I walked into a very capacious old country kitchen. The mood cast was quite somber and brooding due to the dark walls, stone hearth and floor. Pots, pans, trivets, and numerous other cooking implements hung from various places; including the oppressively low ceiling. Adding to the cluttered charm were sundry quaint decorations, and gew-gaws, on the mantel and in several shelved alcoves.
The dream environs closely resembled this fine rustic kitchen, except the hearth was fieldstone and all wall surfaces were wood or painted brown.
Ostensibly, this was the kitchen of a restaurant, or inn, where I worked. Dining was over for the night so a co-worker and I were there admiring the aesthetics as we waited for our rides.
As I approached the hearth, something moved on the far end of the mantel. As soon as my eyes settled on that area, a bird flew to the right and into the shadows of a nearest alcove. Luckily, I noticed a second bird hunkering down atop an intricate porcelain teacup. Expecting something pedestrian, like a House/English Sparrow, I was stunned to see a crouching Baird's Sparrow staring back at me. This bird, also wanting no part of being out in the open with us, soon followed the same trajectory as the first.
Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)
I was about to make my way towards that recess, when my attention was drawn to the mantel once again. Somehow I missed this the first time; right atop an old pitcher sat a pygmy-sized Indian White-rumped Vulture. It couldn't have been much more than a foot tall. But there it was, just hanging out, all creepy vulture-like.
Indian White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis)
I didn't stay with this guy for very long. Though I do admire them as I do all birds, and the function they serve, I have no desire to be that close to any vulture any longer than necessary - even in a dream. It was now time to investigate the nearby niche.
I didn't relocate the sparrows, but I did find was even more interesting. Upon the middle shelf was an elaborately etched brass serving tray with a two-toned glazed bowl inside. Hopping around the tray, rather impishly, was a Rainbow Bee-eater.
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)
A necessary aside: this species has appeared twice before in my dreams! Fortunately, I was finally able to remember the species upon awakening. I had not blogged the previous two dreams, because details were just too fuzzy
In addition to this little clown, four tiny toucans sat in the glazed bowl. By all appearances they were fully grown, not nestlings. The numbers were split evenly with a pair of Channel-billed Toucan, and Toco Toucan each. The picture of cuteness, I assure you.
Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) - ssp. culminatus
Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco)
I slowly moved my right hand closer to pet them. They responded by gently touching and picking at my fingers with their bills. It didn't hurt, so I assumed they were being playful. Very cool! Sadly, this moment didn't last long, The dream ended with the friend whom I was waiting for, arrived, and came into the kitchen to announce he was there to pick me up.