A Fluttering Pause

I’ve been meaning to take a photograph of the goldfinches nesting in the bird bush – a giant thorny evergreen shrub (Pyracantha aka Firethorn) in the middle of the garden near the pond, which serves as an apartment complex for many tiny birds – since they’re newcomers to our garden.

However I’m not endowed with the patience to sit and wait with camera at the ready. I’ve also noticed that whenever I have the camera, nothing happens. Whenever I don’t have a camera, everything happens.

There are four of them – two couples.

I’ve watched them carrying bits and pieces, moss, feathers and twigs, into the bird bush while prepping their nests. Seen them pop down to the pond to have a drink. Sit upon the branches on the bush and survey the land.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Occasionally they have a fight about who gets to sit where. They don’t appear to be the least bit interested in the bird feeder like all the other birds (and the resident field rat) are.

“Sometimes goldfinches one by one will drop

From low hung branches; little space they stop;

But sip, and twitter, and their feathers sleek;

Then off at once, as in a wanton freak:

Or perhaps, to show their black, and golden wings

Pausing upon their yellow flutterings.”

John Keats, I Stood Tip-toe Upon A Little Hill

Today I got the shot I wanted. It was pure fluke. I was messing with the zoom lens on the camera and wandered over to the open rear upstairs window to test it out and there was a goldfinch poised at the top of the bird bush.

It very kindly posed for a few pictures.

When you least expect it, things have a way of coming together to offer you the opportunity to get what you wanted.

The rest is up to you.

According to the Wikipedia entry for the European Goldfinch, humans have endowed this bird with a bunch of symbolic meanings, including that of being “an emblem of endurance, fruitfulness, and persistence” – something like that applies to all of nature, including human nature, doesn’t it?

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”

― John Keats, Letters of John Keats


  1. Lovely thoughts for Springtime. Birds and poetry, beautiful stuff! I’m glad to see a post from you! I’ve been worried since you said you had a version of the ‘man-flu” (can women get man flu?? 😉 ) Hope you’re on the mend!


    • Thank you, Melanie 🙂

      I’m still a bit stuffed up but it’ll clear up soon. Since I got the cold from my partner who is a man, and he got it from going to a Man city match, I concluded that it was man flu 😉 Every woman has to do her bit for equality, mine bit is getting man flu.


  2. I love this post! ❤

    I love birds and have had feeders and birdbaths in the past and in particular have tried to attract finches. They are such a treat to watch – I forget about everything.

    Yes- the pains and troubles seem to be necessary for the development of soul.


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