At this time of year a family of fantails (piwakawaka) come and visit our garden. I love watching them flit in and out of the trees. They catch bugs on the fly and swoop and swirl about to get them. They are also fearless around people - I think beacuse we help to stir up some bugs.
When we were on holiday one came into the house where we were staying and I remember my Mum saying that a visit from a fantail was a message from the soul of someone departing this world. For a few days after I was worried that I was going to get a phone call about someone dying. Luckily there was no call, nobody we knew died (maybe he got the wrong house). Since then I have found out that some iwi (Maori tribes) believe that the fantail is a messenger but the message is not necessarily bad news - I think I prefer this version.
I love these wee birds and one even made it on to one of my quilts with his friend the kereru.
This is part of a queen size quilt that I made afew years ago for my son, it is loosely based on the New Zealand bush. (Sorry about the poor photo, it was hard to get a phot without the wind blowing the quilt - they don't call it Windy Wellington for nothing).
I wonder where the fantails go when they are not in our garden?