Will Ye No Return?

I flew to New York City on August 29.  Naturally there was lots to do before that.  One of the tasks was to fill my two bird feeders – one with sunflower seed and the other with nyjer seed (for the finches).

I flew home on Monday, September 13, arriving at my door as darkness approached.  The next morning I looked out my living room window … and saw that both feeders were full!  Huh?  That didn’t compute.  Then I remembered that I’d used the dregs of the old bag of sunflower seed, rather than beginning the new one.  That must be it: seeds that were after their best before date.

In the spirit of thoroughness, I also guessed that it was time to clean the feeders.  Soaking them in bleach water for a day would cover another base.  And then I’d have birdies again!  The soaking took place on the Tuesday.  Wednesday was for rinsing off the toxic stuff and letting the feeders dry.  Thursday was reassembling the feeders, filling them with fresh seed, and returning them to their positions of previous glory.  It might take a day for my winged friends to find the renewed feeders but Saturday would be a fiesta of flapping wings and full stomachs.

Except it wasn’t.  Not a bird to be seen.

Sunday the same.

Which brings us to today.  I scanned the sky and found no small birdies, just a few turkey vultures in their graceful swoops of flight.  (Sigh)  I thought of the end of things.  Could this be one of those?  Did the birdies get together and decide that Belmont, Ontario would go on their no-fly list?  I sure hope not.  I love looking out the window at the feeder perches well occupied.

It makes no sense that it would be over.  But then much of life doesn’t make sense.  Please come back.  I miss you.

Late this afternoon, I heard a chirp, and then more.  It was a baby sparrow, atop one of the feeder poles.  And leaning in for food down below was mom.  Hello!  Welcome home.  Mom leapt up to the pole and frantically fed the young one, who was vigorously flapping his or her wings.  Surely this was a sign of things to come.  Mom would be a scout, drawing her friends back to gourmet gatherings.

We’ll see.  It’s quiet out there.

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