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tomato hornworm

July 8, 2014


Blackbirds are Bullies

Artwork by L’Adelaide. All rights reserved.

Blackbirds Rainbow-watercolor

Blackbirds Rainbow

Watercolor and India Ink, 16×18″
{Arches £140 cold-pressed}

I began this watercolor several YEARS ago. I never seemed to finish it but that wasn’t unusual. Lately I’ve gotten it into my head to either finish them or toss them onto the collage pile!

At the same time as I was facing this dilemma, I was cursing the half-dozen blackbird PAIRS (That makes 12!) outside, making nests in the pergola grapevines!
Knowing they can have several clutches a season and each clutch can contain up to 8 eggs was horrifying. We{Farmer} has, so far, removed 6-7 nests, I’m not sure…
They also leave behind

baby worms, that grow UP! And OUT!
Like this Tomato Hornworm.

Lovely to drop upon your head as you bask in the shade, no?
You haven’t lived until…

tomato hornworm

If the baby birds hatch and survive, which they almost always do, then
the following spring say “Hello!”
The clutch, with mates, will return to lay their eggs.
(Double last year’s count…)
The parent birds will also return to nest.
Eventually your garden can be overrun with stupid black birds. No other birds will hang around. Their mortal enemy, besides The Farmer, seems to be woodpeckers. But they’re always too late!
Why? They’re busy feasting on acorns…

Blackbirds are the bully of the bird world,
chasing all the sweet little songbirds away.
AND the bluebirds too!

bird-black bird on a wire

blackbird on a wire

So here I was, upstairs, watching these ridiculous black birds out the window, flying here, there and everywhere with bits of nest material or suspicious green worms hanging from their beaks.
And looking over my stale half-done paintings.

I think the rest is obvious as to an explanation of the above FINISHED painting.

bad birds linger-quote

bad birds linger

31 thoughts on “Blackbirds are Bullies

  1. Love the painting, hate the green worms and not a fan of black birds! Glad you finished the painting – there is something to solid black birds against the colorful world below them.

  2. The painting is fabulous! I thought blue jays were noisy bullies-I guess they keep the black birds in line around here. That, or we aren’t offering the beautiful grapes that you are are trying to nurture!

    • strangely, our blue jays are not aggressive like these guys are. they can be aggressive about feeders tho. i don’t have them out due to the mice, etc. at least we think we’ve finally managed to rid ourselves of the nests up above in that pergola…. UGH! creepy worms were a first for us here. I’ve seen them in other areas around but not up here. thought i was “safe”… famous last words. now i’m scared to pick tomatoes! really i need to just buck up! such a weenie at times, me! 😉

  3. I love this painting. And I feel your frustration, we had red-winged blackbirds in NS and they, too, are bullies and will chase every other bird away from the feeders and away, period. I have been known to go out there with towel waving, banging doors or pots and yelling at them to move on!

    • thanks joss. 😉
      i guess we are one and the same on this one… i do the same with pots, towels, rocks, dogs… and NO feeders since that’d make it all just worse. they seem to have gotten mad at us since we rid the nest from the pergola so fingers crossed. painting my angst was a help!

  4. Beautiful painting. I really feel the commotion in the painting of having these birds invading with all their to and fro energy. A quote for thought. I can give you some acorn woodpeckers because we have so many. The black birds seem like a real irritant. Pushy neighbors are unwanted. They certainly are survivors. The worms…ugh. But I guess they are part of the survival plan.

    • Yes, hard not to as i was upset when i was painting AND watching them. i guess the worms are a part of the whole but so big, absolutely disgusting. i want to know, must they be so big??? makes me wonder just how big they can get? 😉 no no, never mind…

      good experiment for the grandkids but i hope i never see another one here!

  5. Lovely painting – no fan of those birds, but beautiful in the work of art. In nature I guess they have their place somehow.

    • well, somehow they do form a part of the whole but…. i am not going to allow them to live on top of us. and know what will happen if we let them… every year, we do wage war and this year’s weather was very mild and they seem to be in droves now. thanks for liking my painting tho. 🙂

  6. Ah yes, I find myself humming ‘Bye bye Blackbird’. The painting is neat and I’m glad you finished it.

    • Keep singing that song! It’s working! My songbirds are returning, bluebirds are bac sunbathing and hummers are nuts! Yippee, I’m so relieved. 2 days without 1 blackbird!

      Haha, yes, you probably remember this from way back when! A lot like your post today and how our perspectives change over time… Still yours was a gorgeous piece. I’ll be emailing my comment since it still won’t work reliably. xxxx

  7. I’m very glad to know the strategy worked and that your little birds have returned. You must be delighted beyond words.

    I did read your beautifully descriptive post about the troubles you have with trespassers on the 4th of July. The picture you posted of the tall golden grass was lovely, but it doesn’t take much imagination to understand just how dangerous a spark or the sun’s reflection on a carelessly tossed bottle could be. I guess it’s too late in the year now to be looking for even a mild Pineapple Express, eh? Meanwhile, I’ll keep hoping your water holds out and that some rain does arrive to provide relief.

    I’m glad you saw my post. Yes, that new version of the polar bears is gone now and the paper edges can serve as scraps for new color runs for something else. I thought it would be easy but going back just doesn’t seem to work (^^)
    much love and know I think of you often

    ps: This is a re-written one since my first attempt failed to load again even though WP said I was signed in.

    • Firstly i’m sorry you’re having trouble leaving comments here. is that sometimes or is it all the time? Even tho i have no idea what to do about it. it’s the changing of your IP, if that’s going on. I haven’t noticed it but can look . there’s not much you [or i] can likely do about it. i had to set comments to moderate those without previous comments & think it is based on ip’s . ah well, you’ll be like me before long… WP seems to be going to the …. blackbirds! not going to say dogs!

      Yes it’s nice to wake up to the sound of birdsong again. i do detest those squawkers. and haven’t seen anymore dino-worms either. Yes it’s too late to pray for rain, my dear 😉 if we have any now i’d be really surprised. we don’t have rain til at the very earliest, mid-september maybe, but it would just be a light sprinkle.

      we are conserving water but we always do anyway. not much change there. we had some late rains that didn’t help a bit( i wish…) just the same, we’re always bone dry this time of year.

      I keep my old paintings too and have found i cannot recapture whatever thing i felt before for them. i think i’m going to have to dump a bunch of stuff since they’re taking up a lot of storage i could use. ah well, no sense crying over spilled paint, as they say. 🙂

      me too, my sweet… xoxoxo

      • Hello, my sweet,
        I just wanted to let you now I do have a solution to having my comments tossed and that’s to make absolutely sure they’re written in text edit first. What happens every time is that my second attempt always works so I’ll just go with that.

        Yeah, I’m really sorry (and troubled by) the drought out there. Even though I wish it weren’t true I know from experience you’re not likely to have much rain now until fall. Let’s hope it gets better this year.

        As far as weather is concerned we had a weird hurricane here last Saturday when one arrived months ahead of schedule. Although the winds were pretty high there was almost no rain in NS (that came down in New Brunswick), and it was cold. Jer is concerned the wild raspberries and blackberries will shrivel and die as they did during our long hot summer last year. We’re both glad that up until now this one is a cooler summer.

        If I have complaints about anything it’s that I’m feeling very uninspired lately when it comes to doing anything creative. I’ve tossed more potential paintings before completion this past few months than ever before. Hopefully, this too shall pass.
        Love always,

        • It doesn’t seem to work for me to use text editor.. It adds extra codes… I’ll have to check my settings cause maybe it’s me? Likely! 😉

          Ah the weather! Apparently we are expecting MONSOON MOISTURE. ummmm, no idea exactly what that is but somehow it’s related to the dip in the jet stream, so you’ll be cold? Very strange…. I’m more concerned about the 6.8 earthquake by Fukushima yesterday but stayed offline for a couple of days. I don’t want to read any opines of outcome. I grow tired of this medium but it also is painful to type. Could be a reason for my shifting lack of interest. Who knows… I’ve been saying this for quite some time yet I remain. I’m getting used to using the iPad more & may get a keyboard to avoid needing my laptop altogether.

          And you can probably tell I’m feeling very uninspired! Is it going around? Stay warm and don’t blow away and as for the berries, maybe eat them now if they’re still there. We had hardly any berries this season! 😦


  8. Magnificent! I love this painting so much, and the rainbow even reminds me of a flower. Plus, the birds seem like beautiful dancers; they totally fooled me.

    • Hi Mamie … Thank you for your sweet comments! I wasn’t intending the birds appear to be dancers but you aren’t the only one who thought that! Far from it! But the blackbirds have flown away for the season now so I’m happy! 🙂

      I’m still looking for the hornworms …. But my beagle enjoys them!

  9. I wanted to say first that I love this painting and when I scroll down to this position I relaised it was too late.. but I still can say that I like it too.. It could cover Hitchcock book nicely.. It is amazing what you go through and always smiling 😉 xxx

    • Hi Doron! Thank you for liking my strange painting! The birds sort of drove me nuts. That’s my excuse! 🙂

      No, my dear, I’m not always smiling, just seems like it because it’s the nature of the beast, methinks!?


  10. Hahahaha…..I loved the comment about becoming the cover to a Hitchcock book! How true is that?!
    So far (keeping fingers crossed) our trouble with blackbirds have been migratory–as they’re assembling to go to the next spot (probably your house…..LOL) they congregate in our trees. It’s crazy after harvest. I guess they’re pissed off about the loss of food/bugs that happens when the crops are pulled from the field. Matters not, they need to meet at someone else’s house cuz the noise is deafening. Personally, I like sitting out on the patio and clapping my hands and making the take to the sky. *laughing* That’s my idea of a good time here in Iowa. :-/

    I can FEEL the frenzy in the painting–and I’m not a lover of blackbirds in the first place. Had it simply been silhouettes of birdies, I mighta been okay with it. Does sorta take that ‘Hitchcock’ feel when you put all the pieces together. But it’s a good painting cuz it comes with FEELING attached to it.

    Here’s hoping the dumb blackbirds have taken flight and taken their nasty tomato worms with ’em. YES, we get those here, the wretched thing…..right up there with corn worms, lemme assure you…….OMG….totally ruins my desire to eat corn on the cob when I run into one of those damn things. And here it is the START of sweetcorn season…..LOL NOW see what you’ve done. LOLOLOL Maybe I’ll stick to corn that’s already husked! 😉 Right! I’ll buy the dozen and send himself to do the husking. *snickering* Now how evil is THAT?! ROFL!!!!!!

    • I guess they’re migratory here and left tho I see the, still passing overhead! I run for my bbgun! Ugh the worms, the worms, just disgusting. I think the tomato ones win out over the corn worms for the gross factor! Ughughugh! I’m always obsessively looking for them but fingers crossed, haven’t seen anymore. Tho I know they’re around, just well disguised! :/

  11. What an absolutely magnificent painting you allowed yourself to finish… I see your beautiful life expressed through the rainbow colours, but what you couldn’t do back then was to embrace all the shadows and darkness that have been part of your life/lifes… until now… your body consciousness (body, mind and spirit) has welcomed them all home, no matter what they each represented in the past… allowing them transmute into neutral energy and new potential… Paintings are expressions from our soul… the divine part of us that communicates with the physical… they tell so much… and help us on our journey into harmony, love and joy… Barbara x

    • Dear Barbara,
      It’s nice to see you again. I hope you are well over there in your beautiful land. Your comment is very interesting. Thank you for your kindness and your thoughtful words. xxx

  12. They are!!!!! Fabulous work. You are so talented~

  13. Amazing work! So talented ❤️❤️❤️

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