I put up bird feeders this winter.
Being out of work, I figured I would sit in
the warm splendor of my little house with the fireplace burning bright, write some, read some, and be a frozen Francis of
Assisi - watching my avian friends come and go.
The first few days after I hung the feeders,
no one showed up. I was crest-fallen there were no birds and I thought about putting up an “open 24 hours sign”.
Friends who know birds counseled that they would find “Glenn’s Diner” soon enough.
And they did. After two days of fretful waiting,
little winged patrons started showing up and telling all their friends. The place was a hit.
The birds would venture to the bushes and
then come to the feeders in their time. They came out from cover and decided the feeders were safe.
I put one feeder too close to a window and,
to put it politely, the birds are dinging up the glass. I was going to clean it, but decided it could wait until spring when
I plan on removing a wall and that window anyway. There will be French doors and a deck (there is no depth a man will not
plumb to avoid cleaning a window that is not attached to his car ;-)
But I soon found out these were gluttons –
little pigs with wings.
The 20 pound bags disappeared as quickly as
winter sunlight at dusk. And I felt guilty if the tubes got too low, too quick. THEN I found out that Cardinals and Blue Jays
don’t like the tube things and feed only on the ground.
SO I started to throw seed on my walk to attract
them. And it did. Red birds sit in my Lilac bush and porky Blue Jays are hanging out on my hand railing. All to the consternation
and complete joy of Jessica (the Guinea Hen) because now there is new seed AND company outside the back door.
That means a lot of seed in single digit days.
So I got stingy and bought a cheaper brand of chow. Suddenly the crowds have
slackened - like I am using margarine in place of unsalted butter. We get what we pay for, I suppose. But they will have to
We first seek what we want, settle for what
we need and then accept what we can get.
And on my walk yesterday, I heard a tweet,
tweet, tweet - a few Robins flit by. This is not spring in the Northeast, but they seem to be getting by in-spite of what
people expect. Stubborn will trump smart most times.
So here I am at the end of January –
a bit depressed by the season and myself in general. The last month or two have been a personal let down for several reasons,
and my eyes are crying out for glasses… I am beginning to force myself to a better spring.
I always light a candle this week for some
people who have passed: my mother and someone who means the world to someone who means the world to me. We give them light
to let them know we are here. They are already home.
And I stand above the Kinderhook Creek –
roaring in the absolute chambers of cold – accepting and being what the seasons demand.
These things remind me of the good things
I have, and I try to take a lesson from my bird visitors – that there is food out there, there is comfort in joining
with our own kind, and we can survive on the things we know, and perhaps go farther when we are willing to learn a bit. Evolve
from our past discretions.
And never simply accept what is offered us.