One small window and a hundred big joysPosted: 28 February 2012
I am blessed with a lovely kitchen window which opens to a jasmine tree, standing between me and my neighbor.
The tree embodies as many seasons as Montreal has to offer: short-lived purple blossoms; dense long lasting green leaves; colorful falling leaves; and snow covered bare branches, at times decorated with long icicles, in the whole duration of our long winters. I guess my kitchen’s window is partly responsible for my cooking passion! What makes spending time in the kitchen all more enjoyable however is the bird feeder I bought a couple of years ago. It feeds many birds and it creates a world around it which feeds my soul as well.
All it took to create this surprisingly entertaining, exciting, fun and indeed educational setting is: A window bird feeder [there are so many types of bird feeders, but the ones that stick to the glass are made for close up look. They might not be very durable but they are inexpensive and easily replaceable; more importantly this type of feeder cannot be ravaged by squirrels] One 4 kg. bag of “wild bird food” every three months in busy seasons (fall and winter), and every 5-6 months for the rest of the year (let’s say an average of 2 bucks per month]. And a regular schedule for cleaning the feeder. In busy season I clean it every two or three weeks, and I occasionally need to fix it back on its proper place. It is very important to clean the feeder with disposable gloves and NOT to put it in your sink or anywhere close to foods and dishes. Wild and migrating birds could be dangerous and carriers of diseases.
And what I get back in return? Oh, plenty! Just looking at the birds’ vibrant colours under sunbeam or overcast sky, listening to their calls and songs in the early morning hours or lazy afternoons, and watching their lively motions lifts my spirit and expands my mind and soul. These pictures which I have taken in the course of the past year, might give you some indications of my birdfeeders rewards: American robin is not even a seed eater, but they have keen interest in my kitchen tree and roost there a good portion of the year as some sort of school principal or bird-traffic watcher! Last year I was convinced that one of them was deep into studying me, as for weeks he kept sitting on the top of the feeder looking inside and pecking at the window. When I marked the glass with scotch tape, he figured the window was not for breaking in, and turned his attention to shooing away smaller birds and investigating the larger ones. It is said that American Robin could be a host for the deadly Wes Nile virus. So, as a rule, I am always very careful not to come in direct contact with them
My favourite winter customers are cardinals, especially the males, with that red glow against snow-white background, always splashing a surge of awe. They are sensitive to any jerky movement or sudden change in light, and therefore a bit difficult to be photographed. But with a little bit of patience I have been able to capture them in many beautiful pictures. Blue jays are less fearful of domestic interruptions. They are heavy for my feeder though and the main cause of its displacement 🙂
The two tiny birds, again mostly hanging around during winter, are chickadees and snow birds. I just LOVE the way they sit inside the feeder and take their time picking over the seeds, making a mess around them while once in a while looking me in the eye when I am facing the window washing dishes. Did I mention I did not know the name of any bird species (save sparrows) before I bought the feeder? No, they don’t carry identification badges! I have a bird book guide and a bird-watcher husband!