Wednesday, November 7, 2012

For the Birds--Plant a Tree

It has no roots.  It may not live.  For a tree with leaves to be bare in winter certainly does not foretell its future viability.  But come spring, we'll know for sure.  Regardless of what shows on the tips of each branch, this odd tree will continue to serve its purpose.

Downey adjusts easily to the new location
next to the sideway--good access for Mom
 and her walker.

My mother loves to feed the birds in the winter. North of Spokane snows are measured in feet not inches.  The birds who stay are blessed by the help from Mom's feeders.  She is careful to tend them with watchful regularity.  But over the years winter snow and ice has made the old feeder location treacherous to get to if not impassable at times for even the able bodied. At 91, Mom's not going to attempt crossing the icy driveway to keep the birds' tummies filled.

Handle and hook so Mom feels safe and can enjoy filling the feeders

Most satisfying of Things I get to do today is make the new bird feeding station and insure that it is a pleasure to visit for the birds and for my mother.  An 8' 4x4 post, a 2x4 cross beam, fasteners and screws make the basics.  Three feeders are fastened to the cross beam.  Next screw in a sturdy hook to hold the small bucket of bird feed that my mom has trundled out on one handle of her walker.  Then a secure, keep-my-balance handle is fastened on well so mother's stable while she focuses on filling the feeders with sunflower seeds.

A Black-capped Chickadee and Downey Woodpecker feel at home

And now to find a "tree." Service berries grow profusely on this land. A long, lateral branch from a nearby shrub is perfect. With 18" plunged into the ground, this delicate "tree" still stands nearly 10 feet tall. As the last soil is tamped around its trunk, chickadees and pine siskins have already marked it as their own. I wouldn't be surprised if it sprouted leaves, sent out roots, and started another life in its new location after winter has come and gone.

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