Stunned . . .

Stunned …. to knock unconscious or into a dazed or semiconscious state; astonish or shock (someone) so that they are temporarily unable to react. “A glancing blow”: daze, stupefy, knock unconscious, knock out, lay out. “She was stunned by the news”: astound, amaze, astonish, dumbfound, stupefy, stagger, shock, take aback; informal flabbergast, bowl over.

As I lazily sat at my computer this afternoon, I was startled by a whomping bang into the window. It was a surprisingly loud sound that broke the silence and made me jump. However, I was soon to find out that I was not half as stunned by the event as the poor Kingfisher that was lying on the ground.

A Kingfisher, according to All About Birds, is a common waterside resident throughout North America, the Belted Kingfisher is often seen hovering before it plunges headfirst into water to catch a fish. It frequently announces its presence by its loud rattling cry.

Unfortunately, my visiting Kingfisher plunged headfirst into my patio door window instead and was stunned almost to death. I have heard their songs around the lake, but I have never seen them actually fishing. It is a pretty large bird when you can see it up close. However, when you see them flying above the lake, they seem too small to catch fish. (That little Elvis hair flip thing going on is natural, not due to his head crash.)

This birds stunned visit had me wanting to learn all about them and his unfortunate situation eventually lead me to wonder … How do we handle life’s staggering surprises? When we are shocked by something extraordinary, flabbergasted at an event, rocked by sudden change, physically hurt, mentally shaken, or stunned by reality … what do we do? Are we as matter-of-fact and calm when dealing with a bad and sudden situation as the bird was? How do we deal with the abrupt, tough stuff life throws at us?

Naturally, some people scream and some panic. Some run in the opposite direction, while others lash out – fight back. There are those of us that hide, avoid, or pretend it did not happen. Still others become frozen in place/helpless, while fear/anxiety takes over their life. I think we could take a lesson from my stunned Kingfisher. When we are hit by something so shocking that we are stunned (maybe even knocked down), it is best to sit calmly and quietly for a while. Gradually tuck ourselves together, look around and watch for further danger or a life line to hold on to. Wait patiently and calmly for the pain to stop, the wounds to heal, and the head to stop spinning. Taking the time needed to allow reality and grace to guide our next moves. Moving slowly at first, to try out our wings in small increments … and then, when it feels right, soar back into life. (Yes, after a few hours, the Kingfisher flew off towards the lake)

It is also good to remember that:
“Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life” ~ unknown

Check out my weekly photo challenge entry for “wild life”. They are pictures of bears (of course). I was wishing for some new “wild life” to peek into my life this week for this challenge, maybe that is why the bird’s visit stunned me?

~ by bearyweather on May 13, 2011.

19 Responses to “Stunned . . .”

  1. I’m glad to see that the Kingfisher came through his ordeal OK! I loved your bear photos! So far I’ve not had much success with them.

    • I was really happy when he flew away .. he sat there for so long, I did not think he would. As for the bears … I have gotten a few pictures of them at my parent’s house in the Fall (lots of acorns and they are busy eating). Most of my bear pictures are taken at a wildlife sanctuary about 2 hours away. The bears there are wild, there are no fences .. but they are encouraged to visit each evening with snacks (crashed apples, nuts, etc…) to visit a platform visitors pay to go stand on, deep in the woods. Who shows up for snacks is a gamble, but last year there were many bear cubs and their moms the night I was there.

  2. Sorry the bird got stunned…sure is pretty. I used to work in a building with large front glasses and birds used to fly into ia quite often. Unfortunately many were killed when they did it.

  3. Hi Bearyweather, Unfortunately, this sort of thing does happen when we have large windows or sliding glass doors. I lost two Northern Cardinals last year to them hitting my basement slider. Decals somewhat help but even then we do have birds crash into the glass. They either are after bugs or see themselves and do not recognize that the reflection is actually their own. Have a super Monday and coming week. Great post!

    • Sometimes, I think they see the reflection of the woods in the window and not the window. Well, I have been looking for an excuse not to wash the windows … maybe if they were dirty, I could save some birds. ;0)

  4. Excellent post. Excellent advice: “. . . allow reality and grace to guide our next moves.” Thanks.

  5. We have a kingfisher who hangs out at our pond, fishing it. I enjoy watching him. I’m glad your stunned fellow turned out to be okay.

    Great way to apply what happened to the kingfisher to life. 🙂

    • Wow, you have fish in the pond? What kind? Big? Small? Did you ever see him catch one?

      • We have bass, bluegills, and a few carp (the carp are there to help keep down the vegetation). I have seen him dive for fish, but he’s usually too far away for me to actually see him catch one.

  6. This is indeed a stunning post, and so thought-provacative. First, it reminded me of the dozens of birds which have hit our windows over the years. (Never a kingfisher.) Then it reminded me of seeing the kingfishers on the electricity lines above the Silver River. Then I thought, “What does the appearance of a kingfisher mean to bearyweather?” What would be the dream-interpretation of something like this happening? This is such an unusual event that it seems like the heavens might be trying to get your attention–

    When life provides physical surprises I usually actually go silent and still. It’s only later that shock sets in and the reaction comes. Great post!

    • I am the go silent and still type, too. Well, most of the time … sometimes I just have to be busy and I help out. Shen it is really bad, I usually find myself working really hard at manual labor (when my dog died I dug in hard clay for hours until I was too exhausted to move)
      I live on a lake, so the Kingfisher is not abnormal .. just hitting my window was (smaller birds hit the window all the time) … so I guess I did not see any message, except that we all make mistakes and sometimes they hurt. (And, my windows must be cleaner than I though ;0)
      I guess maybe I am overlooking the fact that It made me think about how we handle the tough surprises in life and write about it.

  7. Hi Bearyweather, I was thinking of this post when a Red-headed Woodpecker flew into my sliding glass window two days ago. I am happy to say that the bird recovered in a few minutes and flew right off. Have a super great Sunday and coming week!

  8. Kingfishers are such magnificent birds- glad this one recovered!

    • Me, too.
      Thanks for stopping by, it gave me the opportunity to visit your blog for the first time … looks like we both live in a beautiful place.

  9. Stumbled upon your blog, and quite enjoying it! Wonderful combination of interesting encounters and thought provoking musings.

    Glad the kingfisher made it, hard to beat the experience of watching one dive enthusiastically for food.

    • Stumble on in any time … new visitors are always welcome. And, from the looks of it I will be able to learn a lot about birds by visiting your blog.

      I have not seen the kingfisher dive into the water, yet … hopefully, this summer I will.
      Unfortunately, I am not so sure my lake’s fish population is that great any more (weeds have been taking over for the past few years).
      Not sure if it is a sign of a lake without fish or not, but this is the first year that I have not had a nesting pair of loons and I really miss them and their singing.
      (I could blame it on the gulf oil spill, too I suppose)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  10. Logging in from Wellington, New Zealand. Astounding. The same thing occurred here yesterday evening! A Kingfisher flew straight into a window in our house (the window has curtains so it was not clear) and stunned itself. It rested on the ground for about fifteen minutes, started shaking its head and then flew away!

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