That Time Again

One of the joys of fall…

In the fall, the chickadees become so friendly that we can hand-feed them right outside our window. In fact, whenever we step outside, they will often swoop over to see if we have anything for them!

(to watch the full-length video, you can visit this link on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/D4KruYF1Fa0)

All summer long, the birds are busy…Much too busy to be bothered about coming down to eat out of your hand! In fact, the chickadees and nuthatches are largely relegated to the background for the summer, drowned out by sweet little visitors who spend a few short months singing and mating and raising families, gathering in all the many-and-varied bounties of the Maine countryside in warm weather. The treetops are full of their activities, and they are such a joy to watch, their songs such a joy to hear, their bright lives such a joy to observe. But as the nights turn cool, and that hint of chill returns to the Maine breeze, these little visitors take warning of all that the Maine winter promises and wing away to warmer winter lands. 

But the chickadees and nuthatches return to center stage in this season, and they are ready to get ready for winter!

A Black-capped Chickadee waits on a branch for hand-feeding at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Black-capped Chickadee waits on a branch for hand-feeding at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.

This drive that makes them so busy to collect as many stores as they can also makes them willing to investigate every outstretched hand for signs of sunflower seeds, an absolutely favorite staple for their months ahead.

And so we wait, with outstretched hands…

A pair of outstretched hands, holding sunflower seeds, waiting to feed the birds at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.

And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:7, ESV)

And the chickadees visit in cheerful family groups, whirling about in great flutters of wings, socializing and chatting, perching momentarily on fingertips, cocking one endearing, bright-eyed glance at these slightly-suspicious creatures offering irresistible gifts, and quickly winging away with their prizes. 

A Black-capped Chickadee takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Black-capped Chickadee takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Black-capped Chickadee takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Black-capped Chickadee takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Black-capped Chickadee takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Black-capped Chickadee takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.

And the nuthatches visit, one at a time, feisty and self-assured, settling lightly into a palm, scolding away approaching chickadees, gazing searchingly into these funny human faces, slowly testing and discarding seed after seed before settling on the perfect morsel, and then launching off to secret storehouses.

A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch takes sunflower seeds by hand at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.

(And while we were all distracted with the birds, one funny little Red Squirrel took the opportunity to wash his face in the drinking water! “No one saw that.”)

A Red Squirrel washes his face in a small pool at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
A Red Squirrel washes his face in a small pool at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.

And He said to them, “Come with Me privately to a solitary place, and let us rest for a while.” 

(Mark 6:31, BSB)

Confused about these days-and-times? Do something simple! Maybe buy a little birdseed…Maybe just sit for a quiet moment in nature…Look at this world around you, maybe even look into the eyes of one of the many little creatures sharing this space with us, and you’ll feel it…You’ll feel that “something” that people always feel, and can never quite describe, when they are out in nature. It’s like a peace or a tranquility or a calm or stirring…It’s because you, a created being, are recognizing that you are in a place where you are surrounded by all the things and beings that share the same Creator…It’s the beginning of the knowledge that all of this was made by Someone, and He had a purpose, and His purpose was-and-always-will-be good. And any moment where you can begin to acknowledge that feeling, amidst all the storms and chaos of the world today, is time well-spent!

Genevieve waits patiently to feed the chickadees at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
Genevieve waits patiently to feed the chickadees at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.
Genevieve waits patiently to feed the chickadees at Riven Joiner & the Homestead Store.

To read more about our treasured little Black-capped Chickadees and Red-breasted Nuthatches, visit these Audubon pages:

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-capped-chickadee

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-breasted-nuthatch

by Sydney Michalski

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close