That is a simply horrible picture but it's getting dark and we haven't seen the sun all day anyway, I took it from the porch so you're looking through a screen, AND it's pretty far away. But it's a picture of a male cardinal (we always call them daddy cardinals) at the feeder that Mr. Moon just put up a few days ago. We haven't been feeding the birds, mostly because the chickens fly up and perch on that platform and gobble up the birdseed but Mr. Moon put extensions on the pole so now the chickens cannot easily (if at all) fly that high. It may also discourage the squirrels although squirrels are not easily discouraged. They are the quintessential examples of persistence in problem solving. There's a baffle on the pole lower down (it's about seven feet tall) but by the end of last year they'd figured out how to get past that and we've seen them dive from branches to get to the seed too. So far I've seen no squirrels even try to get on the feeder from the ground and one would have to be a sky diver to leap from any of the nearby branches.
But the point of the picture is that it has taken a few days for the birds to rediscover the feeder and today they really started to come visit. We've seen cardinals and chickadees and one very perky small redheaded woodpecker. Mr. Moon and I ate our breakfast on the porch this morning and we were vastly entertained by the birds coming in and by the chickens who, denied access to the feeder itself, have already begun clustering around the base to peck at the seeds the birds knock off as they eat.
"Do you suppose that the wild birds know that the chickens are birds too?" I asked. We pondered that. There's probably no way to know but as my husband pointed out, the hens and roosters do not seem to bother the birds so perhaps they do. We went on to talk about birding and life lists and then Corvids and how smart they are and I said that I sure wished that our crows could whistle-sing like the ones in Cozumel. They have the sweetest songs, as melodious as anything I've ever heard and because I was already in a rather melancholy mood this morning, the memory of those whistling songs made me even sadder.
Still, it was nice to sit on the porch and watch our birds, both wild and domestic, to share thoughts and memories.
I had yet another day of not doing much. This is becoming too much of a habit. We put the new pig meat in the new freezer and arranged things in a more orderly fashion out there in the garage. The older meat in one place, the venison here, the pork there, the Tennessee sausage all in its own place. The field peas and green beans I froze last year take up a great deal of space in the new freezer and I was gratified to see how much we have left of those as it will be months before we start getting fresh ones. Inspired by the organization, I came in and did the same for my inside-freezer, trying to create some order there. My "new" refrigerator is not so new anymore but I still love it. It feels so very user-friendly. I also managed to go out into the garden and do a little more weeding while Mr. Moon shoveled ashes onto the rows. A soil test we did said that we needed more lime and wood ash is a good source of that. The burn pile got torched last week and it took a few days for it all to cool down and then it rained so we felt the ashes were definitely ready to be used. I do love living in a rural area where we can garden and keep chickens whose composted poop is an excellent source of fertilizer and where we can burn our downed and trimmed branches and use their ashes to give the garden what it needs. It all seems like such a tidy and sensible arrangement.
As the day has gone on, I have felt some lightening of my heart. I so wish that I had been born more lighthearted. I think I have always been one to carry sorrow and fear on my shoulders. My mother always told me that I was a worrier, even when I was a little girl. When I think back it seems pretty obvious that there actually was a lot to worry about in my childhood but I probably had a natural proclivity for it anyway. None of this is to say that I have not had many moments of joy in my life. I have. But I do think that my default emotions are darker than they need to be and I just wish that weren't so if for no other reason than I know that it can't be easy to live with someone like me.
Well. That's enough philosophizing for one Sunday evening. The frogs are calling their night calls, the world outside the circle of light from my lamp here on the porch has gone black and white and gray. I hear one cardinal chipping his roost call, the chickens are no doubt settling in to their own sleeping places. Maurice is sleeping a few feet away from me on a placemat on the table where I write and I can hear her little snores.
I hope all is well with all of you.