GAYS MILLS - Last week in the midst of the calamity that was the epic April snow dumping, many were inconvenienced in one way or another, but perhaps the most notice went to the birds.
When I called to check in on Thatcher who was most certainly about to be stranded at his great-grandparents house (Markey and Yanny or sometimes Abby as he addresses them).
Granny Yanny as reported by Markey was furiously cleaning her cupboards of any old grains or suitable fodder for bird feed in an attempt to save the early migrators who had landed in her holler outside of LaFarge. A regular bird lover and feeder I can only imagine all of the extra beaks to feed at her station.
Once home, I received a text from Chasca requesting that I open the chicken door and throw some feed inside from them, for he had neglected to free them from the warm coop in his rush out the door.
I stomped up to the coop as the snow continued to fall, green feed scoop filled to the brim.
I prepared myself as I slowly pushed open the door, knowing that I would be greeted by hungry chickens, who did not realize there was a foot-and-a-half of snow on the ground.
Hungry and wild they were, as they flew out of the coop with fury, forcing me to duck, slip and roll around in the snow as I attempted to shield myself from their clumsy attempt at flying. Blinded by the snow and their excitement, the chickens neglected to see the pile of feed that had been knocked out of my hands, instead proceeded to taking turns knocking each other off of the feed bucket and diving right in.
I got up off of the ground and brushed myself off and waddled through the snow back over to the bucket, shooing them aside. I tried to get their attention with the scoop of food that I was planning on dumping in the dry spot under the elevated coop. Alas, they’re chickens with a one-track mind and completely ignored me, even after I closed the lid and directed them else where.
The second half of my mission was to fill my own feeder and toss the compost scraps out for the hungry feathered friends.
I should take this opportunity to admit that this winter I wasn’t the best bird feeder. Although I love watching the birds that come to our feeders, getting out to feed them just wasn’t high on the priority list as it should have been. However, I did have a few Chickadees hang around and a bright red Cardinal, a few black-eyed Juncos and a Blue Jay.
Our time to shine bird wise is truly in the warmer weather.
The woods around our house come alive with the sounds of songbirds and woodpeckers, in the summer days and night.
One of our favorite little friends, the Wren made an early return Chasca noted Thursday morning.
“Come here and look at this bird, it’s so tiny and round it looks like a flying brown golf ball,” he said as he peered out the window at the fluttering brown ball.
Last year, we had several wrens building various nests in the little houses we originally hung by the door for decoration, never thinking anyone would move in. It was rather nice of them to move so close because they would sit outside of the window and sing. I haven’t seen the flying brown golf ball recently, but I hope it found somewhere nice and warm to hole up until the sun came back out.
When it comes to singing birds however, we are probably most fortunate to have a whip-poor-will of our very own.
It continues to return year after year, despite threats from Lunch, our cat who is not generally a bird killer, but particularly doesn’t seem to enjoy the nightly calling.
One evening last summer as we sat in our living room in the twilight, the sound of the bird became exceptionally louder and I saw its silhouette on the lower back half of our roof. I apparently wasn’t the only one who was excited to catch a glimpse of this elusive bird, as Lunch darted out the door in hot pursuit. I found myself feeling rather in a hillbilly way as I took off after the cat, yelling, and screaming and throwing my shoe at it. The bird, casually flew off seemingly un-phased by me or the cat and continued to sing in a distant location.
I should probably make a little more of an effort to keep the feeders for the humming birds, orioles and other exotic songbirds filled so we can get in good graces and habits and attract more of Mother Nature’s most delightful entertaine