I have always enjoyed watching, feeding and listening to the birds that either live or pass through my woods during migration. When we had our horse farm, I had lovely birdhouses and feeders all over, and even with barn cats, we were fortunate enough that they preferred mice to catching or harassing the birds. My Newfoundland Dylan used to rest right under a feeder in front of our bedroom. The bedroom window was 9 foot by 9 foot, and there was nothing I enjoyed more than waking up to the sounds and sights of the birds at the feeder, and watching their morning routine. I would often get my coffee and go out and sit on the front porch brick walkway facing the bedroom, and Dylan was usually already there as well. The birds never were bothered by Dylan’s gentle presence, and sometimes we would sit there stifling a laugh because there was a chickadee on his head. Dylan never moved. A few times they would pull a thread of his coat to use in their nests. One of my most treasured items is a chickadee’s nest I found after the babies had fledged that had both the soft down from the dogs undercoat that they would find in the grass, tied together with long, strong hair from the horses manes, in a tidy, perfectly golfball sized round bowl where the babies were raised. Over the years we found several, and I am always amazed at the symmetry of the construction, especially with such unsymmetrical building materials. Below is a photo of one of the nests that I keep on my desk. I cannot look at a found bird’s nest without thinking of Dylan and my other Newfs, who gave new meaning to down filled. Those baby birds lived the good life!
Anyway, I have a different situation here. My woods are predominately oaks. How you may ask does that change things? Squirrels!!!!! I shall say right off the bat, that although I still brake for them when driving (don’t know why either), I hate them. I really do. I so enjoyed watching and feeding the birds here for a couple of years. However, during that time they destroyed several beautiful bird houses and feeders we made, and did so with impunity. ‘Nuf said, that is another story of how I tried to outsmart them, and failed miserably. I just had to quit.
Anyway, today it was in the 70’s and I saw a pair of cardinals that are regulars to my dining room windows and I got to thinking for the hundred thousandth time, how I miss feeding and housing the birds. It was usually about now my late husband and I were cleaning the bluebird houses we put up on the farm, making a new birdhouse or feeder, and generally getting things ready before the rush of planting and tending the gardens took over. We always fed the birds through summer, especially suet for the woodpeckers, as it helps Mom and Dad when the babies are born. We didn’t feed the birds as heavily, but enough, so if they needed it, it was there. I miss it so very much. Below is also one of the birdhouses I have made over the years. I made this one as a gift for KBJ, made entirely out of material that came from his house remodel. That is where our friendship developed, as he had asked me to help with the remodel and interior design. I wanted him to have a little something to remind him of all the work we did. The cost to make it…..zero.
Thank you for stopping by…….cheers, charisse