The Weekly Agenda

The cardinals had their regular meeting a few weeks back; the one I’m never invited to. Their agenda had 1 item and they tweeted and tweeted back and forth about it, as birds do. That week, the cardinal society agreed that for their next prank, they would wait for that little man with the big camera and the short hair to come by, down on the ground, with the bugs and worms and fallen seeds. And when he did, they would call his attention — the unmistakeable “dweeeee too too too too” song only cardinals can sing. He’d turn at the sound, fiddling with those little buttons with his big thumbs, and right before he snapped a picture, they would fly away — off to another tree. One where they would laugh and chitter for a while before calling him over and starting again. Meeting adjourned! And so the week went, just as they planned it.

But the cardinals had a new agenda this week. Some new cardinal business came up and the heckling ended.

So this weekend, while rounding that last garden in D.C.’s arboretum before heading home for the day, one kind cardinal threw me a bone. I didn’t catch his name but the bright red male hopped up to a little pedestal and patiently waited. I fiddled; my big thumbs pressing the little buttons. I pulled the camera up, looking silly as I swung it around trying to find him in the viewfinder. Half pressing the release, I got the focus steady. He waited still. And finally, the sound of the shutter flicked and flicked away.

The cardinals’ week of taunting me was up and like all the kids do once a year on school picture day, this one kindly combed his feathers, turned his head, posing, and allowed me the perfect picture. I love it like the parents love those school photos. It was a small thing for the little red bird; but no less, he was busy that day, playing and feeding and chittering with his friends. He could have left but no; he took time to give me that pleasure. I’ll cherish it forever.

6 thoughts on “The Weekly Agenda

  1. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of the The Quotation Mark after a 3 year hiatus. “Dweeeee too too too too” is one of my all time favorite avian quotes. Keep it going Mark!


  2. Love this shot and the precise play-by-play. Never made it to the WDC Arboretum while I lived there but went about 5 years ago – what a treasure. (We were at Garrett’s and the Irish Times in our spare time).
    When you get older (like some us commenting here), you’ll find yourself chatting with the cardinals you meet, thinking they’re deceased friends and relatives stopping in for a visit. That pastime is quite therapeutic as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Having seen a few outtakes privately – and now with the prose to match – I know what an accomplishment this photo was. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a fellow bird watcher always trying to get the right photo, and almost always just missing the perfect shot, I enjoyed reading about your persistence.
    It certainly paid off!
    Keep clicking away and keep us posted on your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s