Within 24 hours after hanging the feeders in the tree for the winter...the birds are back. Already we've been graced by the presence of 2 blue jays, a downy woodpecker, a nuthatch, a few finches, and a handful of juncos. As if we've nothing better to do, we manage to drop everything and birdwatch when a new one appears. It's like welcoming back old friends, and a sure reminder that winter's moving in.
A couple Christmases back, the kids helped me to pick out a nice birdfeeder for John from Lowes, and a book we ordered online about birds native to Ohio. It took us no time at all to move the book and a pair of binoculars to the cupboard nearest the kitchen window, for quick access. The flagged, dog-eared pages are more like a family album now, as we thumb through to see who's back, and who's yet to return as the weather gets colder, and food more scarce. It's been a wonderful source of entertainment for the kids of all ages in our home, and several of the kids have brought the book in for show-and-tell, to share some of what they've learned from keeping company with the birds in our own backyard.
Good Saint Francis, patron of animals: Help us to follow your example of treating every living thing with kindness. Amen.