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  • Earlene Gleisner

It's all for the Birds

Earlier this year I enrolled in a California Naturalist class through University of California’s Hopland Research and Experimental Center. It was life changing for many reasons. The top enchantment I acknowledged through this class, which offered me more information than I will ever be able to absorb, is that I love birds. I can sit and watch them fly, hop, chirp, eat, or just about anything for extended periods of time.

Ironically, on the same week that I went on my quest for bird food and bird feeders to quench my desire for more birds in my life, the rules changed in my retirement complex. The dictums were no bird feeders hanging from the eaves, the trees, or poles inserted into the ground. No accents of any kind, particularly bird baths. Only seven pots per patio and on and on and on.

I was crushed. And then I became determined.

I purchased a baby chicken feeder that sits on top of the “authorized” outside storage container I have placed under my dining room window. I created a water bowl from a plastic protector that sits under flowerpots (which is of course the largest one I could find.) I’ve made it decorative with various sized rocks to serve various bees (and birds).

Thus, if questioned, I can say, “No that’s not a bird feeder, it’s a chicken feeder.” And “No that’s not a bird bath; it’s for the bees.”

Various other challenges have arrived in my life in the past several months. I’m not backing down. I’m getting creative. That’s how I’ve decided I’m going to survive this aging process. Adaptation, improvisation, and ingenuity!

It took two months for the birds to find my setup. This morning I watched 15 feathered friends enjoy my offerings. I have found my binoculars and bird identifying book and am beginning to note who is coming for a visit. I feel like I’ve won a major challenge.

What have you done to turn what might have been a loss into a winning experience? I’d love to read or hear about your success.

We might not be able to change the entire world, but we can change our attitude and feel like we are each a winner in our own domain.

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