I probably should explain that we live in a modified A-Frame with windows that reach from floor upwards 14 feet to the ceiling in our great room.
I always get up first to start the coffee and sit on the couch to check my email and scan the morning news.
As I yawn through my inbox, deleting junk mail and sorting the things that need a reply, I can see our visitors through the windows. Dixie and Rebel, two bulldogs that belong to our neighbors across the street, are the first visitors of the day.
Dixie is the female and she looks like the dog in “The Little Rascals,” if you’re old enough to remember that iconic show.
The dogs are not that interested in me, but the moment they hear Jilda’s feet touch the floor, they get excited.
When she comes into the great room, even before she takes a sip of coffee, she reaches into a box of doggy treats we keep on the buffet, opens the door and tosses the dogs a morning treat. They take their booty and scurry back across the road to their house.
After the dogs leave, the yard becomes animated with doves, wrens and redbirds. There are three kinds of woodpeckers that come to feed on the suet we keep on the feeders. One is not much bigger than a sparrow; one is about the size of a blue jay, and the other is a wood hen. When she drops out of the top of a pine to get some suet, the other birds scatter like mice when the cat shows up.
Depending upon what time of year it is, we have other birds as well. Right now we have yellow and purple finches that are in a feeding frenzy on the feeder just outside our window.
Once when our great niece Breeze visited us, it was feeding time. Not only was the yard full of birds, but also a half dozen squirrels showed up to munch on corn we leave out for the critters. Breeze said, “This looks like a fairytale.”
We haven’t seen much of the deer since hunting season, but they visit every night. We can tell because the birdbath is often empty and the bottoms of the bird feeders are as clean as if they’d gone through the dishwasher.
This summer I plan to do some landscaping in the front yard and add some more feeders, bird baths, and a stone bench so that we can sit outside when the weather’s nice.
Some people point out that keeping feed in the feeders, corn for squirrels, and treats for dogs that aren’t ours is expensive. It’s hard to argue with that, but Jilda and I both have vocations that involve a great deal of creative work.
If watching nature puts us into a frame of mind that fosters creativity, then I consider the money well spent. Plus, we love our daily visitors.