I’ve always liked birds, an admiration that I inherited from my mom. I’ve further cultivated that admiration from my time in South Dakota, Ohio, and now Texas.
Our house has a drainage area behind the back fence, and there are no houses for a good 500 feet (at least). There are tall weeds, grasses, and flowers, and as you would suspect, many different birds.
We hung up a feeder in the backyard, and we attracted a lot of cardinals, but also mockingbirds, white-tailed doves, sparrows, blue jays, and the occasional purple finches. The fence itself attracts birds, too, and we’ve even spotted some hawks. This winter we saw a western meadowlark. In the spring we had a few redwing blackbirds.
The Live Oak tree in our front yard has always had various birds in it, so in May I hung up a feeder from one of its lowest limbs. Our office windows face the tree, and so as I work at my desk, or work at the futon, I watch the various birds. I find it so relaxing, so hypnotizing.
Watching birds has become something of pastime, a way of daydreaming, a way of thinking through drafts and writing problems. I’ll sometimes watch for ten or fifteen minutes, absorbed in movements of their crafted bodies, regardless of the species.
Of course, I have my favorites: cardinals, purple finches, mockingbirds. Even as I sit on my back porch in the shade, a male cardinal perches on the side fence, and sings so loudly that it sounds amplified. And with the wind keeping me comfortable and blowing around the scent of ashing charcoal, I could sit here all afternoon.