Monday, January 3, 2011

New year's joy for the birds, Charleen, Pebbles and me

Last year, for the first time, I hung a store-bought suet ball outside my window, in clear view of my kitchen computer desk. Within the week, I had a flock of new friends who amazed and amused me with their antics... and their pecking order. I didn't know that female nuthatches were the queens of the heap in the suet ball world (as long as the downy woodpeckers aren't around). Then come the male nuthatches, and the chickadees, female and male. I often found myself forgetting my writing when the birds came for breakfast.



Just before Christmas, I went looking for a store-bought suet ball, but didn't find one. I did find some chopped suet, so I brought a package home, warmed it on the stove over low heat, and threw in a handful of raw sunflower seeds and some budgie seed. I searched through the freezer, high and low, but we must have eaten those leftover summer raspberries, so I added a handful of raisins instead before putting the lumpy mess into two small containers and freezing them. Voila, two homemade suet balls. One is hanging outside my window again, and I gave one to my friend, Charleen, on New Year's Day, because I know she loves the little birds as much as I do.

These days, our budgie, Pebbles, sits on the windowsill for long stretches. When he's not throwing my grocery list papers all over the place,



he's waiting for the birds and shouting to them when they come. "Hey, birdie! I love you, birdie-bird! What's up, birdie?!"

Pebbles waits for his friends.

My girlfriend, Cathy, and I have a tradition of choosing a word to focus on for each new year. The word of the year 2011 is Joy. If you want to add a little simple joy to your life, I'd highly recommend a suet ball!



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