Saturday, 9 April 2022

Spring brings the Cuckoo ...

 

I couldn't resist this photo of an Emerald Cuckoo - and remember back to earlier days of wandering in the garden, watching the robin out and about - while listening with intent to the sound of the cuckoo - first heard by one of us ... mother, father, uncle in latter years ...


Emerald Cuckoo (Africa)

While you've have noticed (hopefully ... I don't disappear into the blogging ether, when I'm not around!) ... I'm taking life away from here in April - except for the next WEP (20th - 22nd April) ... 




The Cuckoo Song – this jolly 13th- century poem – a feel good hit for summer is a-comen in …


Sumer is icumen in,
Loude sing cuckou!
Groweth seed and bloweth meed,
And springth the wode now.
Sing cuckou!


The Anthology link is here:

Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature ...


Or for grandchildren ... or perhaps those with a more modern take:  The Cuckoo nursery rhyme ...


The Cuckoo comes in April

She sings her song in May

She changes her tune in the month of June

And in July she flies away


I just loved their colourings ... and had no idea there were so many different types of them ... 


Emerald cuckoo - beautiful colourings


Our English (common) cuckoo isn't 'quite' as pretty as this one - and again I'd no idea the Emerald Cuckoo is native to Africa ... 




Here they herald Spring ... but are not so popular now we understand they are brood parasites ... relying on other species to raise their young - I see the list contains over 290 nest-hosts = incredible ... 



Well once again I learnt - the heralder of Spring reminds us of so many wonderful things ... so to keep this shortish I won't go into the roles they've played in human culture for thousands of years ... 


The male Emerald cuckoo,
with his beautiful sunny breast


Enjoy April with its April showers, stormy skies, snow appearing and the A-Z ... I'll be around ... then again in May ... 





Frederick Delius' composition first performed in Leipzig 1913 'On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring' - after 40 secs there's some stunning English countryside - it's been described as meditative and calming ... 

I will see you when the cuckoo sings her song in May!  Actually probably an #WATWB to start a new phase of this blog fest ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories 



32 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Enjoy your break. To the full. You will be missed, but we will keep the light on for you.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
All birds are a delight to the eye... and I like this exploration of the cuckoo in relation to April! YAM xx
H=Hope

Hels said...

If a woman of middle years wears a a very colourful outfit with each section surrounded by gold, she might be gently criticised for over-decorating herself. But the Emerald Cuckoo looks perfectly designed! I wish I could look as colourful and in proportion *sigh*.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

There are many species of cuckoo, Hilary, as you have come to realize, and contrary to popular belief many of them are not brood parasitic and build their nests and raise their own young like other birds. The two species we have here in southern Ontario are Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Black-billed Cuckoo, both of which are devoted parents. Our notorious brood parasite is the Brown-headed Cowbird. Enjoy your time away from your blog. We will all look forward to any post you make and feel free to send me an email if ever you feel like a chat. Hugs from Ontario, David

Kathy G said...

What a beautiful bird! I did not know much about the cuckoo; thanks for educating me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - still around, just avoiding doing multiple comments ... and thank you for 'missing me' - I'm in the background ... and taking advantage of not doing the A-Z, while having lots to do here ...

@ Yam - yes you're right all birds are a delight to the eye - and thankfully Wiki put up the Emerald cuckoo for me to write a short(ish) post ... lots more info than I realised!

@ Hels - I see where you're going with your thoughts ... but often admired by us - as someone happy to display their special outfit ... I too would wish to look as colourful and in proportion as said female cuckoo ... gorgeous colours ...

@ David - I gathered that ... just rather surprised I hadn't realised or come across the beautiful Emerald one. I certainly remember your cowbird ... and learning about brood parasite birds from you. Again I was surprised at how many host-nest sites there were for our cuckoo ...
I'm around - just trying to get a couple of other things sorted, and I've a talk/two probably to give, and the dinners I organise pop up every month ...
I'll email you a note ... but all well - just looking forward to some warmth coming up this week - now off for a walk along the seafront in the sun, with fluffy clouds -

@ Kathy - thank you ... there's lots more about the cuckoo - especially the cultural aspects ...

Thanks so much for visiting the five you - always pleased to see everyone ... as I just noted to David above I'm off along the sea-front for a walk in the sun ... cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I guess I've never seen a real cuckoo - didn't know they were so colorful.

Liz A. said...

I did not know there was an emerald cuckoo. Enjoy your break.

Dan said...

I've learned about a few birds (or varieties) today. Thanks. Enjoy your break.

Jacqui Murray said...

Have a wonderful break.

Joanne said...

I always look for the robin redbreast to herald spring. Not aware of the cuckoo. You always teach me! Enjoy your break - hope it involves museums, tea, and excellent strolls. I look forward to seeing you pop back up. Until then, cheers my friend.

retirementreflections said...

Again I learned a great deal from your post. I had no idea about the wide diversity of colours.
Enjoy your well-deserved break! :D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - I've never seen one here ... but ours are of the blending colours as the third picture shows.

@ Liz - nor had I realised about the Emerald cuckoo - I just delighted in the colouration ...

@ Dan - thank you ... I'd never realised the cuckoo family was so large ...

@ Jacqui - I"m around, but being selective ... but thank you ...

@ Joanne - our robin is around all the time and it is very territorial ... while the cuckoo 'song' heralds its arrival ...

I'm just using the time to catch up and have a couple of talks to give, as well as just relax a little ... so no visits to London, just local trips ... we still have quite a bit of Covid around ...

@ Donna - thank you ... just catching up as Spring is here ... while the Emerald Cuckoo made me smile ...

Thanks so much to you all - I'm feeling more peaceful as I get on with other things ... take care and have a peaceful week, Easter time and here in the northern hemisphere Spring and sunnier, warmer climes. Cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

The cuckoo is a bird I often hear but rarely see! I certainly had no idea about the different varieties. I listened to the Delius composition just yesterday, it's a piece I love.

I'm giving A-Z a miss this year too. The mumber of paticipants drops dramatically each year. 2023? We'll see!

Inger said...

The cockoo is a lazy mama, for sure. But I still miss the sound of their voices, always a part of early summer in Sweden. We don't have any cockoo birds here.

Susan Scott said...

what pretty pictures! She's a pretty bird for sure even if a 'parasite'. And her warbling is a delight. Have a happy Easter Hilary ... bunnies shoud be be around now along with daffodils and other Spring delights, so here's hoping the bunny brings you an Easter chocolate egg or three. (Fetch it before the cuckoo does.) Best, Susan

DMS said...

Have a happy break. I love birds and watching them out on my deck is one of my favorite things. Love all the pictures of the cuckoos. ;)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - I haven't heard it recently ... but over the decades I've heard it. The Delius is a delightful listen - I loved it ... and the link I've used showed some beautiful views ...

The A - Z - I got put off by the change in admin ... and yes I suspect it'll fade away ...

@ Inger - ah you too remember your Swedish cuckoos ... yet there's always birds around - be they condors and I'm sure many others who live happily in your canyon ...

@ Susan - thanks so much - they certainly are pretty birds - just I never realised when I was out in SA that those Emerald ones existed there ... yes bunnies will be around and we'll all be enjoying slightly warmer weather soon - the daffs and early flowers are just so gorgeous. I'm sure I'll get a couple of chocolate eggs - which will be a treat.

You too have a peaceful and happy Easter ...

@ Jess - thanks ... just a slow-down break ... to do some catching up - and clear up a few things ...

Thanks to you all - enjoy your Easter breaks ... cheers Hilary

Anabel Marsh said...

An emerald cuckoo! I had never heard of such a thing. It’s beautiful.

Rhodesia said...

Loved this post and yes we have the common cuckoo here as well!!!
have a good break and enjoy. Cheers Diane

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

That cuckoo is a pretty bird, enjoy your break

John Holton said...

Have a great time!

diedre Knight said...

What a gorgeous bird!
Take care and have a wonderful time ;-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Anabel - thank you ... I'm pleased I posted it in an appropriate cuckoo month ...

@ Diane - thank you ... yes our European cuckoo settles around Europe and I'm delighted you hear them over the Channel ...

@ Jo-Anne - thank you ...

@ Thanks John - it's just a catch up time ...

@ Diedre - I know ... I just loved its colours and thank you.

Cheers everyone ... just giving myself a bit of extra time -

Happy Easter to you all - take care - Hilary

A Cuban In London said...

Enjoy your break. I think I've heard a cuckoo only a couple of times in my life. Unforgettable. :-)

Greetings from London.

Damyanti Biswas said...

Wow! I've never seen such varieties of cuckoos. The emerald cuckoo looks out of the world. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing this and enjoy your break!

Sandra Cox said...

Look at that Emerald Cuckoo. I'm not sure I've ever seen a pic of one before.
Enjoy your time away. We'll leave the light on for ya.
Happy Easter.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Enjoy your break! Glad that we'll be seeing you for WEP.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ ACIL - thank you ... I'm getting a few extra things done; hearing our cuckoo at this time of year is just lovely ...

@ Damyanti - well I have to say I was surprised to find out there were so many cuckoos. If I ever get back to South Africa - then I must make a plan to try and get to see one of these emerald beauties ...

@ Sandra - they are beautiful aren't they ... and I definitely have never seen one, or a photo of one ... stunningly beautiful ... and thank you for leaving the light on for me!

@ Nila - yup the WEP post is going up tomorrow ... and I am doing a few extra necessary things - so feeling a little more relaxed ...

Cheers to you all - thanks for visiting ... Hilary

Rhodesia said...

I heard the first one this year on Friday. Cheers Diane

Lynda Dietz said...

I always enjoy your posts so much! You're such a faithful presence in the blogging world . . . yes, do enjoy your break for a bit so you can rest and rejuvenate.

I'd never seen a picture of an emerald cuckoo! They're striking, aren't they? It's a shame that they aren't the nicest of birds—reminds me of bluejays and how beautiful they are but how mean they are to other birds.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - oh how wonderful ... thanks for letting us know ... gorgeous to think about ...

@ Lynda - lovely to see you here ... and thank you for 'enjoying my company in the blogging world' ... I enjoy it, especially with my faithful commenters!

I've never seen an emerald cuckoo - even though I lived down south ... and yes they have adapted to make sure they, as a species, survive. Oh we have various birds here that are pretty cruel ... magpies, come to mind. I didn't realise bluejays were 'unpleasant'!!

Cheers and thanks to you both for visiting and commenting ... Hilary