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Monday, 02 January 2012

It is Going to Be a Great Year

By Mary B Summerlin who keeps a photostream at Flickr


How do I know that? How can I make such a positive statement? Well, sometimes nature tells you. The signs are so clear and definite.

Yesterday morning, a flock of cardinals visited my back deck. Yes, I said a flock. I’ve never seen more than two males at the same time. Yesterday, there were five males and two females.

They were gorgeous as they flitted about scouring for sunflower seeds. The males would even take time out to have a short air fight. The fight didn’t last long because they really wanted to eat.

When I see such unexpected events in nature, I am never prepared and I just stand/sit there with my mouth open. Reality sets in and I grab my camera to take pictures of this momentous event.

I’m not good at this – I’m so excited, I don’t wait to get a good pose. I’m afraid I won’t get anything at all. So I hurry and don’t take time to focus properly. I think the birds know this so just before I’m going to click, they turn their backside or move and ruin the perfect pose.

But that doesn’t stop me and I usually get a few good ones and curse myself for not being more patient and careful.

When I was growing up on the farm in South Carolina, I was told that a red bird made wishes come true. If you saw one, you threw a kiss, made a silent wish and it would come true. Frankly, I can’t ever remember if it came true or not but I do remember the excitement of sighting the bird, throwing a kiss and making the wish. Even now as a senior, if I see a red bird I throw a kiss and make a wish.

So yesterday, instead of making many wishes (for all the opportunities), I just made one big one – that my New Year would be the best ever. Then, when I felt that was settled, I thought in bigger terms and wished peace and joy for the whole world.

It’s going to be a great year. I know. The red birds told me so.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting..]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


What a sweet, charming post! Thank you for making a cold, snowy day much better. The pics are great especially for me since the cardinal is our state bird. Happy New year. Dee

Absolutely beautiful, Mary. Just reading it made me optimistic. As for the birds turning their backsides to you when you click, my grandkids do the exact same thing.

I am going to put out more sunflower seeds!! Hooray for 2012 and for you Mary, for your optimistic outlook.

The optimistic perspective is always the choice of wisdom IMO.

Having lived for many years in VA, mostly I miss the beautiful cardinal, the fall, and spring foliage....

Thank you for the reminders.


This gave me goose bumps to read. We do not have cardinals here, but I understand your excitment seeing them. I feel awe when I listen to the chickadees predict rain or do the math to know the temperature from that noisy cricket under the deck. I think we are so much more in tune to the natural world around us than we let ourselves know. Thank you for reminding me.

Beautiful pictures..first year in many, many I didn't spy two cardinals in my yard during the Fall..on their way to fairer lands, at least warmer climes I bet..I like the comments too..who cannot see a blue/red/yellow bird and not think it's going to be a good day, so near the beginning of 2012, I go for the whole year from your sightings..So say us all..

I left a post early, but must not have done it right! Said that "it makes me happy to see your beautiful cardinals and your lovely essay, especially since I am so lucky to have access to your "bird studio" as well as your friendship" (or something like that).

Cardinals are so beautiful. I’ve never seen more than two by our feeder.
Maybe I’ll make a wish the next time one or both make an appearance. What can it hurt?

Part of my recent crabbiness has been a move from a house by the lake where we were inundated with birds from tiny jewel-colored warblers to trumpeter swans and bald eagles to a city condo where we see the occasional pigeon and by-laws prohibit hanging a feeder. So I loved seeing your redbirds, blow them a kiss for me, and while you are at it, give one to yourself. May 2012 be all we hope it to be!

I've never seen a red bird; they are lovelier than even my magpies. I wish the best for you in the New Year and keep taking pictures for us all.

Your positive comments have added to the beginning of a great year. Thank youall.


I wanted to post this yesterday but computer would not cooperate.

I LOVED the picture of the cardinal on the branch and I am trying to print it for myself. I will put it in a little frame. So beautiful!

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