Mill Creek Musings

My neighbor told me that we have the Partridge Family living on our propertynot the singing group of television fame, but a mother bird and her young. The neighbor had seen them crossing the road a couple of times. I was jealous because I had never seen them.

Then, the other morning while I was waiting for my breakfast toast to pop up; I gazed out the kitchen window. The backyard was full of birds. There were 4 or 5 robins having their breakfast on our lawn. Then I spied the Partridge Family with their distinctive red spots atop their heads, black smudges on their throats, and nondescript brown bodies. They looked like roly-poly men wearing brown tweed vest coats, black cravats and red berets. My toast got cold in the toaster as I watched for a full 5 minutes.

We dont have any tame pets, but theres an abundant supply of wildlife on our farm. In the front yard theres a verdigris bird bath with three stationary birds perched on its rim. While Ive never seen a bird actually take a bath, occasionally a gold finch or two joins the trio and drinks from the tepid water. Blue jays dine at the feeders hanging from the lilac branches, while morning doves devour seed spilled on the grass.

We fill the bird feeders hanging from the front porch eaves, and then sit inside and watch the parade of diners. Theres the usual assortment of black capped chickadees gold and purple finches, vireos and sparrows. Our little feathered friends flit here, perch briefly, peck, and fly away. The humming birds are the most fickle of all. They whirr and hover but seldom light at the red sugar water filled feeder, preferring the organic pink phlox in the garden.

All this frenetic feeding is too much for me. Personally, I prefer the wise old owl that finds a good tree branch and settles down for a long lazy afternoon, just turning his eyes from side to side while contemplating the evenings dinner catch.

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