(20) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Birds

Here’s a rather bedraggled and disheveled-looking cardinal holding an unidentified avian food item in his beak. He’s still beautiful, though. I think he’s a young fellow.

In my last post, I used the phrase “songbird sanctuary.”  I meant, of course, that I like to think of the Doublewide Ranch as a refuge for songbirds, where they are loved and appreciated and where I plant shrubs and flowers specifically to provide berries or seeds for their dining pleasure (plenty of juicy bugs, too!)

But when I think about it, it’s a sanctuary for us, as well.  When the ways of the world don’t make sense (and they’re really not making sense these days), I can think of nothing more soothing and peaceful than wandering about, watching my avian friends.   I know I’ve written about it many times, but It’s worth mentioning again since there’s no way I can make a list of Thirty Things I’m Grateful For without acknowledging the joy and tranquility that birds provide. And I think the word “sanctuary” is appropriate in more ways than one.  There’s nowhere I feel more of a sense of the holy than outside watching birds dart and soar in the heavens.

I’m going to miss my fellow bird lover, Benjamin, when he leaves eight days from now.  Not only does he share my pleasure in watching birds, but he can almost always name the bird we’re seeing or hearing.  And since I gave him my camera, he has taken some amazing shots and videos.  Here’s one he made of two pileated woodpeckers in our back yard. (No, that’s not our house you see in the background—wish it were.  And, by the way, the “Mr. B” who composed and played the “Woodpecker March” was none other than Mr. Benjamin himself).  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZIdZ6btiLg&feature=context-gfa

I am grateful to the songbirds who make the Doublewide Ranch a sanctuary for us, where our spirits are revived and where we find peace and solace for our weary souls.


10 Responses to “(20) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Birds”

  1. Plowing Through Life (Martha) Says:

    Oh, Beth, I understand very well what you mean by it being a sanctuary for all. It really is. Sometimes when my own world doesn’t make sense, I like to sit outside on my swing and enjoy the sights and sounds of the birds and all the other little critters stopping by to visit. They truly bring with them joy and tranquility. I’m sure you are already experiencing grief for Benjamin’s upcoming departure together with pride and joy. It’s bittersweet when our children head out.

  2. Darla Says:

    “There’s nowhere I feel more of a sense of the holy than outside watching birds dart and soar in the heavens.” Love this …

  3. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Amen, Beth…. My home is a sanctuary for me also—because of the joy the birds give to me… SO—-I know exactly how you feel…

    I watched all 3 of Benjamin’s videos… They are AWESOME–and he’s a great musician. What an incredible young man. Tell him that I’m proud of him… His Mama will need alot of TLC when this boy leaves home.

    Tell Benjamin that we had a nesting Brown Thrasher in our Confederate Jasmine bush in the front yard a few years ago… When I tried to peek into that bush to see what I could see, that Mama Thrasher came at me with that big beak… Obviously, it scared me to death –and I left them alone around that bush!!!!! ha

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Benjamin Says:

      Betsy, that reminds me of Mama’s last post on animal courage! Thanks for the admiration–that song was a long time coming, but once I settle down enough, I find out I CAN compose.

  4. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    I also watched the other videos. Thanks, Benjamin! Especially for the music, which was very relaxing, in spite of whatever argument the woodpeckers were having. You have a gift for music as well as for photography.

    I put a birdfeeder outside my bedroom window for Kiki Cat, and now that she’s gone, I’m the one enjoying the cardinals, thrashers, sparrows, and a variety of other birds who come to feed on the seeds. My pole has two hooks, but the suet in the basket on one side melted in the recent heat — and where it dripped, it killed the grass underneath. All I can figure is that (1) it was hot, and (2) maybe it concentrated the sun there. Dead grass, anyway.

    I had to scare away the squirrel, who has taken over the feeder on the other side of the house, outside the bedroom window of my roommate Donna. Her cat Sammy has given up watching for birds, since the squirrel eats it all. When the squirrel came to my (newer) feeder, my window was open and I made loud noises and gave him (her?) a good talking to. S/he hasn’t been back.

    • Benjamin Says:

      Thanks, Bonnie! Obviously the Brandenburg Concertos in the photos video are not mine–but I think the public domain has picked them up by now, unless I find a big black screen saying YouTube canned my video 😀

  5. Bikbik & Rorob Says:

    O Beth, you know *I* know what you’re talking about! Today I had yet another frustrating day with the forest petition. One lady even said, “It’s not near my place, so why sign?”, while this fellow — at church, no less — said, “I’m not going to have a ‘herd mentality’ and sign just because other people are”. What you wrote describes so eloquently what I meant when I said, “I believe we have a spiritual need for nature. Trees provide the peace, serenity and beauty that we so badly need — as individuals, and as a society”. You are indeed blessed to have this refuge.

  6. Ariel Says:

    I love the Woodpecker March! I imagine that the places where the one grabs the other’s beak and shakes his head, he’s saying, “Get with it, stupid; you’re off the beat of the song!”

    I saw a nuthatch yesterday and it reminded me of Benjamin. I rushed to grab my new binocular and see what kind he was, but he flew away before I could get a look at him.

    • Benjamin Says:

      Haha!!! I think you’re right. You’re funny, too. This indicates that woodpeckers can access the future and tell what song will be written for them 🙂

  7. Jeff Says:

    Pileated woodpeckers are indeed magnificent birds. I see them occasionally on my property, but more often, I hear them. I looked for pictures of male and female pileated woodpeckers and it appears that the difference is that the male has a red stripe from the beak back to the neck while the female doesn’t. I couldn’t tell from the video if those two were males, but I think they might have been. Maybe they were having an argument about something. We need an ornithologist!

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