all while waxing poetic about the beauty of dragon fruit and running with kites? Vote for me dammit!!!

Regardless, I am glad that people are finally discovering the abundant and emergent culture we have here in Oklahoma (just don't read yesterday's post).


Ok, back to bluebirds. Should we think it odd that the flat plains of western Oklahoma which stretch on and on and on in prairie glory have an abundance of "mountain" bluebirds. And yet a "western" bluebird is a much sought-after rarity? Who gets to name these things, I wonder. I vote for a re-do and mandatory geography lessons for all future taxonomists.

Ok, I'm done now talking about bluebirds and prairie sunsets and the happiness they invoke. It's time to get back to things that really matter:

Sacrificial Coyote, one of five hanging on Highway 34 toward Boiling Springs, Woodward, Oklahoma

The plains of western Oklahoma "are giving birth to a Coyote Clan - hundreds, maybe thousands of individuals who are quietly subversive on behalf of the land. And they are infiltrating our neighborhood in the most respectable ways, with their long, busy tails tucked discreetly inside their pants or beneath their skirts."*

Oklahoma is my heritage and my birthright. The geography of this land is the language I first learned to speak and I intend to serve and protect it. I did not move back with the intention of putting my head back in the sand or keeping my mouth shut -- but I do promise to tuck in my tail. This is My World - the good, the bad and the sometimes very, very ugly.

_________________________________
*Terry Tempest Williams - from "Red - Passion and Patience in the Desert"

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

A great post as usual, even with the disturbing last image. Gives you the urge to go hunting. Coyote Killers, that is...
Too sad that part of humanity consists of some sickos that lost their moral compass entirely.
Klaus

Your EG Tour Guide said...

It's difficult to understand what makes some people tick. WHY, why, why?

Bluebirds look like such lovely birds. I see bluebird boxes on nearby farmers' fence lines but have never seen a bluebird! (except in photos)

Sara G said...

Great post and photo's.
Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us!

Janie said...

Beautiful photos of the bluebirds and sky above the wind turbines. I hate to think of that 30 mph wind.
Very sad about the coyote killers. Same thing in Utah. One year we had a "coyote count" sponsored by the local sports store. The count was of coyote ears that the hunters brought in. Pretty gross, i thought. I love to hear the coyotes yip in the evening. I don't want them hunted out like the wolves.

Anonymous said...

great post although that coyote pic is quite disturbing.

Oklahoma Farmgirl said...

As always, GREAT post with fabulous pics!! As is true in the world, beauty co-exists with ugliness in OK, too.

Blessed be...

Babooshka said...

It's avery honest post all inclusive good, bad , beautiful and ugly. I really admire that and the images are stunning. I'd sting up the hunters.

Guy D said...

Simply magnificent shots, your photography is outstanding.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great photographs. I used to work in Weatherford, OK. For some reason people have been hanging dead coyotes on fences in that area for years.

Mary said...

Dear Tim,

I would vote for you in more than one category, if I could. If I were an Okie...

Lovely bluebirds. I smiled thoughout as you lift me up. I skipped the last part...

Mary

mon@rch said...

Those blues on the bluebirds are perfect! Great work as always!

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Aha this week you are in my stomping ground, in fact I did a My World post early on about that wind farm! Congrats on the nomination, tell you what I'll trade you votes, I am in the Commentary noms! ;-)

Chele said...

Great post and pics. I don't believe I've ever seen a blue bird in the wild.

Arija said...

Great post, cothing is ever what it seems from the outside.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Tim's blog is like a box o' choklits. You nevah know what you'll git. (fidgets, looks up at sky)

I love this post, the way it captures the seething anger you're trying so hard to quell. Writing about the slaughter of giant otters and caimans does the same thing to me. I don't believe in sparing one's readers the reality of just how short-sighted and brutal we as a species can be (and continue to be).

zeladoniac said...

Thanks for the blue balm on a gray (and white) day.

And I voted for you. Of course!

jenx67 said...

p.s. i'm competing with jean (among other unmentionables!) for overall, but i'm totally voting for jean in the overall category. The reason is because I believe her blog has the most potential for bringing about change. In what other state are there more women in prison and fewer in the Legislature than any other state? Ironies. So, everyone vote for TR for cultural blog and Jean for overall!!!!

Barry Moses (Sulustu) said...

Love your bluebirds. They made my day.

Kathiesbirds said...

TR, you are all over the place today with the beauty of an Oklahoma sky, bluebirds and Murder! What's up with that? I shall have to read below 'cause I don't know if you think the dead coyote is a good thing or a bad thing!

Oh, and by the way, I hope your ego doesn't explode before your next blogpost! :)

Kathiesbirds said...

TR, I just read the post below and I am heartsick.

Diane said...

I love your bluebirds, I've never seen one in person. Sorry about the coyotes.

Kathleen said...

I've admired your blog from afar, until yesterday. Your photos and words have such great power and spirit I'm often am at a loss for just the right words to leave a worthy comment.

Today's bluebirds were a welcome sight. I've never seen a Mountain Bluebird. Their color is spectacular.

BigAssBelle said...

i adore my coyote brother and his stunning talent. isn't there a category for most beautiful blog? should be.

Lana Gramlich said...

I'll definitely pop over & vote, I mean, you being a Leo & all. ;) *L* As much as that bit made me chuckle, the end photo/reminder was a stab in the heart...again. :(

Mel said...

Hola Tim,

Great post! Too bad only Okie bloggers can vote :( you know you have all my votes anyway! ;)

BTW, some people at the Wildlife Brigade, young students volunteer group, have been asking about my post on Planeta Herido... will let you know about that soon :)

Besos,

Mel

Anonymous said...

I so enjoyed seeing the dear little bluebirds, but I can't get past the coyotes. Horrific.

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