Sunday, February 7, 2010

REDBIRD RESISTANCE

Yield not to temptation!
The idea was a cornerstone teaching of my upbringing, repeated often—frequently in an exasperated or stern voice—by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, even older cousins, family friends, neighbors, Sunday school teachers, grade school teaches, and anyone else who decided my learning curve showed a remarkable lack of the dictum's adoption and practice, and thus I might benefit from regular reinforcement.
Yield not to temptation!
The axiom got applied to everything from helping myself to that box of chocolates Mom had hidden in the bottom drawer of her bedroom bureau, to reading, say, Treasure Island in school when I was supposed to be studying, or sneaking off on my bike to the gravel quarry, where I loved clambering around on the cliffs surrounding the lake, though I'd been distinctly told to remain in the yard.
Yield not to temptation!
My theory was that if temptation wasn't rewarding, it wouldn't be tempting. Or so much fun.
Yield not to temptation!
I still have a hard time reconciling that philosophy. But I believe in its truth and worth—even it's necessity to living an honorable life.
Yield not to temptation!
Okay, I sorta believe. Sometimes…when whatever it is trying to tempt me isn't doing a very good job.
Yield not to temptation!
No, confound it, I do believe…but I sorta have trouble strictly adhering to that belief—especially when tempting temptation lurks so invitingly.
Yield not to temptation!
As yesterday's snow arrived, every direction you looked seemed to offer photographic possibilities. Snow resculpts the landscape and all objects therein; it's a new and different world, almost magical. And nothing stands out quite so spectacularly amid all that white than a scarlet male cardinal. A single redbird sitting on a snowy limb is like a gleaming jewel.
Yup, I remembered: Yield not to temptation!
While it would have been easy to shoot a redbird photo at every whipstitch, I did not succumb. I am a grown man, not a little boy stealing chocolates or slipping off to play.
I can resist temptation. I can, I can, I can! I have willpower! A mind of my own!
Yield not to temptation!
Do you honestly think I'd give in to a bunch of dandified birds that look like they ought to riding after the foxhounds across some British countryside, or getting ready to parade down the street in a brass marching band?
Yield not to temptation!
No, sir! I am master of my own desires. Resistant to the beck and call of a redbird's beauty. I WILL NOT yield to temptation!
Okay, so Mom was right. Guess I'm going to have to keep working on that one…
Sometimes, yielding still seems like the best way to handle temptation.

24 comments:

Gail said...

HI BRTIZZ_

Beautiful pictures, stunning actually. I love the attempt, grand as it was bv many, to 'curb your adventurous self' hah!!!

Temptation is always a thrill - to which we all must decide whether or not to yield.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Tramp said...

What a lovely bird. Are they more visible there in winter, like the robin in the UK? Do you get robins there? As an exiled Brit in central Europe I am surprised at the low profile the robin keeps here, it is not the bold character it is in the British garden.
Winter garden visitors here are mainly blue tits, coal tits, great tits and blackbirds. In the fields it's possible to see various hawks. Other birdlife keeps to the forest except for the water birds.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

I've pretty much always paid attention to what folks told me…and then done what I wanted to do, anyway. Often to my own detriment. But Mom and Dad early on quite trying to curb my adventurous nature—mainly, I think, because if anything, they had been worse. Takes one to know one.

Temptation has long been my traveling companion…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

More visible against the white snow, for sure…and pretty visible simply because of their color (males, females are brown and red) when the leaves are down and the woods open, but without snow on the ground, and visible because they love to gather at the feeders; but not more common. I have great cardinal habitat here along the river, and the redbirds flourish accordingly. This is Ohio's "state bird," and for several additional states, as well. Everyone loves redbirds.

We do have robins, though they're a different bird, a bit larger, yet marked almost identically. Some fly south for the winter, but a lot simply retreat to the thickest and denser cover. I see a few every week. Come spring, they reappear in the dozens, even flocks of a hundred or more.

Bernie said...

Great post and I am smiling at you trying to convince yourself not to do what you want to do....I think I am a bit like that as well, challenges, temptations usually are a lot of fun and worth the risk of a scolding.
Great photos Grizz, so glad you are enjoying the newly arrived snow......:-) Hugs

Penny said...

So glad you did, I love seeing that red bird, and the snow. Too hot and humid here to get much done so trawling blogs.

Rowan said...

I'm glad that you did yield to temptation, these are beautiful photographs. I love to see the red cardinals, we have nothing as bright as that among our UK birds. They are so spectacular, I'd love to see a real one. As for temptation - put a box of chocolates in front of me and I'm a lost cause:)

Tramp said...

Interesting to hear about the robins there. In Europe, despite the difference in their like of human company, they don't flock and as far as I know they don't migrate.

Kelly said...

Hahaha! Loved the post. You had me smiling and chuckling. Temptation, indeed!! Those amazing redbirds get me every time too (along with Treasure Island...).

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

I have, am, and plan to continue enjoying the snow! Glad you liked the photos. And I still believe temptation is the one to blame for getting me off track occasionally…not lack of willpower.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Penny…

It's -2˚F here (-19˚C) so not much sweltering going on…but the sun is shining and it's really pretty out.

I'm happy to share the redbird (cardinal) and snow photos. Glad you liked them.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

I'm surprised you didn't get to see any cardinals when you were in the U.S. last year. I sure have plenty here along the river—nearly a dozen that I can see right now just looking out my writing room window (that's counting females) and I really can't see the area where I spread the cracked corn.

Chocolate, especially dark, bittersweet chocolate, has always been my weakness—though I don't need a lot. I can make a 2-pound box last for a month or two, eating just a piece or so per day.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

Our robins are fairly "tame" birds, too, accepting enough that you can work within a dozen yards of them in the yard, or seat yourself somewhere, sit quietly, and have them come much closer. Excellent songsters, as well—and one of the real harbingers of spring is to hear robins singing in the dawn, in sprightly, swinging melody.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

I can resist anything but temptation…

I trust you've been out and about along the Little Miami, birding, enjoying the snow and having some a weekend of outdoor adventures. Can't wait to see the wonderful photos I know you've taken.

Rochelle said...

Oh these were ALL wonderful, and so different in angle and framing that you NEEDED to take all those.

I particularly liked the one (somewhere in the middle) where he seems to be looking up at you. Beautiful.

And I envy you all your snow. We are bidding on a house in VA, near Charlottesville and the thing I miss most is snow. They say they don't really get that much there (sob) but they did this year. I wish I weren't missing it.

Speaking of missing, I miss your visits to my blog. I have been so busy with life lately that I haven't been able to write long, thoughtful posts like I used to but I often feel when I don't know what a species might be that you would know,,, :-)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rochelle…

I wouldn't swear to it, but I'm pretty sure these are all different cardinals—well, maybe a couple with the same bird, but at a different time and place. They aren't just one bird I kept snapping away at as he moved from limb to limb. And the real confession is I culled these from well over a hundred redbird shots! Plus I took more yesterday…and more this morning.

I hope you get your house in Virginia…and while Charlottesville isn't exactly snowbelt, you at least have a chance—plus you're not too far a drive from those areas of the state which do receive snow regularly. So you ought to be able to get a snow fix every so often.

Hey, please forgive me for not commenting on your blog lately; I've been absolutely awful about it, I know, and need to apologize. And not just to you, but to a lot of my blog readers. I have, however, been reading and keeping up with most blogs, yours included. I have to follow Big Al and all the rest of your squirrels, and I thought that cartoon of the buck deer reading the sign with the other deer sneaking up on him holding that bag was hilarious.

Anyway, I'll try and do better. I've been buried in a long writing work project I have going and have subsequently been neglecting a lot of things—even my own blog. That's not a sufficient reason, though…just an excuse.

Carolyn H said...

Griz: you are too funny.

Carolyn H.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Carolyn…

Huh! And here I was, thinking I'd been serious and profound! Who knew?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - you know me and cardinals. Every single one of your photographs has given me intense joy.

Rochelle said...

Me again. I'm wondering how you have been able to write such long and wonderfully written posts and thoughtfully respond to each commenter as well (admiration! How can I do the same???) when newly married! I figured with all the adjustment of living a new life with someone else in the stone house that it would shift the way you did things or something from before. What's the secret? lol

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Truly, my pleasure. I wondered what you'd say when you checked in. Please consider the redbird photos a small bloggy gift.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rochelle…

What can I say—I'm male, a geezer-in-training, hard-headed Irish, set in my ways, impervious, incurable, irredeemable, unrepentant, hopeless, the poster child for incorrigible. Change is not in my DNA. I consider the word a call to battle, and have been known to show my teeth and growl at its utterance.

Okay, the truth…

Myladylove's job requires 12 or more hours most days, except for Sunday and a day off during the week if she can work it out. We have breakfast together, a late, late dinner (mostly a snack) and whatever times can be managed. She has a 20 minute drive to work. My writing studio is here, so I amble down the hall. I probably average about a dozen hours daily at the desk, though I can (and do) get up and go outside every so often, and I can carry my laptop out and work on the deck or at the picnic table when weather permits. I do the cooking, wash, grocery shopping, and many of the household chores. We've known each other for years and have long accommodated each other's schedules. It isn't what we'd like to have together, timewise…and if we could figure how to work it out, we'd pack up the truck and live on the road, in a tent, camping and exploring for 10 or 11 months out of the year. And that, I assure you, is no joke.

I can continue writing the blog because I still have essentially the same amount of available time. Blogging is like a break from writing for me. I bury my head in my work for awhile, come up for air, do a blog or answer comments, eat an apple, look out, walk the dog, take a photo or two—then dive back into my work.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have decided that I have a serious addiction - to cardinals. I read a book when I was a teenager - can't remember anything about it except it mentioned red cardinals, since when I have always wanted to see one. Now you give me a positive feast Scribe - and I still want more.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

You will have them! I can't resist taking their photos. Could the book you read have been "Song of the Cardinal," by Gene Stratton Porter?