What You May Be Missing!

There’s a delightful world out there, yet many of us can’t see it for the clouds of fear and responsibility surrounding us. Maybe it’s easier to see during retirement, but it could be

What are you missing in life.

What are you missing in life?

that this interfering maze is the result of too much TV or other electronic media that is holding our attentions and bombarding our minds. I know well the all encompassing years of family raising and employment and now, the fears that tend to overcome us, when we follow the daily news. This time on Shirl and You I want to give you some examples of the delightful happenings you may be missing. I hope that just reading about them will help you become more aware of the beauty around you.

A lot of it takes place near my bird feeders and they are located just outside the slidingMissing something 3jpg doors of the eating area at our house where we seem to spend most of our time. Just now, as I type, a Blue Jay is drinking water at the bird bath. Is it because I’m determined to really enjoy him, or is he truly bluer than I ever imagined?

There are always a plentiful supply of Doves and we often are amused at their antics. They appear to be clumsy, always sliding off the feeder’s roof or perching in an area that’s much to small for them. Two of them appear to be fighting on the bird feeder’s edge, or are they playing like two puppies do?

Before I started writing this post, I had just returned from outdoors and refilling the suet Missing something 2holder. It is visited frequently by Downy Woodpeckers. We watch as their heads bobb up and down as they diligently work at attaining the energy needed to fly. By the way, do you ever marvel at the fact that birds bones are hollow and their digestive system doesn’t allow food to accumulate and produce weight. That’s why they seem to eat all the time.

Every day when I fill the feeder, I scoop out the empty shells and some extra seed falls Missing something 7to the ground for our morning visitors. Seven beautiful wild turkeys come to see what’s dropped to the ground for them. They dig with both their feet and their beaks communicating all the while with each other and keeping a watchful eye out for any suspicious movement. They are family, are quite tame, and a beautiful sight to see.

Several Wrens sang their hearts-out all summer here, and raised families in the bird Missing something 6houses meant for blue birds. (That’s okay.) Their singing covered any rent they might owe for housing. My favorites are the Yellow American Finch, who arrive every day in groups. Some of them occupy the long feeder with the niger seed, but, surprisingly many of them crowd into our house feeder eating sun flower seeds, their heads barely seen above the sides.

Squirrels love the area under the feeders. The feeders themselves are off-bounds to them. It took two deflectors to outsmart them and keep them out of the feeders. Each pole leading to the seed has both a can and cone shaped deflector. On hot summer days I love watching them stretch flat-as-a-pancake on the ground where shade falls. We were watching when a chipmunk jumped up and knocked a standing squirrel flat on his back.

When the black birds, the Grackles, come, we wonder if we should buy feeders that

Red winged black are another delight at our feeders.

The Red winged black bird is another delight at our feeders.

somehow make it impossible for them to gulp down the seed, but we haven’t. We have watched them bring their young, who wait on the ground to be be fed one seed at a time. Surprisingly the young look as big as their parents. Birds have distinct eating habits, some eating persistently and slowly, except the Starlings, who appear to gorge themselves.

All this delightful activity takes is a daily occurrence. Occasionally bears are attracted to the feeders. And, there are the deer, not at the bird feeders but everywhere else in the yard where there may be some choice morsels to eat, like my Roses, Asters and Black-Eyed Susans.

Are these the happenings you are missing? I call it a “world of delight” out there, and missing something 8that’s not what most of us are tempted to call it today. It is right here in our backyard and is in yours too.

I hope to hear from you. Just click on the heading of this Shirl and You, scroll down to the bottom and there is a form where you may make your comment.

Time to feed the birds.

Time to feed the birds.

15 thoughts on “What You May Be Missing!

  1. I’m happy for your success!

    We loved to feed seed-eating birds but found that the dropped seed attracted mice. Mice on the outside = mice on the inside. Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

    We stopped feeding seed-eating birds and started poisoning mice. Walla!! No more mice on the outside and no more mice on the inside.

    We still enjoy feeding humming birds. The mice don’t seem to get the knack of climbing up to the feeder.

    We left for nine months several years ago. When we got back to Missouri (that’s a US state–and it’s not a state of misery) a hummingbird flew to the spot where we used to hang a feeder. I got the message. I resupplied the feeder and rehung it. In 20 minutes the smart bird was back to feed. Can you believe it had flow to Mexico and back in the meantime!? Can you believe it trained a human being in such a short time?

    Love your blogging. Keep on slogging.



    • Loved your comments, Wade. We both read it and laughed. I realize it isn’t a laughing matter, especially the embarrassing part about the birds teaching you to remember them. (: I’ve haven’t had a mice problem. I wonder if it might be because I use only sunflower seeds. None of the tiny seed mixes. Wishing you good luck, too.


  2. I love watching the birds and other wild life in my yard. This summer I watched a hummingbird bring her babies to the feeder and teach them to drink from the feeder. A bear knocked down my other feeder and I am still waiting for my brother to come up from Delaware to put it in cement so the bare can not take it down so I missed my other birds this summer. I did just put out the feeder on my back porch now that the hummingbirds went south so I will enjoy the other birds over the winter.


    • I have never heard anyone say they watched hummingbirds feeding their young at the feeders. What a precious gift that was for you to see. I remember my husband changing the pole on our bird feeder several times, each new one bigger, until finally the bears couldn’t push it over. Good luck with the project. Thanks for writing.


  3. Hi Shirley, I really enjoyed your blog and you hit on one of my favorite subjects…..birds!! We have several bird feeders and in our yard, suet feeders and 4 bird baths. I still have my hummingbird feeders out, but I haven’t seen a hummingbird in about a week. (It is recommended that you leave your feeders up, so that any last remaining birds can get a good meal for their journey southward.) I will stop filling my hummingbird feeders when I have gone for over 2 weeks without seeing a sign of any of them. This morning we saw an unusual visitor at our feeder….a red start. This one was a female and I saw her in our bird bath about 2 weeks ago, It is always exciting to see a bird that isn’t common to our yard. The weekend of October 24-26th is the Cape May Fall Migration festival. Dom and I are planning on going, and we really enjoyed it last year. Fall is one of the very best times for birding. I go birding during the winter months, as well, and I was rewarded last year, with my sightings of Snowy Owls, in December and January. I am wondering if we will see any Snowy Owls this winter. I feed the birds all year long. If you feed birds through the spring and summer, you will always see the parent birds feeding their young. It is so cute to see the babies lined up on our porch railing and waiting for a meal, while mom are at the bird feeder. Happy Birding!! 🙂


    • I remember you saying, before, to make sure our hummingbird feeders are up long enough so they can get plenty to eat before their big trip. Mine is still up! They are such miracle and truly a delight to watch. Thanks for writing, Colleen.


  4. Quietness…and the sights and sounds of nature. Especially our winged friends….the pleasure they give us as we feed and replenish fresh water to help meet their needs. I make suet from nuts…fruit crackers…peanut butter…bacon fat…etc. When people use the phrase…”eat like a bird “…they have no idea that birds eat their weight in food everyday. I love the phrase you used…”world of delight”. We spend hours each day watching our birds. We learn a lot about ourselves while doing so.


    • Always enjoy what you have to say, Karen.I liked what you said about learning about yourselves while watching the birds. I’m going to give thought to this, I know each seems to have a personality of its own.


  5. You are amazing! You even found something to like about grackles. lol. I love that you have taught me to enjoy nature: feeding birds, gardening. It so enriches my life. Seeing the birds bathing in your birdbath this past weekend was precious. And they kept me company while I painted! This was beautifully written. Love your blog!


    • Hi Janine: You are always so kind with your comments. In fact, you are always kind to everyone in every situation. Thanks for the wonderful example of Christian love. So glad you are enjoying God’s gifts to us.


    • Your mother has a heart of gratitude…even for that which may seem unwanted…her gratitude shows her attitude…and that brings her joy and peace no matter her circumstance…I’m grateful to have both you lovely ladies in my FB life…you were both in my life in the beginning…I didn’t realize I knew Janine till your mom posted a pic of the whole family back in the day…God bless you both as you continue to show Gods love in the world…!!


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