In The Polite Society Of Birds

The BIrds In My Garden Forming An Orderly Queue

It’s been a while since I blogged, and I have a lot to write about; but to ease you in gently I thought that I would share something that we have introduced into our lives since living here that gives us great joy.

Over the years in France I learned that all animals have a place on this planet, whether they freak us out or not: rats, mice, pigeons, foxes, crows and magpies, swifts, wild boar, and so many more. I hated the practice of ‘Le Chasse’ when hunters were out ‘en masse’ from September to the end of March killing said boars, and deers, and so much more, including people at times!

Claude Our Cockerel and the Last Girlie May 2019

I learned that where there were chickens there are inevitably rats, and initially I hated them. But then I got to thinking that everything has a right to life. Wheredoes humankind get off deciding that some things should be wiped from the face of the earth? Do we know better than Mother Nature? Well I think the last two years have shown us all not to mess with her!

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want mice running around my house and to be honest I don’t really want rats in my vicinity, but I have natural hunters in my home which tend to deter them, or kill them as nature intended. By the time I left France I would find myself throwing old bread, or biscuits out of the car window as we drove through remote country lanes in the middle of winter, instead of throwing it away, to feed the cold and hungry animals. why not?

One of the swifts from last summer, joining the conversation

At Montaigu we had swifts that regularly nested in our barn. Every year they came back. People said that we should deter them, block up the holes so that they couldn’t get back in. What and let their babies die? They did us no harm, and as if to thank us they gave us a fabulous ariel display of acrobatics on warm summer evenings, as they taught their babies to fly and catch the i sects in the air. So imagine our surprise and joy when we moved into this house only to discover a nest above the inside of our garage door. And yes they came, had babies and taught them to fly. But the weirdest thing was when RD and I sat at our makeshift seating area every evening they would come and sit on the wire in front of us, listening to our conversation, as if they were old friends; and I wondered…Could they possibly be the same swifts, who were so happy with us they followed us here?

I have come to realise over the past few months the theory they are the same ones may not be as too far fetched as I believed, in that RD and I do give off an energy that seems to attract living things to us. – Not least Wiglet and Harley, both rescues, both presented by a trail of coincidence!

Harley and Wiglet

So that brings me to today. We have an old wall that surrounds our paddock, and since living here we have decided not to throw our leftovers away but to put them on the post of the wall, in front of the kitchen window and feed the birds. Now most of the visitors have been crows, and to start with they fought with each other over the food that was left. But as the time has worn on they have been joined by the family of magpies that live in the corner tree of our paddock, and some rooks; and they have realised that there is ‘enough’. Now I watch them through the window as they form an orderly queue and take their turn to select something from what is put out. Chips seem to be the crows favourite! Once they have gone then come the wagtails, the swifts in summer, the sparrows and not least the robin. A bird that seems to have followed me on all my adventures. The smaller birds then eat the small items of food the larger birds struggle to pick up, like rice, and breadcrumbs. Nothing goes to waste and I feel, we feel, as if we are working with nature and not against it.

In the summer I mentioned to someone what we do. Let’s just say they were so caught up in the insecure, material world, they were horrified that I was feeding crows. Why was I feeding crows, when they were horrible birds? Why not? was my reply. Why should they not have the right to live the same as any other creature Mother Nature had intended? It always makes me smile when ’God fearing people’ revere their God but not the things that were created by that God? Something to ponder. That’s one of the many reasons why I don’t ’do’ religion.

Interestingly the crow is one of the most intelligent creatures in the natural world. It represents adaptability, spirituality and the ability to embrace change. How apt that we seem to have adopted a family of them! Magpies too are considered highly intelligent birds, who in some cultures bring good fortune. Sadly Christianity led people to believe that they were associated with witches, and that they did not cry at Jesus crucifixion. Neither were they allowed on Noah’s Ark! mmmmmm! What a load of bollocks! Perhaps they didn’t cry at the crucifixion because they were intelligent enough to know Jesus was coming back! They probably all looked on with amusement when the humans cried, given that the humans crucified him! But this propaganda led the Magpies to be hunted almost to extinction. Sound familiar?

The spiritual meaning of birds, so often depicted on totem poles, is one of elevation, enlightenment, hope and wisdom. Over the last seven years, since I started this adventure, I have had the pleasure to have a visiting Robin wherever I went, even to the house I house-sat. And I have been visited by owls on numerous occasions. During those same years I have been blessed to have opened my mind to the spiritual world, philosophy and psychology, and now we are being led down the road of understanding the ultimate ’we’re all just energy’.

More of that to come…….



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