Monday, July 03, 2006

Hot pigeon

It's unusually hot. I was hoping that my acclimatisation to the British cold wouldn't strip me of my native heat tolerance, but apparently as a matter of universal justice, that's a cake-and-eating-it-too deal.

In the garden, there are town pigeons, wood pigeons, three collared doves, a fledgling song thrush, and two fledgling greenfinches. The song thrush especially tugs at my heart -- with its exaggerated streakyness and wide, amazed-looking eyes, it looks like a rough charcoal drawing of a bird come to life. It is very wary. Warier, certainly, than the two town pigeons. These two are Our Pigeons. The female was the first to appear. She has the ordinary purplish-gunmetally aspect of a typical pigeon, splattered liberally with white feathery smudges. Pluvialis dubbed her Nelson, after the similarly splattered statue in London. The male, who has become spectacularly butch on corn and parrot seed served up on our back step, is an escaped racing pigeon. He sports the coloured rings on his feet with the nonchalant aplomb of a gym-muscled DJ wearing the latest charity wristbands. He is also white-spattered, with a perfect white helmet for which I named him Stormtrooper. We may or may not have found out who owns Stormtrooper, and where he was sent from when he sidelined himself over the fens. But Nelson and Stormtrooper are in love. He is a defected athlete who longs for the personal freedom that we all take for granted! And who are we to interfere in political matters?

So this morning they enjoyed an utterly democratic pigeon bath-tacular in the dish we filled against the heat, and Pluvialis and I forgot our intellectual cares watching wet pink-footed featherdusters sunbathe under the strawberry plant.


Heidi the Hick said...

We had pigeons in our barn when I was a kid. My mom painted up a nice plywood sign and nailed it to the front wall of the barn, just to answer the question that hunters would inevitably ask, since my mom didn't want any stray bullets hitting her kids..."No Shooting. Tame Pigeons."

After a few years the plywood delaminated and the sign said, "No Shootin Tame Pig "

That didn't really have anything to do with your post other than the pigeon thing. I just wanted to share it!

Xtin said...

Hahaha! Heidi, that's a brilliant story. You should blog a more detailed version immediately!

Meg D. said...

Pluvialis dubbed her Nelson, after the similarly splattered statue in London.

Bwah! What a great idea.