Bird brainiacs

The Spring Bird group is at The Clearing this week. Do they know their stuff! I’m the only outsider. With only one exception, everyone in the group comes every year. The group started about 30 year ago. Jerry, the newest member, is wide eyed at the jocularity and familiarity expressed during our meals. There is no place like it on earth.

I am so lucky to be here.

This morning they took a half hour walk (I slept in!) and many still had their binoculars around their necks as we sat down for coffee. As we were chatting I looked across the room as found one of the members twisted to the floor in her chair, binoculars to her eyes. This of course prompted a few others to follow course. They were spying a red-breasted something or other that had politely landed on the birch out the window. I asked if this was a common practice, to interrupt daily behavior for a viewing, and was told yes, absolutely. A couple of women told stories about scaring friends during telephone conversations because a rare finding was spotted outside the kitchen window.

I’m unloading in a workroom today. I did get several chapters into the next book club read last night, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiayama. I plan to catch up on some blog writing this afternoon.


  1. Cheri M. says:

    Your current adventure reminds me a bit of the 5th grade overnight camping trip to Minikani… Something new to see around every corner! OK, the frogs in the swimming pool were a bit much.

    We do enjoy our backyard birds. My daughter built a birdhouse in 7th grade Woods class this year, and it is hanging proudly from a budding crabapple tree in our backyard. We enjoy watching the little birds come and go.

    Several different types of woodpeckers visited our suet feeder this winter and still frequent our yard this spring.

    The great blue heron, nearly as tall as husband (who stands 6’2-1/2″) was quite a scare watching us from the corner of the yard one day.

    My favorite birds are the hummingbirds… little flying jewels!

  2. Laura P. says:

    I would like to get a nice birdbath this summer. I think it would make a great addition to our new landscaping. Are there certain flowers that attract birds, like there are certain flowers that attract butterflies?

  3. Maggie Milhouse says:

    I am very jealous. This sounds fabulous. My dad was very much into bird watching and I never understood it, but I love it now and wish he were here to share it with me.

    I am certainly going to check this place out and head up there one day. I have never heard of it before.

  4. I’m sorry, but a couple of comments were caught in the spam filter.

    Laura P. – yes to a birdbath. My mother-in-law swears by the idea of one that drips water. (You can look it up on the internet.) I have one, and it is well used, but I’m afraid I don’t keep it as clean as the feathered friends would like.

    Maggie – come. There are several bird weeks up here. The place is magical. (And they may make a birder of me yet. Do you know how many warblers there are? Or that they change colors in the fall?)

  5. Cheri M. says:

    Laura P.,
    Yes! There are landscape plants that attract birds. One great source of non-commercial information is the UW-extension Info Source and Master Gardener websites:
    Choose “Garden and Landscape”
    Scroll down… under the Landscape Enhancements heading, you’ll see topics on Backyard Praries, Butterfly Gardens, Attracting Birds, and more.
    Choose Horticulture Info.
    Then choose Gardening Online.
    There are several resources to explore, and a link to InfoSource as well.


  6. Laura P. says:

    Wow! What a lot of information! I will indeed check things out. Thanks everyone for the advice and ideas. I’m looking forward to more feathered friends this year…

  7. Maggie Milhouse says:

    Looked at the website for the Clearing. Fantastic place. I never knew we had anything like that here. I have lately been longing for a simpler life, not so hectic and crazy all the time. This sounds like the perfect place to get started.