The birds understand.

Birds always understand

Birds always understand

The cabin that we escaped to was even better than expectations. It was tucked between ocean and bush with a mostly deserted beach in between. It had a very large and wide veranda decked by timber slats and covered overhead by a high cathedral shaped corrugated roof. The ideal retreat from US political turmoil and the night-mare of a Trump-led future. The image of him swaggering around the US, lunging at genitalia, building walls, exporting millions of Mexicans and Muslims became unbearable. We had to go away.

We had just unpacked the car and put milk and the lamb-curry in the fridge, when the first of the birds arrived. You could tell they expected something from us. They looked at us and insisted on making beady-eyed contact. Bird’s eyes are often beady and rather penetrating. When still living in Holland’s The Hague, I kept many pigeons on the veranda two stories up. I started communion with birds rather early.

It is always a good move to try and befriend birds by offerings of food. I broke open a packet of Aldi’s almond meal and marzipan little boat shaped cakes. It is one reason we made a last minute shop to Aldi. It is about the only sweet we sometimes allow to arrive inside our home. Both of us are not fond of sweets. I am much more of a herring man and very keen on any food related to anchovies. We had rented cabins before and then as now, we had taken this marzipan-almond little tarts as a special treat. An Oosterman treat really.

The two coloured birds were getting excited. This is true, but only as far as it is possible to detect excitement in birds. They now moved their eyes to the almond cakes. I broke some off and put it on the railing just a metre or so from the chair. Well, it hit the right note. They immediately gave notice through the tangled jungle. ( in their own language) and all of a sudden all their mates arrived. They share, you see. No building walls, and birds don’t spread discontent or fear.

Just now I remember feeding seagulls in The Hague. A lake opposite, and around the Royal  Palace  was keenly visited by seagulls. All you had to do was to hold a piece of bread, and a friendly seagull in full flight would swoop by and take it from your hand.

A great memory.

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28 Responses to “The birds understand.”

  1. auntyuta Says:

    These are great reflections, Gerard. This is another of your posts that I enjoyed reading a lot.
    You say: “The ideal retreat from US political turmoil and the night-mare of a Trump-led future. The image of him swaggering around the US, lunging at genitalia, building walls, exporting millions of Mexicans and Muslims became unbearable. We had to go away.”
    Again, you show some priceless humour. Right now we do need some humour more than anything.
    This secluded cabin sounds wonderful! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you, Uta. Your comments mean a lot and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    The cabin was at Bendalong on the South coast. For many years we camped there, almost at every school holiday with our kids and friends. The area is still nice with many Shire owned cabins as well as camping spots with power. Many retirees have their own caravans with annexes. people are not allowed to live permanently in the caravans but some do.

    I saw outrageous additions. Sometimes the annex has another annex attached. They make all sorts of add-ons, and at times one is flabbergasted at the ingenuity.


  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    An interesting link was put up at my previous post; the Sting is in the Tail” by the Political vagina. It included the following about the Stingray.

    “Stingrays may be telling you to not overreact to your emotions, to calm down and wait before reacting. Stingrays maneuver themselves quite well despite their size and shape and they tell us to also carefully maneuver the complex emotional waters of our inner world.”


  4. jennypellett Says:

    Delightful reflections beautifully woven to include the menace across the ocean. And those darling birds…are they parakeets?

    Liked by 1 person

    • algernon1 Says:

      They’re Rainbow Lorikeets and always very friendly. We had some visit us quite regularly, one of them would tap its beak on the kitchen window letting us know it was there and of course a feed.

      Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I think they might be Rosellas of which there are several varieties. They could also be parakeets, but I am not sure. I think they are too large to be parakeets.

      There are lorikeets, parakeets and I am confused. I am not confused by their beauty. At one stage we counted about fifteen of them on the cabin’s floor. They loved the marzipan-almond meal crumbs.

      One, the largest, seemed to boss them around. I bet he was a dominant male.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. GP Cox Says:

    I think we all need a break from this election. And you found the perfect hideaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    How lucky you were to get away from, this horrible nightmare. We all need some birds to remind us that there is another universe.

    Birds and lamb curry should do the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. happy go lucky Says:

    They are definitely rainbow lorikeets, in the wild they are not seed eaters but nectar, pollen and fruit feeders.


  8. happy go lucky Says:

    Another beautiful blog Gerard amongst mostly depressing headlines day in day out. We need more Bendalong type breaks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres Says:

    Your birds are beautiful, and it makes me happy to think of you feeding them such treats. You’re right, of course. They do have their ways of communicating — sometimes, it’s entirely remarkable. When i came home from my trip, I went out and filled the bird feeders, which hadn’t been filled for three weeks, as far as I know. Not a bird was in sight. As soon as i stepped inside the house, here they came. I suspect they had a lookout posted. Perhaps they rotated duty from time to time.

    I just noticed today that there’s an Aldi’s close to me. I don’t know when it opened. My mother used to go there when she lived in the Kansas City area. They didn’t have the best produce, but there were bargains to be had, for sure. I’ll have to stop and see if they have your little sweets, or if those are only for your market.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The birds were very tame. The national parks don’t allow pets, so cats and dogs haven’t frightened or killed nature.
      Once the birds knew people were about they arrived in droves. I doubt they had ever been fed Aldi’s marzipan& almond meal sweets before.
      Now that Christmas is nigh, Aldi is selling a sweet bread ‘Stollen’. I am sure they sell it in the US. Stollen is a way of life for most Europeans during Christmas, no matter where they might live.


  10. Big M Says:

    Nice work, GO, yes, it’s sometimes the simple things that make it all worthwhile, the sight of some colourful birds, the scent of a rose, the love of a dog, or a spouse!!

    World, or local politics cent take these away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Now that Trump appointed Steve Bannon as a chief adviser, we might pack up and visit the lorikeets again. It just never stops, Big M.

      I don’t understand that someone with such bad credentials could get a job anywhere.


  11. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Your escape sounds the better option – I am cleaning all the windows.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I read this somewhere after reading this blog: “Wherever there are birds there is hope.” Mehmet Muret ildan

    Liked by 2 people

  13. chris hunter Says:

    Judging from the photo these are the very variety of birds that turn up and strip the last (high up) loquats from our old tree every year, in fact they are about to turn up and what a visual delight they are.

    Meanwhile a pigeon has made its nest in one of the high portals of a side room to our house, initially its cooing was rather loud and insistent but after a few curt reminders to cut the bloody noise it obliged, now “feathers” is quietly going about the nesting process, often looking down at whoever is passing below, through the mosquito wire.

    As far as Trump goes I will have to wait and see, but even though all that is promised seems crazy I cannot help but think Hilary would have been no better – always the abiding memory of her leaping into the air and wildly clapping her support when the US (Bush) decided to go after Saddam for the 9/11 attacks and the rest – is history.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Nice to see you back, Chris.

      The more I read about politics the more I look at birds.

      The neighbour on the other side of the fence has a few chickens. I love the sound of chickens. I think this neighbour whose name is Harley has installed an automatic feeder. This feeder gives feed to the chickens on demand.

      I think the mice have discovered it as well and now share the grain with the chickens. I looked over the fence and noticed a coming and going of a whole family-tribe of mice.

      But, as is so often in nature, a balance is now struck and the mice are now being eaten by a very large kookaburra. I noticed one from our upstairs window holding a mouse in its beak. The little tail of the mouse still swinging about. But, no mercy from the kookaburra. In one quick movement of its beak, it swallowed the still life mouse whole.

      What can one do? Nature gives and it takes.


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