And on top of all that I have a frozen ovenbird in my refrigimatator

foggypondAnd I do NOT mean a chicken or a duck or a turkey or a pheasant or a quail or whatever other kind of bird gets stuffed and shoved into the oven. This ovenbird is a teensy tinesy little birdy that was lying dead on the moominbeach cabin deck last Friday when we arrived there to commence the annual closing of the cabin.

The moominbeach cabin has big picture windows. They are actually old storefront windows from somewhere back in the 1950s or whatever. My parents didn’t have a whole lot of money in those days and the folks who built the cabin were pretty creative about salvaging building materials. I hope I never have to replace one of those windows. Anyway, birds do run into large windows. A lot of times they glance off and fly away or fall to the deck stunned. When they regain their composure they fly away, seemingly okay. Once, a wild quail or pheasant or something hit one of our windows and died and The Commander plucked the feathers and cooked it for guests. Or so I’ve been told. I was living down here on the planet Ann Arbor by then and didn’t personally witness it.

The Commander is pretty blase about dead birds. When she was a kid, her older brother would collect things and put them in the freezer (I think they had a freezer) and once there was an owl in there for a while. Her brother grew up to the be the director of the Michigan DNR. He died too early and they named a conference center after him and you can see his name on road signs on both the I75 SUV Speedway and US 127. I gotta write that now because who knows how long that center and those signs will be there. Once again, our state is in dire straits and we’re asking the last person to leave Michigan to turn out the lights. Ho-hum.

The ovenbird we found was definitely dead but not decomposed, and so the GG and the Commander conspired to put it in a ziploc bag and into the freezer. It was transferred it to the Commander’s freezer in town and then down here. And so, I was rooting around in the freezer taking inventory and I grabbed the bag without really looking at what was in there and YIKES! it was the ovenbird!!! I am not all that squeamish about a lot of things. You know, spiders and non-poisonous snakes and things. But it’s just weird when you grab for what you think is a piece of dead meat and it is, well, I guess a dead bird is dead meat but it hasn’t been, well, processed into pieces of chicken or whatever. It wasn’t what I expected! Fer kee-reist. It’s kind of like the time I had the bright idea to put orange juice into a bottle for my baby. When she used bottles, they contained milk or formula and that’s what she was expecting. Instead, there was this strong-tasting orangey stuff. Her eyes lit up as if she had stuck her finger into a lucky-shuckial socket. She pulled that thing straight out of her mouth and then spent the next 30 seconds or so evacuating every single molecule of orange juice out of every possible crevice in her mouth. I think she was about seven the next time she tried orange juice.

Anyway, there is an ornithologist at the University of Michigan who actually wants this unlucky little ovenbird and so it probably won’t be in my freezer much longer.

3 Responses to “And on top of all that I have a frozen ovenbird in my refrigimatator”

  1. Margaret Says:

    When one of our budgies died, I had to store it in the freezer until we could bury it. I was terrified one of the kids would find it!!

  2. Aimee Nassoiy Says:

    Still not sure what type of bird that was. . . ovenbird.
    Last year, when Betty was considering whether or not to pursue cancer treatment; we arrived back at her place from some depressing consultation to find a Northern Harrier Hawk dead from window impact on her deck. After passing it by for a day, we finally took it into the woods, and had a conversation with it’s spirit about why it landed there on such a day, and how it might help Betty.
    I miss those feathers, I know that bird was important.
    I still don’t know if I should have lobbied for the freezer option.
    I like to think that bird is as free as Betty’s spirit now.
    I know we need to listen to those winged ones.

  3. gg Says:

    Yes!!! Janet Hinshaw wanted my dead Ovenbird. – Seriously. The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History does want to collect almost any dead birds. Janet emphasized the interest in Winter Finches. Extra note: I remember when a Ceadar Waxwing hit the window of Betty’s cabin. She collected the bird and took it to folks at Lake Superior State College.

    Today, I saw a very interesting collection of birds in the process of dissection at U of M. One student was torquing feathers out of the wing of an Owl.