My love of birds most likely came from my grandmother. I have vivid memories of sitting in her dining room, looking out into the backyard after a heavy snowstorm. A flush of red moved against the undisturbed snow as cardinals left the first tracks looking for food.
Very little time would pass before my grandmother would don her boots, throw on a long coat, tie a scarf around her head and go outside. I can still see her rounding the corner of the house with an old well-worn straw broom in hand.
She would make her way to a beautiful old forsythia bush and start sweeping away the snow. Once a spot had been cleared tucked under the branches, she would pull an old bread wrapper from her coat pocket. Inside were bread scraps and oatmeal which she would scatter for the birds. There was no commercial birdseed available — or if there was, it certainly was not in our budget.
Our Birds in Winter
It would not be long before there was a flurry of activity as birds darted in and out to take advantage of the feast she had so carefully laid out for them. It’s funny, I tried to leave oatmeal and breadcrumbs once for the birds here. They would not touch any of it. Must say something about our processed food supply.
I remember an incident once when my brother was attempting to shoot at a bird with his B.B. gun. Oh, was my grandmother beside herself! He got a stern talking to and I honestly do not think he ever raised his B.B. gun at another bird.
It reminds me of this scene from The Andy Griffith Show. Still makes me cry, but then I’m a softie and I know it.
We watch the birds year-round – our children refer to our view as ‘the outdoor tv’. We feed the birds every day unless the black bears are making their presence known. They are beautiful creatures and they hold such wonderful memories for me.
It’s nice to be back living in a place that reminds me so much of my home as a child. I think it sparks a lot of good memories of times gone by. As I sit here writing this, I see the birds out of the corner of my eye, taking full advantage of the bounty in the birdfeeders. Not a bad life — for me or the birds.