Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Enjoy The Moment While It Lasts

Our woodpeckers are missing.

That is not to say that they have gone entirely, but I haven't seen them at our feeders in quite a while.  We used to have a pair of downy woodpeckers -- their feathers fluffing out on the backs of their little heads like down fledging off a baby bird.  We also had some red-headed woodpeckers, another breeding pair, that were a bit territorial about our suet in the wintertime.

The last few days were bitterly cold, but none of them showed up to feed at any of our feeders or suet stations.

Living in the middle of town can be like that:  construction begins somewhere, and half your birdies move off to quieter pastures.  But I'm wondering if they will be back once the weather turns fully to snow and ice in the coming weeks?

I certainly hope so.

The last few years, I have enjoyed watching them rear their broods and bring them to the feeder once they fledged from the nest.  We had a Carolina wren family that lived in our pine trees out back for the longest time that did that every year.  They disappeared from our yard, though, when we were having our roof re-done, and have not yet reappeared, either.  Their loss on our big sun room feeder is painful.

It is funny how attached you can get to these little wild creatures, just by scattering a few seeds about and admiring them through a plate glass window.  But we do.  Or, at least, I do, watching them every day as a sort of half meditative, half naturalist practice that soothes me to my core, while the rest of the family just enjoys them on random occasions.

I do hope we haven't lost them to a quieter yard, somewhere outside the heart of town.

The head-twisting, cocky fighting antics of the dominant male Carolina wren would be sorely missed in this house.

The lesson may be to enjoy things in the moment, for they won't always last.  But I hope, rather, that it is that beauty always comes back in some form or another, if you know where to look for it (or how to tempt it back with some choice peanut and sunflower blends).

UPDATE:  Ask and ye shall receive, I suppose.  Lo and behold, I hear a trilling on the front porch, and one of my little Carolina wrens was plucking away at the filling in my porch topiary, singing away as he picked out choice bits for lining his nest.  Huzzah, they are back in the neighborhood.  Am thrilled.

(Gorgeous photo via Kikasz.)


robin andrea said...

I like your description of watching the birds that half meditative, half naturalist practice. Yes, that's exactly it. So glad to read the update that your wrens returned. I'm sure the downy woodpeckers will as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Christy Hardin Smith said...

Still no woodpeckers, Robin, but the wrens are happily back and nibbling. We have had a spate of birdies all weekend long, so much so that a feeder refill will have to happen soon. It's amazing how many seeds a flock of birds can pack away in a short period of time, isn't it? If the ravenous hordes weren't so fun to watch...