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
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 sliding 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 holder. 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 to 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 houses 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
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.
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