is going to be one of those essays. No. Really. Not kidding. Kind
of sappy. Get back what you put out. One of those. Advance notice
issued… let’s move along…)
and I have a few birdfeeders in the backyard.
seasonal though. There’s more to come. We’re still finishing up
the winter months. Several things are in the garage waiting. Hummingbird
feeders for example.
general, they’re pretty cool. We’ve been able to attract a huge
variety of birds to our feeders over the past handful of summers.
Actually, we get them throughout the year. (And a few chipmunks
and squirrels. Other stories. Other times.)
weird thing about them though is those winter months. That’s when
things get rough. Especially in the days following a major snowstorm.
It is absolutely no fun trekking out into the yard, 40-pound bag
of seed in one hand and a suet cake or two in the other, when
the thermometer is registering single-digits and the ground is
blanketed by more than a foot of snow.
no food… no birds.
the course of time, Terry and I have faced a few challenges in
keeping the feeders stocked. Getting the squirrels to stay on
the ground… enduring the arrivals of flocks that take over the
yard… avoiding the bees that are attracted to sugar water… and
so on. Bird seed doesn’t have to be expensive, but it also isn’t
free. You get the idea. It’s an investment. Time, effort, money.
is a return on investment. Watching woodpeckers… cardinals… hummingbirds…
goldfinches… blue jays… robins… bluebirds… arrive and even return.
It is amazing and relaxing.
the winters are the worst.
off the bat, the variety isn’t the same. And, you can’t count
on the numbers being as high, so looking out the window doesn’t
result in a treat as regularly as it does in the summer months.
starting to finalize plans for changes around the yard. As the
weather improves, I’ll be adding a garden. And, we’ve been kicking
around a real attempt at some fruit options, like blueberries
and strawberries. And again, then there’s the birds.
of the yard redesign will involve moving some of the feeders and
likely a few birdhouses as well. (I’m also not a fan of making
blueberries available to large numbers of birds that gather and
stay around the house… you can figure out why easily enough.)
thing is… I am thinking about the birds. I do believe they benefit
from having me around. And, I know I benefit from them. The more
I put into our unspoken relationship, the more I tend to get back.
When I ignore it, and let it lapse—regardless of the reasons why—we
tend to lose contact.
so, for now, I do need to head out into the yard and take care
of the feeders. There’s still some snow on the ground, so it won’t
be a simple chore. But it will be worth it in the end.
promised sappy. It’s in there. Thanks for sticking with it, and
thanks for investing in me.)