Friday, November 9, 2012

Flock Into My Garden

In my garden, each season brings a special gift. Whether it is the pale green buds appearing after a cold winter; the first flowers of spring; the prospect and work of a vegetable garden and the anticipation of crops I will soon enjoy; the changing colors and smells as the days cool down and everything begins to hibernate, or simply the darker days that beg for tea and a cozy blanket! Whatever the season, I always have something to look forward to!

This time of year - like the beginning of spring - the birds begin to make their way back in search of food and shelter. In anticipation, I make sure each feeder is full, the houses are clean and the bushes are left for cover. I find ways to put out fresh water in my bird-bath each day when it freezes over and I make sure, nutritionally, the birds have adequate fats and proteins to make it through the winter ahead. I love the planning and work it requires, but I love the outcome. I am blessed with so many different types of birds each year...and I LOVE birds!!

Each fall, winter, and spring, I make sure my regular feeders (filled with the basic 'Song Bird Food' from your local store -  made of millet, sunflowers and nuts), suet feeders (generally I have several different kinds - berry, nut, high-energy, etc), and my thistle feeders are full and wait for them to arrive! I make sure that some of my garden's plantings produce berries to attract new varieties as well! Thus far, my Virginia Creeper has been the most popular. Last year, we spotted a lone woodpecker at our suet feeders. This year, that very same woodpecker variety has been a constant in our garden!! I have A Field Guide to Western Birds by Roger Tory Peterson, 1961 (I realize it may seem a little OLD, but birds don't change that much!), and it's what I use to see which birds are in my garden. This particular woodpecker (pictured above and at the beginning of the article) is a Red-Shafted Flicker or Gilded Flicker! They are beautiful, call a most unique call, and LOVE Virginia Creeper berries. I'm thrilled!!! I've spotted as many as five at one time lining my fence for a chance to steal a berry!

As for the rest, I occasionally see another Woodpecker, a Scrub Jay, Starling, but for the most part, my feeders are visited with Wrens, Chickadees (more so in the cold winter months), and Finches! They not only bless with me with their presence but they fill my days with their songs and their comical antics! I love just sitting with a cup of tea and watching them just 'be' at the feeders and in my garden. Such simplicity never looked so beautiful!

Invite them into your garden! Just a little seed, a little water, and patience will beckon them. When word gets around, you'll have more birds than you know what to do with!! These wonderful creatures provide an enormous amount of peace and a time for reflection we can all use! Take advantage of it and invite these wonderful creatures into your garden! As you watch them interact, play, and'll be hard to regret your invitation!

I hope you enjoy the birds as much as I do!! I can't wait to continue to find new species that find their way into my garden! What do you have? What do you do to attract them each year?! I have a good base and would love to expand on it with your help!!

Enjoy and have fun!!

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