tweet tweet

I was a bit worried about Blotanical, which has been inaccessible to me for two days now, until I read this message, which the creator, Stewart, apparently sent via Twitter yesterday:

“Hi, blotanists.  Blotanical may be down for a few days as we sort out some issues and migrate to a new server.  Please pass this message on.”

In consideration of those of us who do not tweet, I thought I’d post it here, too.

Here is a character who doesn’t tweet, either.  His song is sweet, nonetheless, bright and cheerful.

It’s the tufted titmouse, my favorite songbird by far.  I’ve never met anyone else who loves this bird like I do, and I cannot quite explain my fascination.  He’s not nearly as brightly colored or patterned as some, and he doesn’t really do any amazing tricks.  Most people haven’t even heard of the tufted titmouse, even when he regularly visits the feeder.

It’s just that he’s so cute and timid and quick, that he takes his seeds away to open them in dignified privacy, that he has that adorable, soft, watercolor wash of orange peeping out beneath his rather ordinary grey feathers, and that he’s so speedy and deft, making some of the bigger birds look clumsy and wrong-footed.  (Or should I say wrong-winged?)

But none of that really explains a like or a dislike.  One might as well try to define personal taste.  It has almost nothing to do with reasons, or at least none that are readily observable and simple to articulate.  Sometimes it’s just that way, and we don’t know why.  And perhaps it doesn’t really matter, in the end.

The tufted titmouse became my favorite when I was going through a very tough time in my 20s, and I took to watching the birds at the feeder outside my dining room window as a sort of grounding exercise.  For some reason, this little snub-nosed fellow was almost always able to cheer me.

During our recent snowfall, I stood outside photographing the garden and the surrounding woods, and I must have been more quiet and still than I realized, for this one came and landed only about 10 feet away on the snow-dusted suet feeder.  My movements didn’t seem to concern him at all.  So after all these months of trying to capture my elusive favorite on film, I finally got a good shot.

Behind him you can see the vague outline of one of the smaller plots of the kitchen garden, and some long branches salvaged from a cucumber support last summer.  I’m hoping to reuse them in this summer’s garden, possibly for pole lima beans.  One reason I do love to use real branches as supports, besides their rustic allure, is that the birds feel at home perching on them, and it makes me feel they are more than just passing through on their way to the feeder, but enjoy hanging out in the garden, too.

If you’d like to read more about the tufted titmouse and hear his pretty little song, you can go here.

31 Responses to “tweet tweet”

  1. He is a fine fellow. I will call up the link to listen and hear if I have heard him before.

    I have all but abandoned Twitter. I was a little fascinated with it at first, but found that I do not want to know the every movement of most people. So I “followed” a few famous people – mostly those associated with cooking, but realized at some point that most of the “tweets” were coming from their staff or marketing firms that represent them. That’s no fun!

    • Lynn, I just realized in rereading that it sounds as if I tweet. LOL! I do not — never even tried! I’m a Luddite in general, and was only persuaded to use a cell phone, period, in 2009. I admire you for trying, but I can see where it would get old fast!

      I bet you have heard the tufted titmouse. He’s quite a popular fellow around where you live. 🙂

  2. Meredith, thank you for letting me know about Blotanical. I have been trying for two days to get on, wondering what the problem was. I did not even know that the server was being changed. A note from Stuart on the site for a week would have stopped a lot of anxiety. Not a Twitter fan.

    • You’re so welcome, kg. I didn’t know anything about it, either. I think it took several of us by surprise. I found out by reading the blog of a Twitterer (?). (Surely one doesn’t call twitter fans Twits? ;))

  3. I too was concerned about blotanical … thanks for posting this Meredith. I had written Frances and found out that it just happens sometimes. It would be good for S. to drop a note ahead. I have been a fan of the Tufted Titmouse for dare I say decades! Those little beady-eyes and that bit of rufous on a perfect suit of grey… such a dear bird. Love their chattering and songs too. I am glad you had one in troubled times to cheer you! ;>)

    • It was alarming, Carol. I even wondered if perhaps I’d violated some sacred unwritten rule and been kicked out unceremoniously! 🙂

      Glad to find another Tufted Titmouse fan. And those photos of yours of the bluebirds, woodpecker in flight, and cardinal territorial bullying were amazing today!

  4. He’s lovely! We don’t see many around here, but their personality and their curiosity and apparent non-fear of humans always reminds me of chickadees.

  5. Well I am sorry that I do not twitter … tweet … or am a blotanicalist (I am making it up as I go) but I am a lover of beauty and capturing it with the camera. That is what caught my eye today as I was browsing the 30 or so blogs snippets in Firefox’s Speed Dial. Thus I had to jump on in and take a look. WOW. Thanks for posting. Excellent picture and yes excellent choice in songbirds … growing up in England I prefer the Lark but this one ranks up there. 🙂

    • I’m glad you stopped by, Philip. Don’t be sorry for not tweeting on my account! (I don’t, either, just used a Twitterer/Twit’s (?) passed-along message to spread the word to the ones who were worried.) I’m so glad you liked the photo. It was a thrill to finally catch this little guy in action.

      You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lark. But the fact that his name is used in certain colloquial phrases gives me a clue as to his fun personality. 🙂

  6. Thanks for the blotanical headsup, I refuse to twitter! You know last time, just around this time of year I got a mockingbird that lived through mating time outside the house I was living in. What am amazing thing he was, singing his crazy love song all night long, all by himself. Then one day, he just stopped singing. I guess he found his Valentine 🙂 So anyhow, now they are my favorite songbirds. But I do like the tufted titmice too… they were very populous in Virginia where I grew up.

  7. What a beautiful little bird with his big eyes 🙂 I get what you meant about personal taste Meredith, some times things just strike a note in your heart and there is no explaining why is there?
    Thanks from me too about the Blotanical update. I was posting a message on the site when it when down and I thought I’d broken something!

  8. Meredith – I hope I’m note the Twit you mentioned? I don’t Twitter, but Stuart offers it, just to keep in touch with us, when Blotanical is down. “The Message” you all would like is there, just, it’s at Twitter.

    • LOL, Elephant’s Eye. No, I got it from somewhere else first. But even so, I was only playing around with the language. 😉 (Hope I did not offend!)

      I think it’s very unfortunate there’s not a system to notify those of us who do not Twitter when a huge site migration is planned. Imagine for a moment that you do not tweet, and this is your first experience of the site disappearing, with no notice “down for maintenance” or anything, and you start to get really worried after two days and then discover, well, it’s been planned for a while, the site is moving, etc., and only those who tweet found out about it. I think that’s what everyone was a little annoyed with.

      That said, Stuart is wonderful, and I’m so grateful for what he’s created. I was even wondering the other day if he gets any kind of remuneration for what he’s done for all of us. It seems to me as if he should be getting something for all his efforts, creativity, and time. But then, I’m new around here; perhaps he is?

      • Actually, what is the proper name for someone who uses Twitter? A Twitterer (sounds awful), a Tweeter (even worse)? Does anyone know? I know “tweet” is used for the messages, themselves.

  9. I love the little titmice as well–they are frequent guests in our yard and at our feeder. They have taken to attacking my son’s bedroom window and our guest room window, I think because they see their reflections! (We even had to remove the screen because they were putting holes in it!) I just read about ways to keep them away from the windows, so must try one of the things suggested before someone hurts him/herself.

    • Oh, dear, Kathy. That would be so frustrating about the screens. We had a robin one year decide he had an enemy in his reflection in our back door (which was almost all glass), and we never found a way to dissuade him. Finally he just moved on; perhaps he ran out of food in our neighborhood. I admit to thinking his particular part of the gene pool was a bit cracked — way too paranoid! It reminded me of male beta fish whose bowl has been placed before a mirror.

      But that makes me think: how often do we mistake our own reflection in someone else as “the enemy”?

  10. Hi Meredith

    I remember you telling me about this little chap and I went unto google to read up on him – he’s so cute isn’t he.

    I have a confession – I do tweet and am a follower of Blotanical on twitter but I was not on twitter yesterday at all to see the message from Stuart so thankyou for the heads up. (eldest got engaged yesterday!) so I am so late at coming over to all the blogs I follow to catch up especially when its been bloom day yesterday and foliagefollowup today-a busy few days of posts to catch up on.

    • He is a cutie, Rosie. I don’t think you need to confess anything. That is so exciting about your eldest son!! That would drive everything else out of my head and off my schedule, I think. It just proves you have a life, unlike some of us (moi included) who were jonesing like deprived addicts in withdrawal on Monday morning, LOL.

  11. Aha Gippsland Gardener, NOW we know what is wrong!

  12. I, too, am a fan of both the tufted titmouse and Blotanical – what a deprivation of the morning routine to not have it around. Nicely written post and photo!
    btw, there is advertising on Blotanical, and I imagine that Stuart is definitely rewarded for his efforts. As far as us being grateful that it exists at all, should we maybe send him a card? flowers? some gesture of thanks would be cool!

    • Thank you for the kind words, JP. I mentioned to my hubby that I wondered about Stuart getting paid, and he immediately asked if there was advertising, telling me that was, in effect, how the Facebook creator makes his money. I suppose I don’t know enough about how these things work, and I tend to ignore ads, myself, except in very particular circumstances.
      But I agree we ought to think about a gesture of thanks… let me think about that, how to organize such a thing, what it might be. Anyone reading this, feel free to send suggestions!

  13. A big thanks from me also, for filling us in on what’s going on with Blotanical! I was worried! About the tufted titmouse, we have lots of them here. They frequently visit our feeders. I have always liked their subtle beauty. I notice they are always first to the feeder when it’s filled and they seem to notify the other birds about the goodies.

    • I’m glad I could help, Deborah. That’s what I enjoy about the tufted titmouse, too, “their subtle beauty.” Well put! They do seem quickest on the draw, now that I think about it. 🙂

  14. […] ‘off the air’ for a couple of days. But I am very happy that I just discovered Meredith over at Victory Garden Redux was passing on the following message from […]

  15. Thanks from one more blogger about the Blotanical update! I had no idea what happened. Love the titmouse. 🙂

    • Sustainahillbilly, I am so pleased to have been of some assistance. I had no idea so many would find out this way, but I’m glad it worked out that the word was spread!

  16. I linked back to you today. With a Tweet about you moving.

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