The Birds

27 Dec

Photo credit

This morning I was reminded of a darker time of my life as I looked out my window to the trees.  It was a particularly long cold winter and I started to suffer with some migraine headaches.  Not many but a few just enough to know I really didn’t like them at all.  At the time I was running an in-home daycare while my youngest was not yet in school.  I wanted to be a stay at home Mom but we needed some extra income.  I started a daycare , ran it for three years until my daughter was in school full-time and I got my first teaching job.

I loved the little kids and there was always some antic to laugh about while doing daycare.  I feel particularly old when I see those kids now as juniors,  seniors in high school and one already graduated.   That winter it was very cold and we had a stretch where the wind chills were too severe to let the kids outside to play.  They were going stir crazy and so was I. 

One evening I walked past some bird feeders and seed at our local hardware store and wondered “Would the birds come and eat if I put out some food?”  I had never had a bird feeder before.  I picked out a feeder and picked up some seed and went home and tried to decide where to place it.  I decided outside my livingroom window would be the best because the kids would be able to look out and see the birds from there if they came to the feeder.

I put out the feeder that evening and the next day watched.  No birds.  I was so disappointed and so were the kids.  Day two I watched again and once again no birds.  I thought maybe I had it in the wrong place, after all I never had a feeder before.  The third morning I watched as my first bird came to the feeder.  It was a purple finch.  I didn’t know that at the time because I didn’t know birds.  My next stop that evening was to the library for a bird book so I could I identify the different birds that came to the feeder. 

That winter the daycare kids and I learned about birds together.  Bird watching was a distraction from the cold weather but developed into a life-long passion  for me.  Each season brings different birds to the feeder.  One of my favorite birds to watch is the Nuthatch.  I love it because it approaches life from a different perspective.  It walks down the trees head first.  It is the most beautiful combination of blue, white and black.  We had many visitors to our feeder that winter:  woodpeckers, cardinals, finches, nuthatches, grosbeak, blue jays, black-capped chickadees and some I am sure I have forgotten. 

Sometimes learning something new is the best remedy to the blues.


Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Life Happens, Nature, Reflections


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10 responses to “The Birds

  1. Carol Ann Hoel

    December 27, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Birdwatching is really an enjoyable experience. What a great idea to engage the children during those cold days they had to remain inside! The nuthatch truly is a beautiful bird.

    My husband Bill (deceased) and I used to take hikes to spot different birds armed with our Peterson Guide. We enjoyed it immensely. Next we put up a bird feeder at home, which brought us much joy. We had a pair of cardinals that came everyday. Then they began showing up one at t time, either the female or the male, but not both. One day they showed up together with three baby cardinals tagging along!

  2. flyinggma

    December 27, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    I love birdwatching. How exciting to have the cardinals bring their young to your feeder. I use the Peterson Guide as well. It gives you so many details for birdwatching. I’m sorry to hear you don’t have Bill to share your birdwatching with these days but oh the memories you must have of your walks together. Walking, talking and searching for the next bird together. Blessings, Jeanne

  3. 36x37

    December 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I love this post, Jeanne, and I’m glad bird watching cured you of your blues.

    Your story makes me think of my dad, who kept a bird feeder every year. We watched the visiting birds together, and searched through the Audubon books to identify each one. Thanks for reminding me of that…I’d like my boys to have the same experience.

    Hope you had a happy and relaxing holiday!

  4. flyinggma

    December 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks Maura. The daycare kids and my own had great fun learning about the birds. We never knew which birds would show up each day. The kids were so excited the day that the first male cardinal showed up because of his bright red color.

    My Dad still keeps several bird feeders as well as makes loon nests that he puts out on the lake each year so he can watch the loons come and go each spring and summer.

    I can’t wait to hear about your Christmas dinner. I’m sure it was full of wonderful memories. Blessings, Jeanne

  5. writerwoman61

    December 27, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Jeanne:

    Jim is a wee bit addicted to bird feeders…we currently have seven on our back deck (doesn’t include the three hummingbird feeders which are down for the winter)! We have the same types of birds you listed coming…just started seeing a nuthatch this summer! If you click on my tag “birds,” you’ll probably see some photos either Jim or Anna have taken of our visitors…


    • flyinggma

      December 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      I’m a lot like Jim, can’t seem to have enough bird feeders and am always trying to attract something new. We had 3 partridges in our Juneberry tree a couple weeks ago. Dean said how appropriate with Christmas coming. I wish that had a picture of the partridges. I love your Anna’s bird pictures and others as well. What is the name of her blog? I’d love to take a look at it. Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Artswebshow

    December 27, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    That sounds wonderful.
    I’m too urbanised to think about a bird feeder, the only birds my window attracts is pigeons.
    It must be great just seeing what is the dish of the day on natures buffet. lol

    • flyinggma

      December 27, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks for stopping by. I love “dish of the day on nature’s buffet!” I haven’t seen any pigeons around my home. The closest we get to pigeons is the seagulls that migrate through and of course the hundreds of canadian geese the have taken up urban dwelling in the Twin Cities where I used to live.

  7. JoDee Luna

    December 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    I enjoyed your story and will look at birds differently after reading this post. I appreciate your message. I think nature calls our souls to rest, which is not the norm in our usually driven lives.

  8. flyinggma

    December 27, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks JoDee. I didn’t include it in this post but the other thing that got me through that long winter was an old upright piano that I purchased that winter and took up playing piano again. Music is also something that speaks to my soul for rest along with the nature that surrounds me.


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