Magpies And Chimney Pots

One of my favourite things about late afternoon rain is when it eases to a fine mist and the magpies bounce along the grass verge plunging their beaks into the earth, emerging with gyrating worms or unsuspecting bugs who thought they were safe under grass blades dressed with raindrops.

The road looks like it has been rubbed with the blacking my grandmother used to keep her wood fired stove looking brand new. It is flawless and neat.

The magpies call to one another in that gentle trill they have that is halfway between joy and crying then fly from the grass to rooftops, circling and gliding until they settle on chimney pots where they nod and flap and trill at one another in what must be a kind of magpie parliament.

The decision made they fly off, away from storm clouds to a place I imagine is full of green mountains and peaceful streams, calling to their brothers with every beat of their wings. Forming the delineated, mystical shapes seen on rune stones.

I watch for as long as I can until my eyes are sore from squinting and dream I can still hear their trill from the garden.

19 thoughts on “Magpies And Chimney Pots

  1. That is a pleasant image. Our view of the magpies here usually involve them rooting through people’s trash–they are true scavengers.


  2. Evocative piece of writing,Selma. I enjoyed it. You know come mating season and those magpies will be swooping at our heads!



  3. My favorite smell of the spring and the summer is the smell of freshly cut grass. Coming in a close second is after it has rained, and the sun comes out. Water is dripping off the fauna and flora, and the sunlight catches some of these drops and refracts it into a brilliant range of color, but just for a second.
    I love watching the birds come out, looking for worms that have been forced out of the ground because of the rain. I like to close my eyes and breathe it all in, feeling the coolness left by the recent shower, and feel the sun warm my cheek as I turn my face to greet it, like a familiar friend.
    If I close my eyes I can see your magpies flying away, to a secret place where everything is green and peaceful, and where man and nature exist in perfect harmony.
    Keep on writing Selma!!


  4. Hi ANTHONY:
    I cannot believe how much snow you have had in the U.K. You must be well and truly sick of it by now. It must have been hard to have seen any kind of creature, lately. Great to hear from you!

    Oh, believe me, they scavenge here too, but every now and then they play a little bit of music for me!

    Hi DAVID:
    I got swooped on last spring. It gives you such a fright because at first you don’t realise what it is. They put signs up in the park to stay away from the trees where the nests are!

    Hi MELEAH:
    What a lovely thing to say. You have made my day!

    It’s one of my favourite things to do. I really love it!

    Hi MANOJ:
    What a poetic and lovely comment. I also love seeing the sunlight shining through the raindrops so it looks like the garden is bedecked with jewels. Rain is so precious!


    I love the sound of Butcher Birds too but sadly, we don’t get that many of them around here. I don’t think we have enough trees for them. Out at my Mum’s place they are everywhere. Beautiful birds!


  6. You make me long for Spring. We made it up to 40 today… it was wonderful to poke our noses out of the house and not have them freeze. I’m so sick of winter! But the birds haven’t returned yet, so I know we’re still not in the clear….

    so lovely to hear about birds. I miss them. 🙂


  7. I loved this post Selma. I especially liked :
    “Forming the delineated, mystical shapes seen on rune stones.”
    To equate the beating wings of birds to the shapes on Rune stones was magnificent.


  8. Hi TEX:
    Oh, I would miss them too. You have had such a long and cold winter. I admire you for getting through it. I hope the birds return for you soon.

    Thank you for noticing that image. I was actually quite proud of it. However, I actually think it would work better with birds with longer bodies like heron. I am so pleased you noticed!


  9. What pretty mind-pics you conjure up Sel. I really enjoyed reading this post. Lovely! Hope things are on the upswing this week, I like your words below your header re: hopefulness, gotta hang on to the good stuff!!!

    Hugs dear and see you soon, G 🙂


  10. PS: If you stop by Veggies…I answered your muffin ? 😉

    Hope all is well today. It’s my blogiversary at MPP, wow 2 years, hard to believe.

    Hugs to you hon, G


  11. It’s almost spring time here in Istanbul and there is that delicious scent in the air after each time it rains!:)
    I’m so glad I discovered your blog and I really enjoyed your “dead weight” story, can’t wait to read more stories from you… 🙂


  12. I love magpies, Selma. Even though I’ve been chased and swooped by a few, scary as that is, like a jet coming after you, that sharp looking beak! But, they are fascinating to watch, their curious personalities, their throaty song, and when their babies are hungry, how hilarious the way they just won’t give up on the mum, chasing her to feed them and then gurgling and then asking for more at the same time.


  13. HI LUA:
    So great to have a reader from Istanbul. I am so excited. Welcome. Thank you for your lovely comment about my story. I also love that beautiful scent in the air after it rains. It is such a refreshing smell. Great to meet you!

    Hi ROWE:
    They are very interesting birds and from what I can gather, very intelligent. I love to watch the babies too. They are a study in persistence. We have some great birds in Australia!


  14. You’re welcome Selma! I’m so happy I found your blog, can’t wait to read more from you 🙂


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