Mythical Blue Cardinal

First, my oil painting of a blue heron and the update. Then, the mysterious and bizarre story about what happened yesterday! Don’t miss my challenge to you to “go blue”.

Watch me paint this blue heron in under 1 minute (time lapse)

“A strikingly beautiful blue heron appeared at the lagoon one day. I quickly took its picture to paint later. This is a different style from how I usually paint. It looks like a watercolor because I was trying to get away with using cheap paints that turned out to be watery and hard to work with. This was a happy accident, because the watercolor-like effect captured the mood. He has only made one more appearance that I know of, but I hope he will return next spring. On the day he arrived, he just happened to be standing at the water’s edge when the light reflected the colors of the trees in a streaky wave of color. He was all alone, with no other birds or creatures in sight, which only added to his mysterious presence.”

- from the book "50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia" by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Update to the above story…

The blue heron still comes back occasionally, always alone. We see him about 2-3 times per season. It’s always a treat to see his blue feathers and serene spirit. His presence is calming.

“Calming” and “serene” are NOT the right words to describe the bird I saw yesterday! Oh my! So, let me tell the story…

I’m just sitting at my computer, same as usual, when there’s a flurry of motion at the patio doors a couple feet away from my chair (the same patio doors I keep showing you in my other bird videos). This is a small house with only one source of windows on this side, just the patio doors. I’m inches from my portal to the outside when I’m talking to you.

I was typing when a flurry of motion caught my attention. I turn my head to see a glorious vivid neon blue bird hovering in front of the glass. Keep in mind, he is so close that I could almost touch him if not for the glass between us. At some point he stands on the welcome mat, which brings him so close to the glass that I can see his distinctive cardinal shaped head.

He looks just like a red cardinal that someone tinted blue! Now, some say that this mythical Blue Cardinal doesn’t exist, and this bird is likely a Steller’s Jay. I have looked into this, and the bird I saw doesn’t look like a Steller’s Jay enough for me to claim it as absolute. He really does look like a Blue Cardinal. He doesn’t have a dark head like the Jay, and his face looks like a Cardinal, not a Jay.

Watch the 1 minute video – in this footage you can see how he flies into the scene like a blue angel. What you don’t see, is that he did this many times prior to me getting the camera and having it ready to film him. He was also “hovering” like hummingbirds do… (unfortunately I didn’t get that on film) staying in one place, mid-air, directly in front of the patio glass, seeming to make direct eye contact with me. To be honest, it rather scared me and I called out to him, “What do you want?”

Although I didn’t get a clear shot of him on video because he was always in motion when I had the camera on him, when I saw him before I got the camera out, he stood on the welcome mat, still. I got a very clear up-close look at his face. I could identify this bird in a lineup.

My daughter saw him later in the afternoon and said she saw red markings on the tips of his wings. I don’t recall seeing that, but it’s possible I didn’t notice. The footage of him is while he’s flying and fluttering. It would be next to impossible to detect small red markings on the wings.

So, my family is now hoping to catch a glimpse of this bird. I want a good clear picture of his face to show you. This is driving my husband crazy because once again we’re talking about an exotic bird and he can’t see it. It took over a year for him to finally see the Painted Bunting with his own two eyes.

I don’t know why this bird came directly to me, and seemed to be trying to get my attention. It was unnerving. I may talk a big game, but when something happens that seems spiritual in nature, I am afraid… uncomfortable. My truest reaction is that I want the experience to stop. And then it does. If I were to hazard a guess, I’m open enough to see these wonderful things, but not quite “there” yet to see it through. I become easily spooked and then the whole thing shuts down… whatever it was.

I feel I’m getting braver. Perhaps next time I won’t panic and blurt out scared questions. I was asking the bird, “Why are you here? What do you want? Why are you doing this?” Of course I didn’t get an answer, but the bird did fly away.

Even if my blue angel meant nothing at all, but was a random intersection between nature and humanity, the quest to see a glimpse of the mythical Blue Cardinal will keep my family entertained all weekend. Hope is a gift. All it takes is one small thing to alter a mood and elevate all the people who live in this house.

Whether we wish to see the calming presence of the Blue Heron, or we seek the exhilaration of discovery in the flurry of a mythical Blue Cardinal, the quest to see something extraordinary keeps us alive. Energy begets energy. Today, I challenge you to “go blue”. Look for blue spirits in nature. Seek, and ye shall find. Report back… did you see a blue butterfly? A bird? If you see the mythical blue cardinal, take a picture!

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