Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birdwatching and Cat TV and Big News!

We sit at the window and share binoculars, scanning the area. Covert agents? Peeping toms? Secret mission?

A few of the birdfeeders and
the bluebird house last winter
No. Hero and I love spotting birds from our breakfast room window. Watching our feathered friends eat outside while we eat indoors is one of life's simple pleasures. Our subjects are varied and the list of species is surprisingly long. We have several reference books handy to help us identify our visitors. Although we do have a few favorite species, we actually enjoy watching all types of birds.

Red Tailed
Hawk not as
pretty as ours
The predator birds are beautiful, but we’d prefer they stay far, far away. A giant red-tailed hawk terrorizes our native bunnies. Early in the morning a few days ago, a great horned owl was in one of our trees near a brush pile we preserve for the bunnies and birds. I hope the owl was watching for a mouse for breakfast and not one of the bunnies! Coyotes lurk nearby, so we try to provide safe cover for rabbits and other small creatures. I am always reminded of the Joel Harris stories of Br'er Rabbit, and hope our rabbits are safely snuggled in the briars and brush.

Sebastian resting
We laugh and call our window view “cat TV” because our large cat, Sebastian, stares out the window watching the birds almost as much as we do. He’s learned that when I say, “Birds, Sebastian” that he should go to the window. He has always been an indoor-only pet, so it’s not as if ever chased birds. I believe their movements fascinate him. Certainly he becomes excited when one flies near the window.

Not our birdbath,
but similar, We love
watching the birds bathe
and getting a drink.
Hero and I keep adding to our bird community. We began with only one feeder, but now we have five. We’ve always kept water on the terrace for the critters, but we added a birdbath. The tiny birds had difficulty reaching the water, so Hero added a couple of bricks for the small birds to stand on. When the bird bath water freezes, Hero adds warm water. It quickly freezes again, of course, but it gives the birds a chance to get a drink.

When we learned bluebirds nested in our area, Hero built them a house. For Christmas, Darling Daughter 1 gave us a screech owl house and a purple martin house. We’re waiting until spring to install those in appropriate places. We’ve tried different seed mixes, and currently Hero buys two brands of seed to attract the birds we prefer, Scotts for the small birds and Audubon for the larger birds.

We love the
bunnies, too!
This may seem like an odd post for an author’s blog, but enjoying the birds (and bunnies) who visit our yard is a harmless activity and I wanted to share. I’ve never thought of our watching birds as a hobby, but I guess it qualifies. Relaxing together at mealtime is one of my favorite times of day. In addition to watching birds, we spend time together and talk about a million things. This is one of life's simple pleasures and enriches my day. No wonder I like bird watching.

What kinds of simple pleasures do you enjoy? Do you prefer solitude, or do you like company for your pastimes?

Big News! Each Wednesday in February, a group of authors from The Wild Rose Press have a blog tour with Prizes. Each comment is entered into the drawing. Week 1 prize is $20 in gift certificates; Week 2 is $25; Week 3 is $30; and Week 4 is $35, and the grand prize for the month is $50 in gift certificates and a personal bath set. Please plan to return on Wednesday to participate in this blog tour. Post will follow a theme. Week 1, "The Significance of First Lines;"
Week 2 authors will post on "Where Ideas Come From;"
Week 3 we will post on "How I Met My Husband" (or significant other), and on Week 4 we'll discuss "Developing Unique Characters." 


Beth Trissel said...

I love, love, love your post on birds. I also am a big bird lover/watcher and have an old feeder my hubby made in the cherry tree in our back yard. Our inside cats Percy and Minnie Mae watch with me. They are big bird fans and get quite excited. :) We live in the middle of farm meadows and mostly get the field birds, but there is a very nice woods up on the hills behind our house and I hope those birds will find us too. That's where the red tailed hawk patrols. Yesterday we had our first chickadee, must have been from the woods and driven to the feeder by all the snow. I hope he comes back. Our most exciting day was eons ago when a flock of evening grossbeaks stopped by. They haven't returned, and one year a host of wild swans spent the day on our pond. Sigh....

Sandra Crowley said...

Thanks for the soothing post. I needed it after traveling from Houston to Denver yesterday. It's great to be home and safe.

DH and I love to watch our little bird friends, too. We have zoomers and gliders, sorta like the drivers in our area. LOL

Thanks again,