Intermittent Reinforcement –
That would be akin to psychological torture and for an artist, in her studio, painting with tiny brushes, all day…
most, any … all distractions raise the blood pressure.
In the case of the smashing cardinal, radical measures had to be taken…
Earlier this spring, The Bird, started seeing her reflection in this window and set to hurling herself at it. Repeatedly. In five – ten minute intervals. Sun up. To sundown.
My easel is six feet to the left.Where, this spring, I was sitting…Sun up to Sundown and then some.
Years ago a naturalist friend explained the phenomenon to me and I have since forgotten all the lovely avian reasoning behind the need to defend…against oneself. And, though I have had oodles of time to ponder the psychological anomalies of seeing one’s own reflection as a threat…a constant threat…I long ago lost patience with the hurling distraction. Not to mention the self-mutilating brutality of what the poor misguided bird must be experiencing.
So, the sheet. Which neighborhood watch persons, Paul and Matt, saw on their daily bucolic commutes and wrote a scathing review of on social media. Insert smiley face emoticon.
This fix did work. It even survived for many weeks through storm and wind and hail. Last week, after I had left the easel behind for some quilting therapy, and needed more light, I took down the sheet.
Tap tap…smash. She was back.
Now, sitting directly in front of the action, I was able to see that, except for some drool and bother, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of residual bird parts left after the attacks. The beak alone was being used to make… her point. I had hoped that it was a nesting behavior and that all that mess would be over by now. But no. Or still. I’m not sure.
Either way, the sheet has gone back up. I have left the now dim corner of the quilting chair, and returned to the easel. And now, just for fun, I am privy to one or two tiny taps an hour. Seems that she is ever vigilant, but now only curious, and she flies up to the top of the sheet and perches and peers inside for a silent, blessedly silent, minute or two and then is off. You would have had a photo of this for confirmation, but she is camera shy.
I, of course, am curious my own self.
Trickster Goddess or Muse ?Painter or Seamstress.
Perhaps time will tell…
I know SHE won’t.