I think so.
I’ve taken to feeding the birds pretty much all my adult life, which means, among other things, that I’ve probably spent two or three preposterous piles of money on seed, suet, and feeders through the years. It’s okay.
Really, when it comes down to it, is there something I’d rather have spent my (our) hard-earned money on? Sure, I’d like to be able to send the girls to college, but I don’t think this bird-feeding hobby will make or break our ability to do that when the time comes.
When our local pet supply shop has them in stock, I buy five-pound bags of unsalted peanuts, ostensibly for the blue jays that I know love them. What usually happens, though, is that the blue jays miss out. Other creatures can also smell the peanuts from a mile away.
I don’t mind feeding the squirrels; they need to eat, too, and they’re a hoot to watch, but it’s days like yesterday that really bring a smile to my face and to my heart. Within moments of putting out a heap of peanuts on the sundial in our backyard, the blue jays started arriving.
They seem ideally suited to grab the peanuts with their long beaks, and to break them open on a tree branch later as well. I mention that because The Wife mused aloud yesterday that Lansing’s blue jays probably shouldn’t have inherent knowledge of peanuts. Momentarily forgetting what I learned in the botany classes I never took, I replied with this stunning sort-of-factual statement:
“Yeah, there really aren’t many peanut trees in Michigan.”
“Especially since peanuts grow in the soil, not in trees. Sid.” The Wife didn’t really try to mask any of the scoffing in her voice when she reminded me of that little detail.
Hey, I grew up in the city.
It doesn’t take more than a moment to determine if a peanut is the “right” one. If it isn’t, the blue jays aren’t afraid to reject it in favor of another.
Of course, it’s not only the squirrels and blue jays that enjoy a good peanut.
Whoever it is that I end up feeding, it’s a warm and happy feeling to watch them. Yesterday was a real winter day here in Lansing – snow and wind and cold and the whole winter schmeel. Seeing the local creatures flock to our backyard and get some much-needed food for energy and sustenance is a joyful thing for us – good for their bodies and good for our souls/hearts/minds.
About that snow and cold? It didn’t miraculously vanish just prior to me taking these pictures. These are all oldish photos from the Dunnebacke Archives (which looks a lot like an external hard drive) - none of them taken yesterday. Not that I didn’t make the attempt yesterday, however unfruitful (grumble).