Birds of a Feather

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Our friend and avid cyclist, Nan, told us about another gorgeous bike trail that she and her husband, Dave, found. The trailhead is in a tiny little town in northern Illinois called Hebron.

On Monday we, too, rode the trail and discovered that it was flanked on one side by breathtakingly beautiful wetlands. And just out of view for a good camera shot without a zoom lens, but well within earshot, there were hundreds of Great Blue Heron and wild turkey. They were singing. We couldn’t tell if it was a combined effort of both types of birds, or if it was one, or the other. Regardless, it was startlingly magnificent to be serenaded in the crisp morning air.

A little further down the trail, we came to the sporadic placement of several manmade nesting boxes. We’re not sure what type of waterfowl they’re for, but we’re fairly confident they’re not meant for the Great Blue Heron or the wild turkey as neither of them could possibly fit into the small circular entrances.

On the return ride, we were gifted to see the same birds, but this time there wasn’t a sound—not a single peep. It was hauntingly quiet. Either they were all asleep, or choir practice was over! Regardless, it was again done in unison.

We hadn’t known until Monday morning that Great Blue Heron hang out with wild turkey. If it’s true that “birds of a feather flock together,” what type of “birds” do you hang out with?



27 thoughts on “Birds of a Feather

  1. Laurie,

    Good Morning! Looks like a wondrous journey to capture with camera and spirit, as well as travel on bikes! I love the long angle views and richness of the fall colors.

    I don’t know about turkeys and Herons hanging out together for we don’t have many of them here.
    In up state NY when the geese flew in spring and fall, the lower pond sounded like a traffic jam. Honking and splashing, honking and chasing… There was a flock of turkeys that use to wander around in the wood making noise but we rarely saw them.
    The Great Blue Heron was a loner, hanging out in the center pond, fishing and sleeping, only heard him when he got disturbed by something and flew off.

    What type of “birds” to I hang out with? I think Peacock, always prancing about, show off, but it a good way. As well as too many chickens, clucking for no good reason.

    I am Love, Jef

    • Jeff – Peacocks make excellent “watch dogs” in that they’ll “scream” when someone approaches. I was gifted with a bright teal-colored peacock feather, it looks like it has an “eye” in the pattern – beautiful! Thank you for stopping by this morning.

  2. My heart is singing imagining great blue herons and wild turkeys singing together. Oh and I love your question! I hang out with ALL SORTS of birds. Some of the birds can’t even believe I’m friends with other sorts of birds. They think you should only hang out with your kind. But it’s much more fun to befriend a blue jay AND a hummingbird AND an eagle. Much more fun to enjoy all the different species.

    • Kathy – I’m with you. The more, the merrier! When we have the whole range of “voices” in the choir — soprano, alto, tenor, bass, baritone — the experience is so much richer.

      • “All God’s creatures got a place in the choir,
        Some sing low and some sing higher…..”

        I had the next line – right there on the tip of my tongue! And the music they/we all make together is wondermous!

  3. Glad you loved that trail as much as we did! I found it quite magical.

    Our son Barry lives on board his 38′ vintage Matthews cabin cruiser on the Duwamish River in West Seattle. There’s a heron that likes to hang on on the stern. They are quite assertive when they think you are in THEIR territory.

  4. Len told me about your ride yesterday on the phone. Sounds wonderful. I told him lots of herons hang out at the McHenry Dam where I walk a lot.

    I LOVE meetings all sorts of birds. It’s quite strange, I don’t know if the universe has some meaning for me because I’m not sure who to ask, but I’ve been seeing so many hawks over the past 6 months. It’s not usual to see them so often. At least in my experience. But I am going along in my little life and notice them here and there.

    kaw kaw kaw I’m off to work now. We saw an article saying they will be laying off 1200-1800 Hewitt people within the next 2 years. That’s going to make for great morale.

    • Beth – Here’s a brief summary of what a Hawk Totem means:

      In Native American cultures the hawk represents a messenger. It often appears in our life when we need to pay attention to the subtle messages found in our surroundings and from those we come in contact with. As with all messages received it is important to recognize its underlying truth. Because there are so many varieties of hawks, its messages vary and can affect all levels of our psyche.

      One thing that all hawks have in common is the skill to move between the seen and unseen realms gracefully connecting both worlds together. Their acute vision compliments this ability and their discriminating nature keeps them out of harms way. The broader vision of the hawk allows them to see what the future holds. In man this symbolizes prophetic insight. If this medicine (energy) is underdeveloped a tendency towards over analyzing everything is common. In so doing, clear vision is lost. Those who hold this totem should remember to keep their analytical mind under control and not allow it to run wild.

      The hawk has many foraging techniques. The most typical in their pursuit of prey is swiftly following the animal’s efforts to escape. Once the hawk has secured the prey with its powerful talons, the bird dismembers it with its sharply pointed, strong beak. In man, this suggests that we can run but we cannot hide from our destiny. Sooner of later it will catch up with us.

      The destiny of all humankind is to awaken from their spiritual amnesia and realign with the original intention of their soul. When the hawk flies into our life we will be asked to evaluate who we have become and rip out the threads of our self-created illusions. This enables our inner truth to surface.

      Hawk signifies union with Great Spirit. A bird of the heavens the hawk orchestrates the changes necessary for our spiritual growth. Having this totem can be bittersweet. If we accept its presence in our life we will be asked to surrender anything that does not honor the integrity of all life. Be it an idea, a feeling, or an action. Although hard work is involved the rewards the hawk offers us are great.

  5. WOW – gosh not too surprising: When the hawk flies into our life we will be asked to evaluate who we have become and rip out the threads of our self-created illusions. This enables our inner truth to surface.

    Might be nice if that inner truth would surface already!!
    Thank you so much for all of that information. I have no idea what totem I am. I do remember when I was in the office seeing your friend, he mentioned I had a Indian person protecting me from the other side. As well as Saint Bridget.

    Funny he said he saw things getting better for me in October or November. Since he didn’t specify a year, maybe he meant this year and not last year when I spoke to him!!!!

  6. Today, I flocked with my fellow government workers and now I am flocking with my fellow bloggers who are hanging out at Laurie’s place. Interesting thing about flocking — if you tell a computer to move any number of people individually, yet part of a group, and they all have to travel and arrive at the same place during the same time period and you don’t want any of them bumping into each other, the computer’s solution will be to fly like a flock of birds. If people learned to drive cars like birds fly in a flock, we would have a lot fewer “accidents.”

    • Hi Barbara – I’m sure glad to see you here. I hope your day was terrific! Other than having lunch out with a friend, I’ve been writing all day. And of course, that means I’ve been enjoying the bajeebers out of myself 🙂 I love what you shared about computers — that’s cool!

      I have no idea why, but what you said about “flocking” made me think of a funny statement a young, male tour guide said when we were on a bus top, “Ladies and gentlemen, now were going to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here!” Needless to say, the entire busload of people cracked up!

  7. Well, it is surely a seasonal thing, with me, everything is seasonal. I live and work according to Sun Time, more so than clock time. Lately the crows and Bluejays have invaded my back yard for their annual war on the squirrels. My yard is full of Pecan trees and neither the birds or mammals care that the pecans are green and bitter. There is a constant barrage of pecan shells dropping from the buffet in the tree limbs. Of course, the squirrels or birds do not care that those are my nuts, first come, first serve and I get the leftovers on the ground around Thanksgiving. Then again, I have my year-round pals, the Chicken Ladies, who greet me with great joy every morning until they see what is in my hands. If it is their laying pellets, ( 22% veg. protein! ) they cough rudely and say, “Don’t you ever have anything else? Do you eat oatmeal EVERY day?) If they see me bringing out a Dominoes box, it’s ” Oh, hi, sweetie! Come sit by me and we’ll talk!” That’s way too much company in the morning for me. I prefer coffee, toast, and the T.V. News, no flocking until after.

    • Sandi – Your comment about the Chicken Ladies made me laugh! I hope your day was amazing and you were out in the yard ducking this way and that to avoid the green pecan missiles the squirrels and birds were lobbing at each other.

  8. These days Laurie it is the Raven who makes me smile the most. But I am an eclectic when it comes to birds and people. The word a voluntary menagerie comes to mind at the moment. Even had a robin chase off an owl right before my eyes.

    • Terrill – Oh I like it, “voluntary menagerie” — that’s a keeper! Here’s a bit of totem information about our friend, the Raven:

      Ravens have a long history of myth and lore associated with them. In some native tribes they are known as the “keeper of secrets.” They hold the teachings of mysticism and magic.

      Ravens are linked to the void, where universal secrets are stored. Their inky black color is the color associated with darkness. The darkness is a place where unconscious fears live. Raven, a master magician, embodies the energy of transformation and shows us how to eliminate our inner demons.

      Ravens are the largest songbirds in North America. They are extremely intelligent and are clever mimics. They incorporate and mimic calls of other species and can teach us how to understand the language of animals. They have also been known to learn some human words.

      The raven knows the mystery of life. They have an intimate association with death and rebirth. Because raven would feed on the corpses of the dead hanging on the gallons, early European settlers feared this bird and considered it to be an ill omen. In truth, however, raven should be respected not feared.

      There are many stories in native cultures about this illusive black bird. Shamans know the power of an unexpected piercing sound in altering consciousness. Ravens exercise this power, emitting a variety of sounds and can aid us in shifting our consciousness into various dimensional realms. This is one reason why the raven is known as a shape shifter with magical powers. Anyone with raven as a totem can expect continual changes and spiritual awakenings throughout their life.

      Raven picks its students according to their accumulated wisdom. It flies into a person’s life carrying the energy of magic and healing. If it decides to settle in and take up residence, it will stay as long as necessary to aid you in transmuting your karma then return you to the light. It will push, prod, and lead you into the discovery of your multidimensional self and reunite you with the secrets of the multidimensional universe.

      Those with this totem should remember to meet raven, not with fear, but rather with an appreciation for the teachings that it holds.

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