Sunday, December 05, 2021

The happiness of bluebirds

The bluebirds found the mealworm feeder in one day; ditto the sparrows and starlings. The starling population seems low these days. Either their migration patterns are different this year or the mysterious avian illness that struck songbirds this past summer reduced their numbers.

Lately I have been giving myself permission to just sit in the recliner in the den and watch birds. The bluebirds don't chase away the competition at the mealworm feeder but definitely hold their own. Sparrows will eat almost anything, including the "bark butter" and the seeds from pampas grass and volunteer asters. I watched a blue jay peck at a redbud pod to eat the seeds within. There are now ground feeding juncos and nut eating nuthatches, and the occasional hawk flies through the yard, sending the rest to safety. While walking the dogs, I've seen crows pecking at fallen walnuts. There are mourning doves in the neighborhood and passersby at the pond. So much to see if we but stop and look.

I've complained about the 'Golden Spirit' smokebush not blooming much, but it did this past summer. And now the dried seed heads look rather striking. Unlike the purple leaf smokebush, this specimen seems to hold onto its seed heads.

Several years ago I purchased some fleece leggings from a seasonal store at the mall. It turns out those leggings are windproof, so I wear them when walking the dogs. Today, despite the stiff breeze, I was able to do a little yard work (cutting down the false indigo) in comfort. There is no bad weather, just inadequate clothing.

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