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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


       trees of air bellows

Several sun shiny days in a row. Long-sleeve weather, but not sweater except for when the sun goes down and the cool wave of evening moves in. When I step outside the door, the birds fly away from the bird feeder and the ground under it in a flurry of fluttering wings, an explosion of parts going off in all directions. A wall I built of placed rocks several years ago about waist high, maybe ten giant steps long, and filled in behind it broken cinderblocks for drainage, then rocks, then gravel, is full of chipmunks. By now dirt has come in and grass grows there. I had to raise my parking space when the State put the paved road through here. They raised the road a meter. The wall is now a chipmunk apartment. I suppose they use the spaces among the broken parts of cinderblock. The race of the chipmunks to their apartments through the dry leaves on the ground, the sound of running through the leaves coincides with the flutter of half a dozen or more sets of wings and the involuntary chirpings of the birds taking off.

I feel a little guilt for messing up their lunch, but I pay it no mind, because they wouldn't be having lunch if I weren't putting it there. These warblers I didn't know were around here. They're of the woodpecker family. This morning I saw a big pileated woodpecker fly through the barren trees across the road. They fly like jets. The warblers can walk under, around; upside down doesn't matter. They walk around a tree trunk like a woodpecker. They go searching for bugs too. They stab at what they're going after, bug or seed, but just once at a time, when a woodpecker goes like a burst from a machine gun. The warblers fly like darts with wings. I toss seed onto the ground too, for the birds that like it on the ground and for the chipmunks. If they like the birdseed, I'm glad to feed them too. Like what morsels are left of Caterpillar's food in the morning I put out for Martha the dog. Because it's "catfood" doesn't mean a dog can't eat it. She loves it.

The leaves are gone from nearly all the trees by now. Some oaks hang onto their leaves. We had a good display of leaves this year. At the peak, a big wind came and blew quite a few off the trees; then the next day rain and wind that dislodged some more. By the time that run of weather had passed, we had about half the leaves that were left, and the rest fell to the ground soon after. By today, the leaves are mostly gone. It's strange to step out the door one day and the trees are bare. Heading into winter. Another 6 months of wearing sweaters. The birdfeeders will be as busy then as they are now, if not maybe more. I know the argument about not feeding the birds so they won't overpopulate their natural resources, which they will do. I figure everything is so out of whack by now, if I feel like feeding birds, I'm going to feed birds. I like watching them. Bought a 40 lb bag of sunflower seeds. The birds gobble them up. Any left after dark, the coon that lives near here will take what the birds leave.

A squirrel drops by during the day for some nibbles. He or she lives near here. I don't worry about the squirrel. Like the birds, the squirrel needs some of the handouts at the homeless shelter. The squirrel jumps to a tree, runs up the trunk, out on a branch, jumps to the branch of another tree, travels through the trees to get away when the giant steps out the door. Yesterday I was outside the door for maybe fifteen minutes. The birds started to chide me from nearby branches. They were afraid to fly to the feeder with the giant outside. As many as flew away when I went out were letting me have it. Get back in your house you big old giant. Go on, get outta here, we're hungry. They know I put the seed in the feeders, because they see me do it, every day, morning and afternoon. They fly to the trees and watch. The return after I'm in the house long enough to suggest I'm in for awhile. They know the score. I loved it that they felt like they knew me well enough to talk to me.

They know I'm the giant that lives in the house, the giant that keeps the birdfeeders with seeds in them, evidently seeds these birds like. If these feeding stations of healthy bird food will benefit these birds through the winter, I'm glad to pay for the seeds. They're the same birds every day, the birds with territories nearby. They know the lion lives in the house with the giant. Sometimes the lion gets out and curls up on a spot of sunlight near the birdfeeder and watches the birds, flying candy bars. The lion is old and heavy, doesn't attack the birds, but still, they're cautious. The dog comes around sometimes during the day. The dog can't catch them, but they don't chance it. The dog is unpredictable what it might do. I can't have chickens now. My grandmother taught me a love for the birds. She had a special affection for birds. She kept a singing canary in a cage. When one died, she'd get another. She knew how to doctor them. She grew up with chickens. The birds at the feeder satisfy interest in birds. They keep me in touch with bird nature.    


1 comment:

  1. As I was through there when the leaves were still beautiful. I appreciate nothing more than what God gives us. We are still coming to walk down the waterfalls one day. Hope you'll be able to go with us...

    Debi Pruitt