On Feathers and Foreigners

I have realized that now that I no longer have a job where I sit in front of a computer all day long, to maintain this space as I have in the past, as I would like – which means long, meandering, thoughtful posts – is an impossibility. So I shall have to retrain my Blog Self, to write smaller things, less meandering but, I hope, not less thoughtful.

I am reconsidering my commitment to the birds here, the ones that visit our feeders, for purely selfish reasons, ones I feel most guilty about. Basically, it’s economic. Daily I am astounded by just how expensive it has gotten to keep these birds – especially all the cardinals – sustained. Pesky squirrels aside, the birds themselves can literally empty a huge feeder in just a single day, if feeling motivated (which they are, always). With three of these feeders, we are spending a small fortune on this new hobby. When I complained about it to a friend the other day, she warned me that once I start, I really can’t stop, especially not in winter when food becomes so scarce and they’ve come to rely on us for help. Probably we’ll just keep buying it and keep filling them. But it’s become not entirely a small burden.

As I predicted earlier this spring, the chopping down of the ailanthus forest in our yard has been futile. And if anything, culling them seems to only have hastened their propagation to a wild degree. I’m finding even more – which didn’t seem possible – saplings, all over the yard now. In Pittsburgh, my foe was Japanese honeysuckle. And here, it is that ailanthus. But it’s a battle I know I cannot possibly win. On my run this morning, I stopped to admire a mimosa tree, another pesty non-native species. It is a tree that, like the honeysuckle, has a scent that is so beautiful, almost intoxicating. I can understand why people brought them to a place where they don’t belong.


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