Today the Very Ugly Garden was a sanctuary for death.
As I began the foundations of the green house I listened and watched the birds. It was early morning. Quite early actually. There were New Holland Honeyeaters feeding on several different flowers. Hoya, Nasturtium, Tagasaste, Red Runner bean flowers.
The Red-winged Fairy Wrens were around with the very dapper male showing himself a bit more than usual. Most often they are seen and not heard.
Kookaburras could be heard up the slope, as could Red-tailed Black Cockatoos which also flew over during the morning. Silvereyes fed on grubs in the tomato bushes and Purple-crowned Lorikeets flew furtively, high, high up in the sky, seeking flowering gums.
A Bronzewing Pigeon landed in the garden and strolled around the grass for a moment. It was quite unusual for a Bronzewing to be so close, but it was early in the morning and it might have been a little confused.
As I worked I looked up occassionally to watch it. It didn’t look all that well and walked quite slow. I had the feeling it was injured or sick. It didn’t look injured and in fact it looked like quite a large, healthy bird otherwise. Perhaps it just needed to rest. I speculated that maybe it had chosen our garden because the presence of a human working in the garden might keep other predators at bay. It would be able to rest in safety.
A little later I went looking for the pigeon and found it resting on the sand in the half finished chicken yard. As I moved around the garden it certainly didn’t seem that fussed with my comings and goings. As the day grew warmer it had moved into the shade and at this point I approached it and it remained sitting on the sand. I went and fetched some water and when I returned I picked it up and placed it higher on some sand under the shade and with some water. It occurred to me that perhaps it had come here to die in peace. It sure looked healthy enough, just very slow moving and weak.
The Bronzewing sat in the shade, unperturbed. Before I went into the house to clean some parsnip I checked on it and talked to it. It kept its eyes closed and didn’t open them when I spoke softly to it. Very unusual. Like it was in a deep meditation.
A little while later when I returned it was not there. I slowly walked around the chicken coop in case it was on the ground again. Nowhere.
I retraced my footsteps. At the base of the piles of sand where I had placed the pigeon I found its body. It literally must have died and then toppled off the pile. I reverently picked it up and took it down to the house where I took some photos.
It was a very peaceful event in our garden and I was touched by the presence of a very beautiful creature coming to our garden in a time of need.