Prickly Pear Party

Last year, a neighbor gave me a sock full of birdseed. She loved her birds, and I would too. Was I at this point in my life? Apparently I am. I placed the sock in one of our ficus trees within view of the dinner table and we’d watch in awe as tiny birds in a dozen jewel tones would arrive momentarily in view to have a snack.

One sock became two. During the hot summer months, I also filled up a large automatic dog watering station near the feeders too. Soon, birds were dipping into the water to cool down and have a drink between bites to eat. It was all delightful.

At Christmas, my mother in law gave me a new feeder. It’s a small metal box with a chain you hang from foliage. Inside, you place a square of greasy suet. This attracts larger birds, who are mostly shades of brown but have the same voracious appetites as their younger, more colorful finch cousins.

Recently, my husband moved the feeders from the ficus tree to outside the kitchen window. The socks hang from a series of black metal hooks that are pushed deep into the earth below the window. The suet box hangs behind them from the branches of a climbing pyracantha, which is in full bloom with thousands of bright red berries.

All of this to say, I look forward to sticking my hands in a sink of warm, soapy water after dinner and listening to the birds outside of my kitchen window. We had no idea so many varieties lived in our neighborhood. It is a simple joy.

I’ve also become the woman who has a jar of homemade jam or chutney in her purse to give away. I’m not sure how or when this happened, but as I write this, I realize I handed out five jars yesterday, including to our favorite bartender at the sushi restaurant last night. I’ve given him enough jam, the transaction didn’t seem strange to anyone, including my shy husband who’d rather we just not make conversation with everyone, everywhere.

This time of life is comfortable and peaceful. Our family is healthy, we are enjoying our work, we have extra time to spend traveling and seeing friends and making tiny jars of jam with whatever fruit is in season. And the birds continue to fill the feeders.

5 Replies to “Birdsong”

  1. When my daughter was an infant, sitting at the table at the spot that looks straight into our yard, we set up a bird feeder right outside the dining room window. We quickly learned that we live among incredibly persistent squirrels with daredevil tendencies, and soon upgraded to a Squirrel Buster feeder so we wouldn’t have to refill it every afternoon. We still get so much joy from watching the visitors (many of them regulars we recognize!) to the feeder—even those darn squirrels, who have resigned themselves to hanging out in the “drop zone” underneath and gathering whatever falls. Bird feeders are amazing. So happy you are enjoying one too. 🙂

    (Also: so glad to see you blogging again. Maybe I will dust mine off as well…)

  2. You sound so happy and content… truly in your element! My life is such a whirlwind right now but I know better than to wish the time away! Love you!

  3. Curious about the sock finch feeder. I have about 3 different feeders, but the birds eat so fast I can’t afford to fill them all the time! Lol my feeders are outside my kitchen window too. I have now started to get chimes and yard art in my yard. I’m definitely at new phase in life. (I love gnomes but my family said I crossed a line when I bought one.)

  4. Next thing you’ll be keeping a list of all the species that come to your yard and have a bird field guide nearby. I’ve had 48 species in my central Phoenix yard. I always get excited when a new one shows up. They like oranges and grape jelly, too.

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