Meet The Neigh-Birds

I'll begin by saying that we have moved to a new work place.  Still in a residential district.  Still in an apartment building:  only bigger, loftier.  We have a balcony.  A bathroom in lavender tile.  A stove ca. 1940, all gloss and chrome and dials.  A towel rack in the kitchen that folds into the wall and then extends like a malnourished, wooden arm.  There is a tiny opening by the front door:  open it and there is a chart, reading, 'Buttermilk/Regular/Butter/Cottage Cheese'.  The lady of the house, no doubt in a pale narrow house dress, curtained by a linen apron with her hair tied up Tillie The Toiler-style, would move an arrow to indicate the item needed.  The milkman would then leave the desired product…and she could retrieve it from the stairwell inside.  This dairy cubicle opens inwards.

Our building resides permanently in the shade.  Living threads of lime-green lichen permeate the sidewalk, giving it a chilly, neon glow.

From my vantage point in the front room I can watch ravens and squirrels rampaging through the protesting branches of the avocado tree across the street.

Today I was walking back to work after lunching with Mother at Canters.  (What a lovely thing it is to be within walking distance of a deli.)

As I meandered on, reflecting on the glory of my vegetarian sandwich on whole wheat, I suddenly heard sqwaking.  A zoo's sqwaking.  It was plural.  It was numerous.  It was many.  It was legion.

I turned to my left and beheld an outdoor aviary, built into thick, curling tree trunks.  It was a jeweled aboretum, filled with what seemed like – to my near-sighted eyes – fluttering swatches of color.

(Aubrey apologies for the quality of these pictures, but really, they were such capricious, fluttering things)


I spoke to them – something happy and ridiculous – then two, colored Ruby and Jade, came closer:  they were unafraid and inquisitive.  Their patient curiosity was very gratifying.  I was so sorry to leave and disappoint their friendship.

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18 responses to “Meet The Neigh-Birds

  1. [this is envy inducing]birds AND avocados? no fair!!

  2. I see your SQUAWK and raise you a SQUEEE.

  3. Your work commutes are the best. Maybe there will be more precious posts about these two gems?Yesterday I ordered a bird of paradise puppet and a blue macaw puppet for a tiny niece & nephew for their Christmas.By the way, in the news, absinthe, of a watered down kind, has now been legalized in the US. FYI.

  4. What lovely neighbors to discover.

  5. I wish I could see the house/office – I have a feeling I would love it.

  6. The new home sounds wonderful, and the birds are Gorgeous!!

  7. Oooo, is the orange kitty also in the new work neighborhood?We had a house with one of those milk doors.It made a lovely cat door, with only two small problems.This was the house we lived in when Sair was about two, and she just loved the door.She could reach through it and drop things, and they'd vanish.Things like small toys, key rings, and the tv remote.And she could run and shut it, and then the lovely fuzzy four-legged baby toys couldn't escape.They loved her anyway.

  8. pyrit: I don't think watered-down absinthe will get me writing symbolist poetry, so I'll pass. And you may be assured, that should any post-deli walks take me by those shiners, you will hear about it.
    lauowolf: Luke is about three blocks away. I keep a look out. Always. And yes, the little dairy cube would make a fine hiding place for tiny keepsakes.

  9. your new digs sound very much like one of the buildings in which I work. there are no birds in an arboretum, however. does it belong to someone in the neighborhood? the birds look lively and attentive, like they're ready, willing and able to squawk up a storm at the drop of a feather, er, hat.

  10. The aviary is actually built into an apartment building, 4-5 blocks from our workplace. Is that close enough to be considered a neighborhood?
    These parrots were like puppies: as soon as they saw me, they came over to have a look.

  11. The biggest dream of my childhood was to have a parrot! Unfortunately thedream haven't become true! 😦

  12. How precious! They were sorry to see you go and will be most happy to have you return. Their equal in wit and plumage. 😉

  13. Oh, she didn't hide things in it.She reached through it and dropped them outside into the tall grass.I wish I could have seen it from the outside.

  14. What lovely birds….Visual Dharma! Thank you, Aubrey.

  15. Ruby looks to be a Crimson Rosella… one of our beautiful native Australian birds (we are very lucky with the colour of our local boidies).Your new building sounds lovely! Enjoy!

  16. I was going to say the same thing! Crimson Rosella, perhaps a touch paler than a native?

  17. probably just lost a bit of its tan…

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