The years passed, and suddenly there were boys standing on chairs at that kitchen window, learning from Grandma and Grandpa the difference between a chipping sparrow and a song sparrow. I wonder if someone still fills the feeder beside the old maple stump.
More years have passed, and now I'm feeding birds on Hickory Lane, and it is one of my life's sweet, simple pleasures. Suet pleases the various woodpeckers - hairy, downy, and red bellied while black oil sunflower seeds are a favorite of the cardinals and finches. Just now the finches are ignoring the finch feeder, and I'm okay with that since the thistle seed is much more expensive than the other feed. On the ground we feed song sparrows, the occasional junco, and of course lots of finches, sparrows and doves. I take joy in standing at the kitchen window, watching our song sparrow, "Stripey," scratch and skitter near the feeder. We have our regulars every day, nothing spectacular, but oh so enjoyable.
It's odd to me that this year for the very first time in over ten years on the property I have a faithful pair of these pert songsters at the feeder every single day. They like the sunflower seeds, but they love the suet. I'd love to call my mom and tell her that finally I have a wren of my own...
She isn't exactly tame after three weeks inside, but she does come and go from her little cage several times each day. Click, click, click, we hear the rhythm of her footsteps across the wood floors, across the vinyl, and then clink, she hops in for a drink or some feed. Tap tap tap her pointed bill picks up bits of chicken mash and she seems peaceful and content.
At least she is alive, which probably wouldn't have been the case had we just let her fend for herself with her injury, especially in light of the visitor mentioned above. Youngest lobbied hard for the chance to try to save her, trumping all other pleadings with these words, "Dad, you should take care of God's little creatures..." And he was right. This is one of God's little creatures, and caring for her brings us joy.
What's to love about winter? Small friends in small places...and every one of them, God's little creatures.