Sunday, June 26, 2016

Gathering At The Feeder

I’ve always liked birds.

When I was single, I had a bird cage and had a male and a female finch. Eventually, they laid eggs and I had a little family on my hands. They would bounce and fly and flit around the cage. They were quite shy, so I couldn’t make any sudden moves or make a lot of noise, but we got along well.

Kim doesn’t like birds and doesn’t want me to have any in the house. With two dogs, I don’t think it would work very well, either.

A couple of years ago, I set up two bird feeders in the backyard. I placed them on either side of the yard, one next to a white flowering crape myrtle and the other next to a pink flowering crape myrtle. Between the two feeders are two small, young red maples, and between them, four knock out roses and a butterfly bush.

Build it, and they will come. They sure did!

At any time of day or early evening, we see any number of different colored finches and some canaries, the smallest of our visitors. The largest visitors we see are cardinals, blue jays, and mourning doves. Quite the variety, really.

We even had something much larger at some point during the night, probably a squirrel or raccoon because we found one of the feeders on the ground with the top open. Was kind of messy. I just picked it up, filled it, and placed it back on the stanchion.

The birds don’t seem to mind Bailey, our Golden Retriever, and she doesn’t seem to mind or notice them. They peaceably coexist. Stella, on the other hand, is a much different story. She shows up and they fly away and wait for her to come back into the house before they visit the feeders.

I either sit on the deck and watch them or watch them from a window in our family room. I find it peaceful and relaxing.

One of the things I notice is the level of cooperation amongst the birds. One day, one of the bigger birds, a blue jay, shook the feeder causing some of the seed to fall on the ground. He ate from the ground while the smaller birds ate from the feeder itself. At other times, the smaller birds will leave as the larger ones arrive and eat. Eventually they leave, and the smaller birds return.   

Everyone gets their fill and I keep them filled with seed.

Got me thinking . . .

I think people, all of us, can learn a lesson or two from birds.
Unlike birds who are unconcerned about the type of bird feeding next to it, humans seem overly concerned, especially now days. Yes, I understand current events. I do understand the worry about safety and well-being. I want my family safe when they travel to a different city or even go to a nightclub or a movie. So, yes, I get that.

But it seems to me that there is perhaps too much scrutiny over skin color, the type of dress and head covering. There are issues of who is or isn’t allowed to come to our country, even though we call ourselves, “The Land of the Free” and have a monument in a New York Harbor celebrating our immigrant heritage.

Perhaps I have a na├»ve, over-simplistic view of coexistence, a Pollyanna-ish view of how folks should get along, need to get along. So I understand if you want to give me a smile, a pat on the head and a sympathetic shake of the head. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could be similar in how we treat each other as birds treat each other? A level of cooperation? A peaceful coexistence? Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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If you like to read thriller/mystery, check out:
Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen year old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.

Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
The FBI knows a 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t. With no leads and with nothing to go on, the FBI gambles and sets up the boy and his family as bait in order to catch three dangerous and desperate men with absolutely nothing to lose.

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11 year old Brett McGovern, and 11 year old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out. 

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