Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 27, 2004
My Garden is Complete
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – June 27, 2004 – I’ve always wanted to have a bird feeder in my garden. How difficult could it be to go to a specialty bird store and buy one, equip it with seed and hang it from a hook? Evidently extremely so, as my garden has been a barren place for little birds all these years. Well, today that oversight has been redressed. I stopped into a store on Mt. Pleasant called Wild Bird.
I’ve seen it for years and often had a thought about visiting, so today I did. They carry the unusual garden decorations, as well as a variety of bird feeders and seed. The shop keeper was an extremely pleasant gal who knew her products well. I asked her how the birds know the feeder is there. Silly question I guess, but I’ve never had a feeder before. She said, “Don’t worry they’ll find their way to you”. I came away equipped with a squirrel proof feeder for small to medium sized birds and twenty pounds of black oil sunflower seeds.
The feeder was mostly assembled. I just needed to add a cardinal ring. Apparently cardinals like to face their food when they eat and not have to perch sideways, so the base of the feeder has a ring around it. I filled it with seeds, and hung it from one of my French wrought iron brackets, at the corner of the pergola. I sat down on one of the chaises and waited for the feast to begin.
After half an hour – nothing. I could hear my pager beeping through the open window of my office and went upstairs to check it. I had a call to return and decided to check my e-mail while I was at my computer. I went back downstairs about twenty minutes later and to my amazement there were five little sparrows sitting on the cardinal ring, happily pecking away at the sunflower seeds.
They are incredibly amusing to watch. They pick a seed – eat it and then pick another. For some reason if that seed isn’t to their liking, they drop it on the ground. Fifteen minutes later, the ground under the feeder had quite an accumulation of discarded seeds. Those will probably prove a welcome surprise to the squirrels.
When I opened the door to go back outside the birds rose together and flew up into the trees, chirping their annoyance at my abrupt intrusion. I settled down on the chaise again and waited. About ten minutes later the bravest of the Sparrows flew back down to the top of the pergola and proclaimed his presence with a series of little twitters. I didn’t move and he swooped down to the feeder and had soon forgotten my presence.
A couple of his chums joined him in due course and soon the feeder was a jumble of beaks and feathers. I’ve decided that I don’t really care what birds come to my feeder. I’ll keep it filled and available to any comers – winter and summer.
As with watering my garden, I’m amazed at the joy I derived from watching the birds in my yard. The gift of a garden is a wonderful thing, and this summer it appears to be teaching me a thing or two about some of the simple things in life. Relaxing – just being in the moment – listening and observing.
The intrusion of the outside is forbidden in my garden – it’s a peaceful sanctuary where caring for my heart and soul is the first order of the day. I plan to spend a lot of time in my garden thinking, learning and watching as Nature flourishes around me. Being quiet is a greatly under-rated pass time – my goal this summer is to become an expert.