Tuesday, February 8, 2011

fantails in the garden

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.

Photo from NZ Conservation Department (I can never get one to stay still long enough to photograph it)

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?


Hannah said...

Wow, your quilt is amazing! so detialed and the colours are wonderfull!
I love the fantial to, Has to be my favorite bird,
He is always so cheeky and clever!

Jacqui said...

There's definitely something about fantails, my heart always lifts when I see (or hear) one. Hazel loves to pretend to be one, bouncing about with her hands fanned out over her bum saying "peep peep". In Canada we have chickadees, which have that same friendly, curious nature, but fantails are just a little bit...more. Love your quilt, it's gorgeous!