They are nowhere near as haughty as this shot suggests. It just so happens that when I snapped it, that sparrow down below seemed somehow penitent, a supplicant. It was sheer happenstance to catch them like this. To me, the queen and her husband may well be backyard monarchy, but basically benevolent.
They demand a special diet--that's true. All I did was put a half orange out yesterday, and just like that our backyard was their kingdom.
They're not in the least self-possessed. You might think their flaming plumage would have them preening their life away. Not so. Getting them to sit for a portrait is a chore because they don't sit for a minute. If you just keep shooting and shooting, maybe you'll get lucky and catch one or two solid portraits. That one above seems posed, but it's not. It's just a half second after this:
The Queen may not be as startling as her mate, but she has her own steady beauty, and where would the two of them be without her, after all?
But, alas, "nothing gold can stay," ye olde verse asserts, nothing orange either. The orioles are here today, thanks to that orange I put out; and I'm guessing they'll be here a while.
But not long. Soon enough, they'll be on their way, nomadic as so much of world they know.
It was the doves who spent all their time preening. Their song is a dirge, and their cottony softness makes them feel as if they could be friends. But they fight like cats and dogs, and I've come to think of them as vain. Look, here's three preening mourners, all in a row.
Meanwhile, from the monarchy yesterday and again this morning, nothing but the music of the spheres.
I'm thankful for the doves too, but this morning, outside the window, it's the royalty that capture both my attention and my morning thanks.