Outside my windows early this morning, the silent gray fog covered the trees like Carl Sandburg’s “fog on little cat feet.” I don’t want any cats around my trees for we enjoy bird-watching.
Now the fog is lifting and the sun has cut through most of the haze. The bare-limbed trees are filled with birds anticipating their morning breakfast from my husband! Bill regularly feeds our birds. (We actually bought galvanized garbage cans for our bird-seed to prevent other critters from getting to the bird food in my garage!)
We enjoy watching the birds flitter and flutter in and around the trees. Today there are so many Cardinals, the bright red male and lighter brown female, both with the characteristic crested head. The red is brilliant when it catches the sun’s rays. Today we also have Red-winged Blackbirds, Goldfinches, Towhees, a few Blue Jays, and a newcomer we’ve enjoyed so much: a Red-bellied Woodpecker!
Different from the customary Red-headed Woodpecker (with his whole head red), this bird has a red-head extending down the back of the neck like a football helmet. Both birds are about 10-inches long, The Red-bellied Woodpecker is named for the splash of red on its lower abdomen but that’s hard to see. The distinguishing features are the obvious red head but also the beautiful black-and-white markings, technically called barred. Is it my bifocals, but the markings almost look spotted to me? What a beautiful creature!
While You “Wait-for-Spring”
Several activities while waiting-for-Spring are to let your children feed the birds, teach them to be still and watch the birds, and on a family outing, buy a birdbath. Be sure to set-up the birdbath where you can view the birds splashing. Another activity: Keep the birdbath filled with water. I know, you don’t need one more thing to do! Let it be your children’s job and joy. You will enjoy bird watching individually and as a family.
Signs of Spring appear early in Mississippi. Watch daily. See the changes through the eyes of your children. Trees are swelling with buds ready to burst forth. The pecan trees are waiting until a safer time. A gift Camellia with tight buds from our serious cold spell hasn’t yet opened. Will it? The paper-whites are blooming at my house! The jonquils and butter-and-eggs are showing yellow.
I’m reminded of our excitement the Spring of the birth of our first grandchild. I bought a metal wreath of colorful birds to go on our front door for “the time of the singing of birds had come” to us! Our first is soon to be a pre-teen and Nana and PawPaw now have three lovely grandchildren. The metal bird-wreath moved to Mississippi and is on our bedroom door by our side porch.
“Behold the Birds”
As you slow down enough to watch birds with your children, consider reading, (perhaps even read aloud to your family at the dinner table), these lovely challenging words from the Master Teacher:
“So I tell you, stop worrying about your life…
Behold the wild birds, for they do not sow or reap or
store food in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds
them. Aren’t you much more valuable than birds?”
Dear Mississippi Moms, “behold the birds,”
read and ponder all of Matthew 6:25-34,
as we wait for our lovely Mississippi Spring!
With love, Nana