Monday, May 07, 2007

News from the Feeder

Some of you know that I have been a serious birder. (Neverending thanks to you, Carol.) These days, I spend more time in the Anglican blogosphere than on bird-watching hikes. But I still maintain my humble birdfeeders, and occasionally exult when I see a bald eagle cruising lazily down the Missouri River. I can still recognize some birds from their song, even when I can't see the singer.

For years, I have wished that I could lure a rose-breasted grosbeak to my feeder. When I started subscribing to Barbara Crafton's Geranium Farm, and learned of her yearning to host a hummingbird in her garden, I could relate. And I rejoiced with her two summers ago when "Ethel Merman" took up residence there.

A few days ago, I changed the feed in my tube feeder. For years, I've provided a steady diet of black-oil sunflower seeds. I get a steady stream of customers – mostly chickadees, purple finches, and woodpeckers (mostly downy, and the occasional red-bellied). I found a nice bag that has lots of fruits and nuts, so I mixed that in with the sunflower. Saturday I walked out to the sunporch, looked to the feeder, and there was a rose-breasted grosbeak! I stood transfixed for the longest time. He stayed at least 5 minutes, munching happily, then took wing when a dastardly squirrel approached.

I keep going back out there and peeking … hoping he'll return. Perhaps he returns during the day while I'm at work. Or perhaps he comes while I'm working away at the computer. I was struck by Barbara Crafton's Almost Daily eMo today, where she shares "What I Learned from Longing." As usual, she takes a simple event and reminds me of the deeper layers beneath it.

I know this deeper longing about which she wrote today. I bet you will, too.

She reminds me to give thanks for the gifts I have been given.


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