Friday, December 18, 2009

Make Your Own Metaphor

I just saw a warbler on my suet block!

I've been feeding birds for, oh, I don't remember how long. It took awhile for the birds to start coming to my sunflower feeder - I remember leaving little piles of them all over the yard, converging on the feeder. A few years ago I started putting peanutbutter on pine cones imported from my in-law's yard in Georgia. For the first year the peanutbutter would sit there and get rancid until the squirrels found it. Last year I'd occasionally see a bird peck at it but usually it was squirrels and the possum who lives in the attic - it was right outside the dining room window, so we'd see him come down. I was replacing pine cones every day or two because the squirrels would run off with it. I started using a suet block last year, too, but for the longest time no one would eat it.

This winter I hung the pine cone on the oak sapling next to the fence, across the sideyard from the feeder, and it only takes a few hours for it to be stripped of all peanutbutter. So I hung the suet feeder over there, too, and smeared peanutbutter on it to pass the idea along. I'm mostly feeding house sparrows, rock doves, and white-winged doves, alas, but we also have cardinals, jays, titmice, Carolina wrens, and a couple of nondescript little warblers that I can't ID because they don't hang around when their spring plumage comes in. And just now I looked out and one of the warblers was pecking at the suet block!

If you're a birder, you understand; if you're not, you think this is a stupid thing to blog about. So go on and make your own metaphor about the writing life or something. I'm sure there's one to be made. There always is. But I've got to go mop the floor now and then it's back to mailing.

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