Bird Lady

Bird Lady, Jardin des Tuileries

Bird Lady, Jardin des Tuileries

Bird Lady, Jardin des Tuileries

Bird Lady, Jardin des Tuileries

Cute Oiseau

Continuing my streak of having people in photos, last week I went to the Tuileries (yes, again) to read and this lovely little old lady sat down next to me. She pulled out a bag of stale baguette and I thought, “Oh great, here come the swarms of birds.” You’re not supposed to feed the birds in the parks here, there are signs around the jardin saying as much, but she didn’t seem to care. And maybe it’s Parisian birds specifically, but the nuisance swarms I was expected never showed up; they were all well mannered and didn’t get greedy. I watched her for close to half an hour, eventually giving up on my book entirely and taking photos. She had some sort of bird magic, the little sparrows swooping right to her hand to take a piece of bread. It was one of those little Paris moments that was unexpected and delightful but that you won’t find in a guide book or on anyone’s itinerary.

And then a spider flew from no where and landed on my lap, so I decided that was enough nature for one day.

Other Paris Details of Note: I’d like to formally request that Rule #4 (Cheese) be amended to add BUTTER. Even the €1 grocery-store butter is out of this world, with thick flakes of salt sprinkled throughout, and I’m already figuring out how many blocks I can bring back in my suitcase. Speaking of being fat, I had my first eclair the other day (you may be wondering how it’s possible that I’ve gone 27 years and four trips to Paris without ever having had an eclair. So am I.) and I’m worried for my waistline now. I was happier not knowing how delicious they are.

Happy Memorial Day to all my American friend and family!

21 thoughts on “Bird Lady

  1. Hi Erin,

    What a delightful and unexpected snapshot of Parisian life. That colour palette couldn’t have been better chosen if it were on a film set. Scrumptious!


    1. Thank you, Tricia! You know, I didn’t even notice her coat as I was shooting from my chair. I was so focused on the birds! A happy surprise :) xo

  2. Fabulous shot, Erin. Your father needed to see this scene. When I tried to buy two, peach-faced love birds he pulled me out of the shop and told me I’d die of psittacosis. I’m sure he was sitting right beside you saying the same thing under his breathe about the stunning woman…”Just look at the bird $hit on her coat!!” In my eyes, she does appear to be the bird whisperer.
    Do you remember when we got yelled at for feeding squirrels in Rittenhouse Square? We did it for years until some witch decided to enforce the rule.
    Can you imagine a wire strung that low in the US? Why someone could trip over it and hit their head on the cement!!! Gotta love the less litigious parts of the world…..

    1. Whew, then I don’t feel so badly for thinking the entire time, “Does Bird Flu exist in France? Can I get it from being this close?” It’s genetic! I don’t remember feeding the squirrels in Rittenhouse, oddly. I remember feeding them in Montreal, though! And getting bit/turned part squirrel by one, HA. xo

  3. “Feed the birds, tuppence a bag / tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.” — Mary Poppins
    This “bird lady” is much classier; although, I expected nothing less from a Parisian.

    You’ve never had an eclair! Well consider yourself done because those things are addictive. Who knew something so light and airy could taste so rich.

    1. Mary Poppins indeed! God, it’s been too long since I’ve watched that movie. I loved it as a kid, and I didn’t even make the connection to this lady until you pointed it out! Thank you, Hiillary! xo

  4. I can’t remember the last time I saw a moment captured so perfectly. You are a very talented photographer! Enjoy the rest of your time in Paris!

  5. Cette adorable dame a bien compris que parfois les règles, il vaut mieux n’est pas les respecter!
    J’adore tes photos Erin! Cette petite dame est pleine de poésie…on a envie de savoir d’avantage sur elle ou pas! En tout cas, elle n’est laisse pas indifférente!
    Tu as fait la découverte des deux choses très dangereuses! Le beurre salé et les éclairs! Oh my god! Les éclairs sont mon dessert préféré, au chocolat ou café, c’est toujours difficile! Il faut que t’essaie “les religieuses” comme l’éclair mais encore plus de gourmandise!
    Fait attention ou Jamal ne vas pas te reconnaître ;) xo

    1. Oui, comme toi je pensais qu’elle était assez vieux a ignorer les règles. Elle etait très heureuse alors qu’elle etait là, elle n’a pas besoin le règles. J’etais heureuse parce que j’ai vu quelque chose tellement unique! J’aime les oiseaux, aussi.
      Oh, merde, mon corps. Hier etait les éclairs, aujourd’hui c’est les Mont Blanc de Angelina! Desloee, Jamal!! ;) xoxo

  6. Such wonderful photos!
    ( I´ve never noticed that it´s forbidden to feed the birds and I Think I´ll pretend I still don´t know when we get there soon…)

    1. Thank you, Teruko! I saw a sign to the effect of, “J’aime les animaux, donc je ne les nourrit pas!” Or something. But who knows, the Tuileries are too large to have someone patrolling every corner. I’m happy I got to see this! xo

  7. i am so happy to see your blog filled with your photography. beautiful photos! these are really making me want to watch mary poppins “Though her words are simple and few, listen, listen, she’s calling to you: “Feed the birds, tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.” i am sure this is what the pigeon lady would have looked and dressed like if mary poppins were set in Paris ;)

    also i just noticed the lady on the phone in the window above cafe in the last “people” shot of paris (your last post). i can’t believe i missed that the first time! xoxo

    1. Thank you, twinsy!! I’m happy to have so much worth photographing just outside my door :) It’s a nice change from all the “look at what I want to buy” posts, n’est pas? Haha. And don’t feel bad about the last photo! I missed her entirely when I was taking the shot, and only noticed her when I got home. I would have lost my nerve if I’d seen her there!! xo

  8. How stylish is this lady?! And her coat! (Is it slightly depressing that people in Paris are wearing coats in late May? Because that makes me feel kinda sad)

    1. Girl, with the exception of four days so far when I have worn just a blazer and scarf, I have worn my trench coat every single day. It got up to about the 70s for a few days, but otherwise it’s in the mid 50s-60s every day. On days when it’s overcast? Forget it. Layers! But I’m always cold, so I’m not the best judge. xo

        1. It was June 1st today and I wore a cardigan and a trench coat and long pants. So I hope you’re staying warm!! xo

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