Today, at my bird feeder, I had a male and female Eastern bluebird and what I call the true woodpecker, a red headed woodpecker. It was totally black and white with the most brilliant red head. I took a picture but it was through the window and screen and not so great, So I will post this picture that I googled.
When I was a little girl in school, the teacher would read us a book and then show us the pictures. There was a story about an old lady who was bitter and mean and if I remember correctly, she was stingy. She was, I think, what I would call an old bitty. It has been a long time, maybe third grade, so my story may be inaccurate, but this is how I remember it. The little lady was short and round and had on a black dress with a white apron and a red scarf/hat covering her hair. This woman was not kind and I guess she was warned to be nice and did not change. Her punishment was that eventually, she was turned into a woodpecker. That is about all that I remember other than the woodpecker was exactly the old woman. Her black dress, white apron and red head made up the exact look of the woodpecker! I tried to find this book for the children when they were little and could not. I told them about it, but they thought it was a crazy story. Haha. I can still see the picture of the woman in my head so when I see a woodpecker I think of that woman spending her life pecking away.
When we lived in the country, we thought it would be a neat thing to try to feed the birds, especially the hummingbirds, squirrels and chipmunks. We thought this would delight the children and we wanted to teach them the various animals/birds. We bought a huge book about birds to help us identify them. It was a very good book and showed male and female of each.
We had one of our feeders on the tree right outside of our sliding glass door off of the dining room. This was filled with sunflower seeds and corn. One night, I was sure that I spotted a mouse in there! We were all watching it and we all know that I absolutely hate mice! I have to say that this was the cutest one I had ever seen! He had such neat looking hair (he looked very soft) and his eyes were so big and dark. His ears were really cute as well. I told my husband to go get rid of it. He said it was not a mouse. We disagreed and he went out there to investigate. He walked right up to it and it did not budge. He poked at it and it still just sat there eating. He said it had a really strange tail and that it definitely was not a mouse. He would not relocate it. I was a bit angry and said if I had a mouse in the house, we were moving!
An evening or two later we had a large snow storm and my husband and brother were out clearing snow from his home and ours. Even though it had snowed quite a bit, it was actually really warm feeling outside. I opened the sliding door and let the children play in the back yard. As I was watching them, out of the corner of my eye, I saw this fluttering thing coming off of the garage and into the tree. I quickly turned and that “mouse” was in my feeder! I called everyone over to the feeder! Of course, no one believed me about it “fluttering” into the feeder. We took several pictures and did some research. We finally realized that we had a flying squirrel! What an exciting time. The kids were so excited! I am glad that, at this one time, my husband did not listen to me and relocate this little cutie.
Another really neat bird that we had was an oriole. What a beautiful bird all the way around! Wonderful colors and what a voice! The prettiest I have heard. He was at our hummingbird feeder. We immediately went in and grabbed our book and read up on the oriole. We went straight to town, to Rural King, to get the food that the book said the oriole would really love. Sadly, that was the one and only time we saw the oriole as he was just passing through.
The hummingbirds were the other exciting birds. We learned so much about them and they were our favorites. We could watch them forever. They were territorial and would stand guard and chase the others away. Even if we had three feeders, that one would try to guard them all! We would have to bring the feeders in to refill them. They were so use to us that when when we would carry it out, they would swarm all around us trying to get a drink while it was in our hands. It was awesome!
The hummingbirds also remind me of our friend, Dorothy. We purchased her home and when we were at the closing, Dorothy and I started talking about the house and our old house. I mentioned that I was going to miss the birds we had in the country and especially the hummingbirds. I asked her if she ever had hummingbirds. She laughed and told me yes and that she even had a “hummingbird vine”! Then we laughed and hugged. She laughed even more and asked if it was ever heard of for two strangers to hug at a closing! She said she knew that the right family was moving in to her house. We became good friends immediately and remained so. She was right, we did have hummingbirds and still do.
We even have the “true woodpecker” and eastern bluebirds. We have the morning doves with their beautiful song, the geese flying by and honking and all of the other colorful birds. I even have the crows outside when I leave for work yelling, “Caw, Caw.” Silly birds, they do not know I have a van! How fortunate can you be??!!