I sat on the deck this morning and listened to the whir of wings, felt the gentle currents pass by my head, and watched with wonder as many birds came and went between the overhanging branches and the safflower seeds on the railing and table. Most were Chickadees, such perky, curious little birds. If I were a bird, I would want to be a Chickadee– so full of fun, joy, and life.
There was at least one young Chickadee, still a bit smudgy-looking rather than tuxedo-perfect in his coloring, who would land just over a foot from me and study me inquisitively, sing a few happy-sounding notes, then sort among the seeds for just what he wanted before taking off. Older, slightly-more-cautious Chickadees would land a bit farther from me, ponder a moment as they looked around, then take two or three seeds and depart.
At first a few Titmice landed, then seemed to suddenly notice me and leave without taking any seeds. After a while, though, they seemed to become convinced that I was safe and would land, look around, then help themselves to a seed. A House Finch alighted on the rail and watched the influx of other birds for quite some time, before she decided it was safe. At that point she hopped right into the saucer on the rail (the other birds all perched on the edge) and remained for many minutes eating, while the other birds watched (in dismay?). My friend the smudgy young Chickadee, though, happily hopped to the seeds near me on the table, sang a happy song and selected the seeds he wanted, while his elders looked on.
Once I heard a low, loud hum behind me and realized a hummingbird was feeding on the purple flowers in the hanging planter. I didn’t actually see her until she zipped away into the nearby fly honeysuckle shrub.
I shot a few photos but spent most of my time watching and sketching and smiling at the antics of my small, feathered friends.
After this perfect morning, Steve and I went to my parents’ farm, where I spent the afternoon sitting on a hillside drawing with both my parents, while Steve went hiking (and hiked sixteen miles up and over and back down Mt. Riga!). I drew the view and my mother sitting against a tree drawing, my mother drew me sitting beside the stone walkway, and my father painted my mother and the view. After painting we sat by the pool for a while, then I picked a bag of apples to bring home. A perfect afternoon to round out the day.