Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas - 2 Turtle Doves

On the Second Day of Christmas
My True Love gave to me
Two Turtle Doves

The last couple weeks I have had to tend to my bird feeders quite often.  The cooler weather brings all the birds (as well as a few squirrels) out in abundance.  I have added a few new feeders this year, although I think I have plenty really.  Yet the birds I  sure will not complain. 
I have hung a couple thistle feeders on the back porch as this brings the brightly colored finches closer so that I can watch them better.  I love how they dance back and forth with one another in play and a means to show off their vigor.

This year we were fortunate enough to have a flock of doves that settled near here.  The first time I saw them I was quite fascinated by their pure whiteness.  A group of about 12 of them would fly about each afternoon.  At first I thought they may be egrets yet they were far to small in stature for this.  Next I assumed they were an odd lot of pigeons.  Yet this also proved to be wrong.  When I observed them closer, I realized we were blessed with a small flock of white doves.  I am not sure how they ventured here as it is the first time I have ever seen so many  yet it was a pure delight. 

The turtle doves also as well were here.  They are such beautiful birds with such distinct markings and when adult most generally run in pairs.  They seem to be so devoted to each other once coupled.  I have  heard that they claim only one mate in a lifetime.  I am inclined to believe this as this summer we had a couple who would frequent our yard.  Later in the season I noticed only one.  As I continued to keep track of it through the days, it continued to remain alone. 

My grandfather used to cup his hands together and blow.  The sound he would make was that of the mourning dove.  It was one of my favorite things as a child.  On still afternoons I still love to sit on the porch and listen to them call. 

Perhaps because of its mournful song as well as its desire to create such strong pair bonds, the dove is often used as a symbol of devoted love.  Below an excerpt from a poem by William Shakespeare.

The Phoenix & The Turtle
by William Shakespeare

Here the anthem doth commence:
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.

So they lov'd, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
'Twixt the turtle and his queen;
But in them it were a wonder.

So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right
Flaming in the phoenix' sight:
Either was the other's mine.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I love the song of the mourning dove! I heard it so often as a child in the country. Can't remember the last time I heard one in the city.

Scented Leaf said...

Birdwatching as a appreciation of life is challenging and fascinating. I'm happy for your time spent in such pleasantly companions (thanks for the poem).

Cynthia said...

I love that poem and what a beautiful post. The birds are such a blessing. We are so cold here and ours depend on us as much as we depend on their beauty.

aurorafedora said...

beautiful post! i adore my birds and watching them at the feeders from my window is one of my daily pleasures! we have a large group of mourning doves, they are wonderful!

Wendy said...

I always put out special bird seed and hang those like different shaped bird see ornaments on a tree outside. I know that the Scandinavians believe or once believed that birds are really angels so they made sure the birds were always fed. And I love to see my little faery hummers that come visit me every day.

Faerie Moon Creations said...

Loved this post very much! We always make sure to keep our bird feeder very full this time of year. I love seeing all the birds that visit us in the winter - which differ so much from those who visit us in the spring and summer. Thanks again for a wonderful and thoughtful post! Theresa