Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Feathered hope

Backyard bird watching and feeding are said to be among most popular pastimes in America. Birds are, after all, entertaining. They offer variety, action, even comedy as they jockey for position on your feeder or wander your lawn and shrubs, in search of a bite to eat.

In winter, though, they also offer a bit of hope. When the winds are blowing, the snow is falling, the temperatures hover around zero, and even squirrels are hidden in their nests, the sight of chickadees, titmice, jays, and juncos flitting around outside your window bring a lot of action to an otherwise lifeless landscape.

But real excitement comes when, in the middle of winter, a robin shows up in a bush or a bluebird at the feeder. While these birds are symbols of warmer times, many spend all winter in the North, mostly off in wetlands where there’s a bounty of berries and seeds to eat. However, a good storm may bring them to your yard in search of food and perhaps shelter.

And in their blue backs and red breasts, we get glimpses of the spring to come, when the full array of life will return to our now barren landscape.

1 comment:

Mar (Mistryel) said...

"Hope is the thing with feathers" - that's Emily Dickenson - wonder if she was a bird watcher.....