The chance to go play in the outdoors has eluded me over past couple of weeks. To be honest, I haven’t really been getting after it. I’ve been lucky enough to plan a couple of overnight backpacking trips with some friends not long ago. The trips went well and good times were had by all.
But, sometimes the outdoorsman doesn’t get outdoors; and it is always sad. So, I decided to bring the outdoors to my apartment. There are several ways to make that possible. The most common way – call your local cable provider and ask for NAT GEO WILD. FYI, if you can’t get a hold of me this week, I’m alright, I’m just watching Big Cat Week on NAT GEO WILD. The other way to enjoy nature while trapped indoors is to try to lure nature to come to you – grandma style!
New Jersey prides itself on being one of the best birding states in the country. It was time to put that theory to the test. After all, the New Jersey state bird is the Goldfinch; a beautiful canary-like yellow bird, adorned with shiny black wings. I immediately set out to buy a bird feeder and a small birdhouse! I envisioned hundreds of colorful birds perched on my head and shoulders, eating from the palm of my hand, and singing cheerfully for all to hear.
I hung the birdhouse, filled the feeder, and hid behind the screen door, waiting for the frenzy to begin. An hour went by, then a few more; still no sign of life. A solitary ground squirrel regarded me with disgust from a nearby pine tree. The birds must somehow know that I have cats, I thought.
I am not a serious birder. I don’t carry around a bird check list, not that there is anything wrong with that. All I wanted was to enjoy nature from the comfort of my own home by feeding some birds. The next morning I decided to put an end to my silly idea. I started walking toward the balcony to take down my bird-gear to go return it.
Then, suddenly I heard a chirp. Could it be true? Or was that just NAT GEO WILD playing in the living room? I ran toward the screen door and sure enough – a Tufted Titmouse (that’s a type of bird, not a mouse with boobs)! It was perched on the feeder and it was devouring all it possibly could. Then a cardinal, a chickadee, and some sparrows decided to get in on the action. Nature was finally at my doorstep and I wasn’t so blue anymore about staying in this weekend.
The feeder is now getting some serious use, but I do not have any tenants in the birdhouse yet. One chickadee briefly inspected it this morning and looked at me like “you expect me to live in this shack”? I guess I will wait for a low-maintenance chickadee to fly by.