We told you in our last blog that we’d show you evidence of belatrova’s first birdbath being used, preferably by birds. So here it is: a local male blackbird is its first customer, having a break from pulling worms and pecking at insects and berries at the bottom of hedgerows. Apparently, they use vibration to attract worms to the surface. The males are all black and the females all brown except for the yellow-orange eye ring and beak.
Blackbirds are one of the commonest birds in Britain and there are thought to be over four million breeding pairs. It sings from a perch and its song is rich, varied and flute-like. Their calls are loud and varied. The warning call is given with flicking wings and tail and sounds a little like “chook”, and the alarm call is a loud rattle. Click this link and hear its song. Click this and you can hear “Blackbird“ sung by Paul McCartney.
During the winter, blackbirds can often be heard quietly “singing to themselves” within undergrowth, this is called sub-song. When the breeding season is over, the male blackbird will stop singing and will not be heard properly again until February. They are not the world’s greatest nest builders and their attempts often end in failure through inexperienced birds deserting the nest, cold weather and predation by cats, crows and birds of prey. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 9 out of 10 nesting attempts end in failure.
So, enough ornithology from belatrova; after all, we are all about finely painted tables and beautiful ceramics. And ceramics can be used in so many ways, not only as bowls, dishes and birdbaths but also as commemorative objects … which brings us back to blackbirds.
Many years ago when Mr and Mrs belatrova were bringing up their own fledglings they were one day faced with a dilemma all parents have to deal with. Having rescued a young blackbird from the jaws of a cat, belatrova Jnr kept it overnight in a box with some water and worms she had dug up in the garden. When bleary-eyed Mr and Mrs b. awoke the next day they were confronted by their daughter who, perplexed, asked what it meant if a bird lay on its back with its legs in the air. And so Life and Death had to be explained. An important event worthy of commemoration – thus the ceramic plate.
belatrova, as ever in an expansive mood, and wanting to reward its sophisticated supporters, is giving you a taste of Summer, not by making a commemorative bowl but by inviting you to relax for eight minutes as you watch our video of bees working on a lavender bush. Watch each stalk sway as a bee lands on it, ease your mind into a restful trance and unclutter your head.
Then we suggest you buy some strawberries and pour yourself a glass of Dry Vermouth with ice and a slice of orange.