Saturday, May 2, 2015

For the birds

The sunflower seed supply needs to be refilled. I can't find whatever may have been left of last Summer's hummingbird nectar. The Daughter Person wants to try feeding orioles. I'm thinking about a hummingbird feeder that mounts on the outside of a window. Both red and gray squirrels are finding it too easy to reach the bird feeders, although Franco the Rescue border collie takes great pleasure in barking at them and chasing them away. I've noticed his protective barking also has kept tigers out of the neighborhood but there's one hen turkey that shows up daily to peck her way through the seeds that have fallen to the ground. It's time for a trip to one of our local bird feeder supply stores, probably Peterson's in North Branch. Hungry scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks should show up soon. Feeding birds is one of my least expensive vices and it's easier on my legs than trout fishing or dog walking. Besides, I'd rather hear a bird singing from a nearby treetop than from a cage in the house.

female blue bird on oak branch
female blue bird on oak branch
Photo by J. Harrington

rose-breasted grosbeak on feeder
rose-breasted grosbeak on feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

scarlet tanager eating seeds on deck
scarlet tanager eating seeds on deck
Photo by J. Harrington

Caged Bird

By Maya Angelou 
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

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