Friday, January 8, 2010

The Third Wire


I had to look these birds up; I think they were grackles.  (Funny name, I cackle at grackle).  I was sitting at a light on New Hampshire Avenue, watching them congregate on three electrical wires.  They blew in in waves, approaching the wire in seemingly random fashion until they flew quickly into formation just before landing.  The first wave that joined the already-sitting birds had maybe 15 birds, then another 15 or 20, then another 10 or 15. 

Just a few grackles sat on the uppermost of the three wires.  Perhaps they were the crazy members of the family, relegated to the attic.  A few more occupied the middle wire, while the lowest of the three wires was by far the most popular roost.  Watching the formations approach was a bit like watching a silly person drive around and around a mall parking lot, looking for just one space closer.  As the bottom wire filled, a few desparate grackles hesitated mid-flight before reluctantly taking a spot on the middle wire.  They're in Brooklyn now, but just wait until that place in Manhattan opens up...

Birds on a wire always look smug to me.  Their body language radiates self-satisfaction.   "Yes", they say, "we know that this is an impossibly narrow perch, even for bodies as small as ours.  But we're quite all right, thank you.  We can balance very easily, and if we fall?  Yeah, we can fly." 

Ignorance is bliss.  Those wires are live, so wipe those smirks off your beaks.

(The cartoon is by me, drawn as a solution to the problem of not being able to find a non-copyrighted photograph of birds on a wire.   Click to enlarge.)

11 comments:

Saoirse in Spokane said...

They have Grackles in south Texas. I fell in love with these characters. They have the funniest whistles and noises. It was of the best things we experienced down in Brownsville.

Have a great weekend.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Great drawing.

CDP said...

Saoirse--well, maybe they weren't grackles, then. I didn't do real research, I just Googled "birds on wire" and came up with grackles...I wonder if they'd be as far north as here or as far south as Brownsville. Well, I guess they migrate...birds do that.


Dr. M--thanks! Email me your address and I'll send it to you. It probably looks better on the blog...it's just pen on printer paper.

enc said...

I like your cartoon better than any lame copyrighted image.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Oh, your drawing is superb! More.

caitlin.maia said...

i like your picture. i made it my desktop background. :)

and i totally agree about the smugness of birds.

CDP said...

enc--thank you...and is that the new haircut?

Dr. Frieda--It's possible that I've extended myself to the outside limit of my artistic ability with that drawing, but it was fun so I might do it again!

Caitlin---you made it your desktop? That makes me happy. I knew you'd get it. I saw some birds this weekend who were just asking to get their feathered asses kicked...

Sauntering Soul said...

Should you ever decide to pack up and head South, I think your artistic abilities would make you a wonderful candidate to be a teacher at the studio with me. :-)

CDP said...

SS--ha ha ha ha ha!

Mauigirl said...

Love your drawing of the birds and the captions!

We get flocks of grackles here in New Jersey. They are big black shiny birds - but smaller than crows. They come in large groups!

Anonymous said...

I will not concur on it. I think precise post. Particularly the title-deed attracted me to be familiar with the whole story.

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