Pane Pain

The birds know that summer is over and it is time to go south. They don’t like to be too cold anymore than I do, and it’s hard to find food  if there is snow on the ground. Even cold rain doesn’t make it a hospitable environment for providing seeds and/or insects for birds to eat.

The air is fairly vibrating with birdsong, as the birds gather in ever growing flock numbers to eat like crazy and do little practice flights in preparation for the big trip  south.

Unfortunately, with so much activity many of the birds try to fly through my windows, thinking there is a flight path to the other side of the house. It breaks my heart and sometimes their necks or wings, when they hit. The guilt I feel is huge.

After hearing three thumps on my windows in a short space of time, I found a bar of soap and drew lines over the panes so the birds could see that there is a barrier in their flight path.

One little warbler type had hit a corner window just before I soaped it. He had a soft landing on a deck chair cushion. He stayed there for several hours. I worried and felt so bad for him as I watched his tiny traumatized wings quiver.

Then, apparently the time was right. He pooped and flew away. I hope he doesn’t have a bad headache. I’m so glad he survived.

Edible Chestnuts

About 36 years ago, on a snowy winter evening in the city of Courtenay, BC, the Captain and I walked through the downtown area. It must have been a Friday night because the stores were open late. Nearly Christmas, they had Christmas carols pouring out of the speakers on some of the street corners. It was all very festive and the best part was that someone had a 45-gallon drum set up with a charcoal barbecue, roasting chestnuts. He had a bit of an accent that lent some old-time culture to the scene.

“Get your hot a-rrroasted a-chestnuts. Hot a-rrroasted a-chestnuts,” he called.

I was so cold, and when the Captain presented me with a newspaper cone of these hot a-rrroasted a-chestnuts, they warmed me right from my stomach to my heart. They were the best chestnuts I’d ever eaten.

I decided to plant two Italian chestnut trees – the edible kind. They had little chestnuts – too tiny to eat that first year – and each year they got bigger. But the trees have wide-spreading branches, and between the windstorms and the heavy snowfalls we had once or twice, the branches broke and the trees were beyond saving.

I love this photo I took in the early days. It reminds me of those few chestnuts those trees provided in the fall, and of that fine winter day with the hot a-rrroasted a-chestnuts.

edible-chestnuts

A Stellar Steller’s Squabble

You know that fall is coming when the Steller’s jays show up to squabble over the hazelnuts dropping from the trees. These brightly coloured birds are a relative of the crow, which everyone in bloggerville knows I hate because they abduct and eat the children of  other birds. But at this time of year the jays are only here to rob me of the fruits of my labours,  so I tolerate their coarse squawking call and focus on their brilliant blue colouring. They do have a reputation of being nest robbers too, but they don’t show up in our area during that spring nesting time.

These sunflower seeds and hazelnuts have me drooling.

These sunflower seeds and hazelnuts have me drooling.

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Look out! Danger up above.

 

Don’t even try that trick on me. You just want that hazelnut for yourself.

Don’t even try that trick on me. You just want that hazelnut for yourself.

 

Well, it’s about time I got some of the good stuff. You’re so greedy all the time.

Well, it’s about time I got some of the good stuff. You’re so greedy all the time.

 

Go ahead then. Be that way. I'll take the leftovers, as usual.

Go ahead then. Be that way. I’ll take the leftovers, as usual.

 

Take it then. Just stop nagging me.

Take it then. Just stop nagging me.

Someone's coming! Quick! Hit 'em with the brick.

Someone’s coming! Quick! Hit ’em with the brick.

Nice butt, by the way!

Nice butt, by the way!

 

Awww... you say the sweetest things.

Awww… you say the sweetest things.