Visitors to my porch are prone to gasping. And staring. Even people who live in the same rural area as I do are amazed and entranced by the wild birds that frequent my feeders. Recently a visitor from New York City brought home to me a fact I am prone to forgetting; not everyone has up-close and personal contact with nature each day as I do.

I work from my porch, and strategically placed a bird feeder just outside the window near where I sit. It took less than an hour for the birds to find the buffet I offered. Soon they were used to seeing me there, mere inches away from them. No matter the weather, the air outside my work station is stirred by the beating wings of hundreds of birds from dawn till dusk. Some travel alone, others in flocks. Each one is fascinating, and a treat to see up close and personal.

Red Breasted Nuthatch

My city visitor told me that she rarely sees any birds except for pigeons. Her eyes welled up a bit, and her voice tightened.“I need to see birds more often.” Her words humbled me, and made me remember that that my winged visitors should never be taken for granted. I have seen everything from hummingbirds to bald eagles, and many more in between, right outside my window.

Blue Jay

Hairy Woodpecker

It’s all about choices, of course. Some people can’t imagine being unable to order take out food at midnight, or not being within walking distance of a bakery or coffee shop, shouldering through throngs of people as they go. Here I cannot order take out food at any time, or so much as see the lights from a neighbors house at night. But I hear owls call a haunting song at dusk, and spend each day watching the antics of birds jostling for prize treats an arms length away.

Wild Turkeys. A flock of 50 or more live nearby, and some visit to gobble up the seed block I leave for them.

It is important to my quality of life to see more than pigeons. These aeronautic savants help keep me grounded.

Northern Cardinal

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