Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bird Watching...

Isn't it funny how certain things can trigger memories for us? Sometimes these can be good memories that we want to forever hold onto and other times they are memories we will do anything to forget. This morning sitting out on our back porch I had a special memory come to mind.

I was sitting there watching the birds just like someone I knew. My grandfather loved birds. He went to great lengths to make sure there was the right kind of feeders in his backyard for the birds that would come looking for food. He provided them with thistle seed, sunflower seed, and suet. The birds in his backyard were not lacking.

Pa knew every kind of bird that came into his backyard as well. We would sit at their kitchen table and he would point out the cardinals, chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers and finches. And was he ever quick to shoo away those starlings!  As a young girl I was learning the different kinds of birds. Pa would sit in that chair by the door for hours, I'm not exaggerating when I say hours. From the first bird that came in the morning to the last bird to fly away at night. It wasn't uncommon for us to show up for a visit and he would inform us of how many finches or cardinals had already shown up that day. The birds would whistle and sing in the yard and Pa knew exactly what kind of bird it was. We would be in the backyard or be sitting on the deck and he would "talk" to the birds. Pa was so good at mimicking their chirps and whistles that the birds would actually respond to him. It was fun to watch him and know that he could do something as amazing as that, at least I thought it was pretty amazing.

My passion for bird watching isn't quite the same as my grandfather's, but I do enjoy watching the birds. We now live in a place where I can see them and enjoy them. From my kitchen window I look out into our yard and see the feeders which were given to me for Mother's Day this year.  I find myself checking to see if there are any birds out there or standing there for awhile just watching. There is something peaceful about it for me. 

I do get a little excited when the chickadees show up... they are my favorites. My children think I'm weird and tell me I'm acting like an "old lady".  I find it a little amusing however,  that my children are now able to recognize the different kinds of birds that are making their presence in our backyard. One day I'm sure they will benefit from this knowledge.

I'm thankful that a little thing like birds was something that my grandfather could teach me about even though he didn't realize it at the time. I'm thankful he gave me a memory.

Even the sparrow finds a home there, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young-at a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. ~Psalm 84:3

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