One in each hand, and one in the tree along with several others that you can't see.
Late last week, I advised my daughter to cancel her planned weekend visit to our Riverwood retreat. At the time, the snow was rapidly disappearing under the onslaught of the second consecutive day of rain, and I despaired of the outcome. I imagined that the impending cold would refreeze the laneway back into a skating rink, that there would be no snow remaining on the ground for snowshoeing, and that we four would be confined to this small farmhouse for two days. I confided my fears, but she replied that she was coming for the company and not the snowshoeing.
She was right, and I was wrong. Between the time my of great despair and the arrival of the weekend, some fresh snow fell; the driveway remained navigable; and, enough snow remained behind to make snowshoeing viable. So it was that that we were able to enjoy several pleasant but noisy tromps through the woods: noisy because four sets of snowshoes on thin and very crusty snow can produce one ponderous din.
We enjoyed our walks, our usual games of Trivial Pursuit, and, of course, our visits with the birds. (Fear not ye who grow weary of this topic and of these photos; I sometimes tend to overdo certain blog themes, but, eventually, I move on.)
On Saturday morning, Butterfly got her chance to hand-feed the birds. I see that she has already posted photos of both her and The Boy , and they almost begin to reveal the look of sheer delight and pleasure on her countenance as the feathery wonders began to take their turns at landing on her hand and feeding from it — the usual treat: peanut butter smeared to a slice of apple. Of course, Dad snapped pictures with his usual abandon, as Dads sometimes do of their daughters, even when they are all grown up.
We couldn't keep The Boy out of the act for long. He was soon standing right under (or in the tree — or amongst the branches really) the feeding tree (also shown on Butterfly's blog). They fed from his hand and then from his shoulder. What fun for all: the birds included.
But today, it was My Turn: my turn to feed the birds and someone else's turn to hold the camera. It was The Boy who got to use my camera; he did a great job, and I got to be the centre of attention. Having waited my turn for several days, I decided to double the pleasure and the fun holding forth treats in both hands. I stood in the tree as the boy had done and could soon hear whirring around my head and could soon see chickadees swooping onto nearby branches to peruse my offerings.
Apparently my oblation passed inspection, for I was soon enjoying visits aplenty. What a treat to have these weightless, featherballs trust me and themselves enough to land and nourish. As you can see from the photos (the top one taken by Cuppa on her camera and the bottom one taken by The Boy on my camera), the plan worked, and I sometimes had a bird in each hand. Two winged creatures in the hands were most definitely worth more to me than hosts of birds in the bush at that moment.
In the bottom photo, there is a chickadee perched on the thumb of my right hand. Can you tell that he is more comfortable than the bird on my left hand? He perched fearlessly, stayed and fed until he was completely satisfied. Others flitted as birds do, but he calmly and serenely went about his task until he had his fill.
Fears are both healthy and natural. We all of us have them, but sometimes it is best to let go of them for a bit and to place a little trust in both ourselves and others. Sometimes, an opportunity presents itself, and we may do ourselves a great favour by pouncing upon it rather than endlessly debating its pros and cons. You might make more mistakes that way, but you live, by god, you live.
I was impressed by the bravery and serenity of the chickadee on the right thumb.