Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Feed them and they will come

Feed them and they will come

To me, the garden is a doorway to other worlds; one of them, of course, is the world of birds. The garden is their dinner table, bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries.

~ Anne Raver

For the past three months our bird feeders have remained inside the original packing boxes, deep within the abyss of one of our garage bays. Moving in winter is not something I would highly recommend, especially if you happen to be a bird lover year round. This is the first winter I have not provided for my feathery friends and the binoculars have just tended to sit, gathering dust, motionless with nothing outside of our picture windows to the back of our property.

I intend to change all of this, in due time. In fact I had so hoped to be up and running already since bird mating season is already in session, and the tweeting songs of the mating calls are being heard so soon nearby.

This week, plans have been made for the moving company to retrieve all the many, many folded cardboard boxes in our garage bay. As soon as they're cleared out of the way, the children and I will wade through what remains to gather our bird feeders, bird houses and assorted individualized feeding systems, including seed and suet, to place onto the black steel shepherd hooks located in the cold storage area in the basement. At least we know where something is here, a marvelous thing for sure.

While we await the truck to free us from the mounting clutter in the garage and basement mud room (stuffed!), our welcome wagon lady gifted us with a coupon to a nearby farm feed store. An introductory visit took place this week because we knew we could also find animal feed there, and hoped for other items of necessity on their shelves for those days when stocking up shopping expeditions are required.

Lo and behold, what a surprise to be gifted via the coupon for an entire bag of bird food from this store, and today I found it difficult to overcome the temptation to run my hand through the fine colorful mix of seed and grain I poured out into a bowl and one of my collectible mason jars for storage (only temporarily of course because we usually buy enough bird food to store in rubbermaid garbage cans!).

Our after-the-move starter seed gifted to us,
so helpful to begin grabbing the
attentions of our feathery friends during mating season
until our own stash becomes within reach.

We will be hoisting up our new bird house, the one able to hook onto the side of a nearby tree (and do we ever have plenty of trees on this property!). We will also set out some seed along the patio railings as we have done in the past before our feeders were unpacked when first moving to the eastern regions, mostly just to entice the birding population over to our home, welcoming them just in time for Spring to arrive.

I get to enjoy the tranquility and peace of mind that
results from watching colorful birds flitter around my lawn or deer
grazing in my neighbor's pasture field

~ Rick Rouse, from Why I love country living

Attracting multiple birding families offers so many advantages to a home owner, mainly for the amount of bugs they rid our property of and the sheer enjoyment of their sweet melodies early in the morning. We are all wondering if our favorite lo dwelling mourning doves will find their way over here to this property. We hope so. Meanwhile, we'll prepare and hope for many new bird friends to visit us often in the days to come. Oh, and apparently there are deer who wonder about the area.

We've also been told there is a large population of squirrel and chipmunks, both who may tend to be quite pesky about trying to get into a home during the winter season. A stroll around the circumference of our home is on the priority list for spring to caulk any noticeable areas of entry for both these critters and more mice, which we are happy to report has been happily tended to.