Now that we live in an established neighborhood (read: big trees) as opposed to our old fancy new neighborhood (read: barren wasteland sprinkled with lots of pristine green lawns and annuals), we are excited to be in the midst of a bustling community of critters. We have seen all sorts of them, and are having great fun learning to identify different species.
This month, we have been busy setting up some bird feeders and a bird bath outside our school room window so we can keep an eye on our new friends. Today we were treated to quite the show:
A black capped chickadee (we love these little guys)
A mystery bird that is probably another chickadee but has an orange belly and a black 'mask' across it's eyes like batman... maybe a nuthatch?
A big black squirrel
And, our favorite so far, A big blue jay. He is the funniest, because he pecks and pecks around in the feeder trying to pull out the peanuts. He also has a very loud call to announce his presence. He looks like a giant on the feeder compared to the little chickadee. I hope he sticks around through the winter. We are going to have to buy some more bird seed.
We hung the feeder in the big spruce tree that was planted waaay too close to the front of the house 30 years ago. I was contemplating cutting it down, because when you look at it with the eyes of one who is coming from a pristine new community, it's quite the eyesore.. but now that I have seen it in it's true light (a beautiful part of the habitat in this community of wildlife). I think maybe we can keep it. It provides a great hiding place for the birds, and lots of branches for them to perch on... and it hides the big mess of seeds and shells that the birds toss on the ground below the feeder.
Speaking of nature and the fall time:
There is a lovely new online magazine that is available for free through September called Seasonal Delights. It's billed as a magazine for young ladies and their mothers, (although it could be enjoyed by anyone really), and it's filled with craft ideas, recipes with great photos to accompany the instructions, and poems. It's the kind of magazine you want to curl up on the couch by the fire with a blanket and browse through, dreaming of all the fun you could have with your kids this fall. I am looking forward to reading it myself.