Azulejos in the morning

There are very few things I miss from Colombia. The food (especially the fruit). My family (of course). My friends. The dancing. The birds that came to my balcony every day.

Houses in Colombia are very different from houses here in Canada. They are always the townhouse style with no space in between. Very few have front yards and even less have back yards. What we call patio, is nothing like the patios here. A patio there is just a space in the back of the house usually with a concrete floor and a sink (for doing laundry. Yes, by hand) and the clothes lines.

So there are virtually no gardens with beautiful landscaping, artificial ponds, bird baths and bird feeders.

Besides, most people live in apartments, anyway. Since we live in the mountains, space is very limited and most people can’t afford a house. I jokingly say that people down there live on top of each other.

For most of my married life, I lived in an apartment. But I had a balcony so I always put fruit  and water there for the birds. And the birds would come every morning to take a bath and feed.

This is one the kinds of bird I got. Many of them. Feisty little things. Absolutely beautiful but very feisty. They liked bananas, papaya and tomatoes.

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus). Photograph by Fabian Passariello

Unfortunately, I don’t have my own pictures -didn’t even own a camera back then, so Flickr and Wikipedia pictures will have to do.

I was also visited by dozens of little birds that looked a lot like these

I started with a quick breakfast.  Bagel with cream cheese and hot chocolate (cause they didn't have coffee).  Sat on a bench to eat and two seconds later I had company

This picture is from my Summer trip to DC

They were very friendly and would come all the way to the dining room and eat from my table.  They preferred birdseed and bread crumbs over fruit.  There was one in particular, chubbier and even friendlier than the rest whom I named Chip. He would come and eat from my hand.  It was always nice to have breakfast with my chatty little friends. The kids would be gone for school already so it was just them and me.  I so wish I had a picture of Chip. My daughter still remembers him (her?). Those were happy breakfasts with all the little birds chirping happily away while I was having my coffee. A nice, calm interlude between the madness of getting the kids ready for school and the madness of the hospital with all its pain and misery.

Unless one of the cats decided they wanted to get a closer look at the toys er… birds. I kept telling them birds were friends, not toys (or food) but I don’t think my cats believed me. However, they did leave them alone for the most part.

My Colombian cats, Toby & Samwise

My Colombian cats, Toby & Samwise

Occasionally I’d get some other visitors, red birds that don’t look like the Cardinals you see here or yellow birds that looked like robins but smaller. I don’t know the names of those but they were all beautiful.

I miss that.

7 thoughts on “Azulejos in the morning

  1. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    Beautiful. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised you had a cat named Samwise. Nerd.

    I remember your DC picture – it’s such a smile-inducing scene, as is the thought of a little creature eating from your hand. That’s still on my list.

    • SummerSolsticeGirl says:

      oh, I’ve had many birds eating from my hand, as well as many chipmunks, a few squirrels and even a ground-hog. All wild. None of them domesticated.

      The best of all was a doe at a provincial park. She didn’t eat from my hand but she came very close to me. Looking into her eyes was a beautiful experience.

      I’m telling you, animals like me a lot. :)

      And of course I’m a nerd! Very proud of it too

  2. Anita S says:

    You must be an animal whisperer… I can’t even get wild animals to come within 25 feet of me.*sigh* I really like learning more about your life in Colombia and other places. I know sometimes one doesn’t want to write about the past because of the issues and feelings that come up. But when you do feel like it, be assured you have an eager reader in me! ;-)

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