Sunday, May 2, 2010

It’s one of the simplest pleasures of life.
Watching the wildlife come to our birdfeeders.
In our north yard we have four feeders of various shapes and sizes. They are right outside a big window and afford amazing views- year round.
It’s a steady stream of visitors to the feeders most days. There are several returning guests too- like Blacky and Bushy- our black and brown squirrel friends.
I know what you might be thinking. This guy needs to get a life.
I have one. Watching the birds.

We first saw Blacky dropping by the feeders last summer on a daily basis. In fact he hung out quite a bit. He’d jump from the Maple tree onto the feeders and hang precariously in various poses, just to grab at the birdseed through the holes in a hanging feeder. We started buying huge bags of Planter’s Peanuts from Wal*Mart to feed him. He became so familiar with us he began to stand up on his hind legs, look in the window and watch for us.
A few days later- Bushy, a brown squirrel- with an exquisite tail, joined Blacky outside the window to munch on the peanuts we tossed. Both squirrels are relatively tame- although we haven’t offered them a peanut from our hand yet. I would expect they’d take to the idea rather quickly. Then, yesterday morning five Blue Jays, a couple of Morning Doves, a half dozen blackbirds, Blacky, Bushy and a few of their friends were all having a late breakfast. It was a wonderful site to see.
Walt Disney- eat your heart out!

Some days I must admit I feel like Snow White in the forest with feathered and furry friends flapping and jumping about. Once I even started singing “Oh what a Beautiful Morning” in my high falsetto.
It annoyed the neighbours and scared the wildlife.

It’s not just humans observing the “life” around the feeders. Kiki our yellow lab loves to watch from the vantage point of a leather chair right next to the window. When she lays on the grass at the south side of the house, a robin can hop by a few feet in front of her nose and she never even flinches.

It’s funny how you keep count of the birds. Three chickadees, four doves, a few robins. You even share feeder stories with friends and family. It’s rewarding entertainment for a few bags of feed and the daily trek to the feeders to refill them. I’ll bet bird and critter watching lowers the blood pressure too. Imagine, communing with nature- right in the city.

It keeps one sane- except, of course, when people discover you’ve named your squirrels.
That’s when you see that familiar- “odd look”.

Just don’t judge me, Okay? Now, on with your day!