Expecting bird poop

bird picmonkeyAt this writing, I’ve just come in from sitting on my patio before going to church on a beautiful Sunday morning.  I mean B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.   The sky has been swept clean (wish I could say that about my patio…), the birds are singing, the sun is coming up over the horizon, the trees are sporting their new greenery—I even have some new things planted in my garden.  And I had a special treat this morning—two Canada geese flew overhead!  Great!

We live in southern Missouri in what’s called a “fly-over zone”, so the geese are frequent residents in transit.  But we also have a Continue reading “Expecting bird poop”

Not so bird-brained?

IWAA7The Seed Lady has returned!  At least, that’s what Bob calls me.  No, actually that’s what he says the birds call me.  Although I have been grossly neglectful of keeping the several feeders filled for quite a long time now, I have finally gotten my act together in the hopes that the grackles and starlings stay away. 

Yes, I am somewhat discriminatory about my birdseed…bird feeder

My husband, the bio-prof, says that the avian brain is basically a visual cortex, or as his brother, the business major, interpreted, “see bug, eat bug.”  Gleefully, I noticed that a mommy cardinal chose to grace my eating establishment with her morning presence! Sparrows came by also to test the menu. How cool, after all this time, I give them food, and somehow they find it. To paraphrase Kevin Costner, “if you feed them, they will come…”  

Even so, I’m impressed by the birds’ innate Continue reading “Not so bird-brained?”

Blue jays, beware

bird picmonkey

As I write this, I’m sitting on my patio in the cool of the early morning springtime watching a mommy robin feed squiggly brown disgusting things to the little ones in her nest, which she decided to make in a hanging basket outside my back door.  When I think of what we used to have for our young’uns to eat back in the 80’s (strained peas and carrots???), I guess to each his own.

Now she’s taking a bit of a break, just sitting on the babes keeping them warm.  Not that moms ever really take a break—yep, there she goes again, off to get more disgusting brown squiggly things.

Earlier, we had a little drama.  There must have been another robin invading the nearby territory as mom and/or dad went on the offensive.  There was a brief but Continue reading “Blue jays, beware”

Gettin’ a little crowded in there

babyrobins 4Don’t you think it’s about time for these guys to start finding their own food??  I don’t think mom and dad are going to be able to keep sustaining them (and themselves) much longer, and they’re outgrowing the nest by more than a bit.  Dependence is a comfortable thing, however, and self-sufficiency is hard work, and somewhat dangerous at times.  Just look at what happened to the Israelites during the prophet Samuel’s time—

Backstory: because of the enemy occupation, there were no blacksmiths allowed in Israel.  To sharpen anything, God’s (wayward) people had to go the non-Israelite smithies to simply file an axe or other daily implements.  (As if my kitchen knives weren’t dull enough…)  This was a really smart ploy of the enemy—they were basically in control of the weaponry, which decidedly put the people of Yahweh at an uncomfortable disadvantage.

“So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.”

Unfortunately, our Enemy employs the same tactic today when I allow myself to become dependent on church leadership and the pastoral staff/worship team/Sunday school teachers for my personal spiritual sustenance and the responsibility I have for the effect of the Gospel in my family and community.

Okay, that was a run-on sentence, and back in high school my comp teacher, Mrs. Rose, used to give my red ink for that.  So I’ll break it down.

Point #1:  Any church philosophy that encourages the people to become solely dependent on the leadership team is from the enemy camp.

When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?  After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.

Point #2: Church leadership is not to keep us in the nest, but to prepare us to fly on our own.  That doesn’t preclude church affiliation (mustn’t take the analogy too far) as it is obvious God expects us to keep up our teamwork and fellowship.  There is, however, a specific call for the church to BE the church, not merely GO to church.

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” 

Even “dumb animals” like robins know when it’s time to grow up and feed themselves.

Or maybe they’re not so dumb after all…?

 

Samuel 13:22; I Corinthians 3: 4,5; Ephesian 4:11,12  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Flush, and other Rules for Life

mommyrobin2This photo hot off the press, just in time for Mothers’ Day!  Working in the yard, I found out why a robin was so frequently flying away from my hanging plant when I came home from work.  I discovered this as I took it down to put the ailing flowers in an improved hanger, and VOILA!  Needless to say I was V-E-R-Y careful in getting it fixed and back up to mama. mommyrobin And talk about persistent!  She may get startled and bolt a few yards away, but back she comes every time!  Here she is sitting like a queen on her throne.  (You have to look closely as she is fairly well hidden!)

Persistent.  Now if that’s not the word of the hour for Mothers’ Day.  Or its twin, Relentless.  Who else but mom knows better than anyone that you can’t tell a pre-teen to wash behind his ears once and expect them to keep doing it?  Or the importance of saying please and thank you? (My daughter taught her daughter those words in sign language before the kid could even talk!)  Who else makes you eat your vegetables before your ice cream? (Another one of my daughters hid a carrot stick under her seat…)

Here’s a list one of my middle school students gave to me.  Go figure where she may have learned it:

rules for life

I know that not everyone has had the wonder and heritage of a good mother. Seemingly fewer and fewer, in fact.  I am one of those blessed few, and so I dedicate this post to my mom, who took me on as her own when I was the ripe old age of 13 (along with my brother, who was 15, to add to her own two, who were 14 and 17!!!)  And has stuck by us, lo these 40-plus years.  

Thanks, Mom.  I truly love you.

 

 

Red-headed jackhammer!

bird picmonkey

Not a true Audubon here.  You know, the experts who can distinguish between the two million variations of sparrows…with one eye closed.  Nope, I’m not one of them.  But there are some birds that even I can point out with some degree of confidence.  Bob goes considerably beyond that—his still has his trusty Peterson’s from high school, and if there is a question about a sighting, out Continue reading “Red-headed jackhammer!”

Efficiency and beauty–mutually exclusive? (NOT…)

thx! pixabay
thx! pixabay

 

I really like birds.

Ornithology is a branch of zoology that concerns the study of birds. Etymologically, the word “ornithology” derives from the ancient Greek ὄρνις ornis (“bird”) and λόγος logos (“rationale” or “explanation”).

Thank you, Wikipedia, but not quite like that.

Then there’s the Audubon Society, “…named in honor of John Continue reading “Efficiency and beauty–mutually exclusive? (NOT…)”

Hobby Club rides (er, flies) again!

Waiting to log in my feathered friends.
Waiting to log in my feathered friends.

Back on board this month with the Hobby Club.  This month is for the birds, literally.  The first week of May was to list 10 birds in our geographically area which we would like to identify.  Okay, so I cheated.  I already have identified several of these, including one of my all time favorite names, the “Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker”.  Now there’s a midwest moniker if ever there was one. (Just try saying that fast three times without spitting on someone…)crow-34211_1280

I might actually go for the badge on this one.  Yes, badges!  Totally yes! Specially designed badges just for the Hobby Club members. I still have my Girl Scout blood coursing through my veins, Geritol and all. The capstone will be to design and make our own birdfeeder, which will be a hoot, (pardon the pun), since power tools are not my best friend.  Doggone it, I’m gonna earn that bird badge!

But until then, I will content myself with just keeping the existing birdfeeders filled, and trying to snap those shots for my newly christened bird-watching field notebook (oooh, that sounds just so official!)  My husband and I enjoy this pasttime together, so much so that I bought him some field glasses a few years ago.  Here’s hoping I can get him in on the fun.  (He is NOT, however, sharing my badge!!)

Although I may reconsider, of course, if he finds the Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker….

Interested in Hobby Club??  Only $1 a month!  Check it out at:  tyler@hobbyclub.org 

A nest, by any other name…

Found a bird’s nest the other day.  Unfortunately, it was not in its conventional place—it was on the ground instead of up a tree.  In my yard, this is sign that something has gone awry.  Whether from an overactive squirrel or a prowling cat, or maybe just the typical Midwestern spring winds, the nest was no longer functioning as, you know,… a nest. 

A small piece was missing from one side, and there was a hole in the lower end, maybe where it had been anchored to a branch.  But, oh, how I marveled at the beauty of it.  Those intricately woven twigs, something I could barely do with two hands and two opposable thumbs, much less using just my mouth!!  A veritable piece of art, and nothing less.  So beautiful to me, in fact, that I have a small nest that sits in my Christmas tree each year; carefully wrapped and tucked away with the other family ornaments that are so much a part of our tradition.

This one also was probably no longer destined to function as a nest.  At least not in that tree.  It was broken, forsaken by its original maker, and abandoned on the ground.  End of story…(not!).

Just because it’s no longer functional as a nest, doesn’t mean it’s no longer functional.

Scooping it up in my hands, I let it rest safely on my porch step out of the way of my lawn mower.  When my two little neighbor boys to came to visit and play with our dog Buckley, I gave the nest to them to show their mom.  A great piece of wonder for a child is a bird’s nest.   

And I realize that brokenness to us is not what it is to God.  That which I have so carefully tried to construct around me: a loving marriage, a stable family, a good reputation, a healthy church, blah, blah, blah…can fall out of the tree with one good gust of life, and lay seemingly abandoned.  Forsaken.  Forgotten.  End of story….(not!)

Thank God that my Maker is not One to forsake or abandon!  My life, even in a broken state, is still a testimony to His wonder.  It may not have the same function as I originally imagined or planned for, but that doesn’t mean there is no function for me at all.  As He holds my brokenness in His hands, He still sees me as beautiful, useable, and most of all—lovable!

I just went next door to see if the boys would let me take a picture of “their” nest.  They were excited to show me into the back yard where they had hidden it into a small bush.  Who knows?  Maybe a homeless bird will come by…

…or maybe it’ll end up in their next Christmas tree…