Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bird Watching 101

This is a picture of our resident blue bird. When we moved into the house on the mountain there was a grape arbor that it used to perch on. The grape vines were quite old and the grapes had some sort of disease that we couldn't seem to get rid of, so we did away with them with plans to some day plant new ones. After the grape arbor was gone, our blue bird moved to the locust tree where it oversees the front property and all who come and go.
One spring day when Riley had come to visit us he had helped me refill the bird feeders. Afterwards we were sitting at the picnic table watching the birds come and go. Riley asked me if I thought he could sneak up on those birds without them flying away. Hmmmm...... I thought about it for a little while and pointed out the blue bird on the arbor and told him I don't know about the ones at the feeder, but I bet he could sneak up on that one with no problem. He was on his feet in a heart beat and ever so slowly tiptoed up to the grape arbor. Much to Riley's delight the bluebird didn't fly away. As he stood there and looked up at it, his little hands went to his hips and he turn to me and said, "Gummaw, that's not a real bird!" I laughed over that for quite a while.
Then again T-Bear was out to visit with us another time, she was about 9 years old at the time. These two grandchildren are still at that age where they like to help with anything they can. In the spring and summer the bird feeders always are in need of filling. After T-Bear and I had replenished the seed supply in the feeders, we sat down to watch the birds feast on the seeds. T-Bear, like Riley several weeks before, asked about sneaking up on the birds while they ate. I went through the same story with her only added that this blue bird stays here year round and doesn't fly south like many of the other birds. In fact when it is in the yard it perches on the arbor and pretty much just stays right there and doesn't move. With the challenge in place, T-Bear started her tip toe routine through the yard to the arbor. Again the blue bird stayed put and didn't fly away and again after reaching the arbor and a little observation on T-Bear's part I got a look and a comment about that darn bird isn't even real....... lol
Both of these occasions have been written down in my memories so I can remind the two of them of the time they went on their bird catching safari at G'ma and G'pa's house.
This seems like the time to share another story concerning Riley and birds. We have two blue bird houses on the side of our bunk house. One or the other is used by the blue birds every year that we have been here. On one of Riley's visits he was captivated with all of the activity going on around the occupied bird house. The eggs had hatched and mama and papa bluebird were in a frenzy flying back and forth trying to feed those squawking babies inside. Riley asked about it and I showed him which of the two birds was the mama and which was the papa and explained to him why the papa had brighter colors. I also explained that not all papa birds help with the feeding of the babies like the blue bird papa does. About that time papa flew away from the bird house and Riley looked at me and was just as serious as he could be and asked me, "Is the papa bluebird going to Wal-mart to get some more food?" How do you answer a question like that without laughing? It was a serious question and he deserved a serious answer. It was not easy, but I managed to explain in more detail without laughing that they find bugs in the yard to feed the babies.
Hope your bird watching adventures are as much fun as ours have been.


smilnsigh said...

A beautiful photo of your bluebird. And sweet memory-stories.

Mmmm, how do you do that fancy edging on that photo? I'm on a Mac so I know that not all I learn about photo programs, will work for me. But I do like to ask. :-)


BClark said...

Hi Jo,

Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments about my learning problems,lol. I loved the visual image of brain cells pouting!

Grand children are a joy for sure, but well worth all the memories we store up. I love my bird feeders and watching all the cool birds that show up. We had quite a few Orioles, Hummingbirds and Buntings last year. Over the winter it seems to be Sparrows, Chicadees and some unknowns. I go out a couple of times a day and put hot water in bird bath, I have to get one of those heated things.

Best to you, Barbara

Tammy said...

I'll confess, I looked at the picture and at first thought it wasn't real, but I've seen so many pictures in Blogland that looked too good to be true that I took your word for it...I'm like your Grandson...putting my hands on my hips *wink*

I loved the story about the dad bird going to Walmart...that is precious!!

Diane J. said...

Hi, Jo, and thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.

I love birds and wish I could do more to feed them and provide water and cover for them. Unfortunately I live in apartments and my landlord won't allow feeders and birdbaths, etc. He doesn't want to weed eat and mow around them, etc. But I still see quite a few birds. I scatter food on the ground when it's icy and snowy and sometimes just because I want to watch the birds.

I enjoyed my visit here and I noticed on your blogroll that we share a lot of blogging buddies.

Have a good evening! ;o)


Britt-Arnhild said...

Beautiful bluebird stories.

Anne Bradshaw said...

Great blog. Glad I dropped in for a peek--over from Lynne's. I'll be back!

willzmom said...

I hope that the bluebird of happiness hangs around your house for a long time. Thanks so much for your comments, they are so appreciated.

Prixie said...

how beautiful! i adore nature...except creepy spiders. ;p

PEA said...

Bird watching is a love of mine and I don't even mind washing dishes because then I can look out my big window and watch the birds go to and from the feeders! hehe I even have some come right to the window where I leave seeds and peanuts on the window ledge:-) Loved the story of the bluebird and your grandkids...that is indeed precious memories!! xox

Julie said...

What great memories those kids are going to have!

jle said...

Wow, do you have some visitors to your happy blog--

i want to move to a house on a mountain and have my own personal bluebird! How cool is that? My kids loved visiting their grandparents who lived in the country--it's a different world to the city dwelling children.