Camera Shy Magpie

It’s amazing what two days of rain can do.  Get things really wet, turn things green, make the air smell breathtakingly fresh and clean.

First thing this morning, and I really do mean first thing, around six a.m. before anyone else in the neighborhood or their right minds had even considered getting out of bed, I looked out the bedroom window and saw a magpie strutting about on the back lawn.

It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time to get out there and get some pictures of him.  I don’t know for sure if it’s a “him” or not because male and female magpies look a lot alike, with the female having a more greyish white hood than the male.  Also if there are two of them, the female is the one that’s bossy and aggressive and the male is the one running away.  I’ve noticed that kind of behaviour in other species as well (not mentioning any by name.)

So, there I was, in the backyard sitting in a lawn chair with my coffee in one hand and my camera in the other and the magpie nowhere to be seen.   It’s a little chilly here at six o’clock in the morning.  The ground was still wet, there were little sparrows whipping about, traffic noises to remind me that I’m far from the wilderness, a light breeze and a silent wind chime.  It’s rather boring sitting around waiting for a magpie that refuses to materialize, so I put my inner detective to work to find out what’s up with the stupid wind chime.

And this is what I discovered on the ground beneath it.  With a little bit of rotted string attached.  They really should consider making these things with fishing line to withstand Canadian winters.

The bird feeder is almost empty.  The bird house (on the left up there and pretty much completely cut out of the picture by the side of the garage, is being used by some kind of little birds who are busily coming and going.  The patch of lawn that the meter movers destroyed has approximately four blades of green grass on it struggling to survive.

That magpie is always around when I don’t have my phone or camera handy – on the lawn, on the garage roof, in the bushes, hopping along the fence.  I swear I am not making this up.  But after about twenty minutes of impatient waiting around and with an empty cup and a cold butt I decided to come back inside where it’s warm.  Nope, I would never succeed as a bird watcher.  I’m also having serious second thoughts about this early rising thing.  For one thing, it eliminates the excuse of ‘not enough time’ when I don’t feel like going for a walk.  There’s still hours left in my morning for magpie stalking and other worthwhile pursuits.  Like windchime repair.  Or a nap.  Can my day get any more fascinating I wonder?

Stay tuned for more heart stopping developments.  That magpie could return at any moment.  And I might even be awake to see it and capture it on film.  Or not.  I hope the suspense doesn’t kill you.

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