Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Useless perfection, perfecting uselessness?

rose-breasted grosbeak at tray feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

You've probably noticed that we regularly feed birds around here. (These days we've also been feeding lots of mosquitoes and deer flies, but that's a different story.) We've been doing pretty well so far this year remembering to bring in the feeders most nights. That limits the damage done by the local bear(s). They don't seem to get the concept of eating just the sunflower seeds and leaving the feeder for us to refill.

black bear eating tube feeder
Photo by J. Harrington

To thwart squirrels, we'd have to take in all the feeders all the time. In years past, I've made a determined effort to chase gray and red squirrels, and chipmunks, away from the feeders. [In fact, this week the first chipmunk of the season was caught in the Hav-A-Hart trap and transplanted away from the house.] Franco, the Better Half's dog, lives to chase squirrels from the feeders on the deck. Recently, inline with a more live and let live approach, we've eased up. The feeder made of a cylinder of screen seems to limit the amount of seeds squirrels consume and watching them trying to figure out how to get at the food is often as amusing to me as it is agitating to Franco. He's left confused and dismayed about why we won't let him play his favorite game any more.

Along the roadsides, the day lilies and milkweed look to be a couple of weeks or so from blossoming. Late in the first week of July is about when they've come out in past years. It's hard to believe that July 4th is less than a couple of weeks away. Once again a full-grown Minnesota Summer has snuck up on me almost overnight. I've come to expect that from puppies and children. Still, I haven't adjusted to the way Seasons do it to me just about every year and leave me once again surprised.

As we slip-slide into full Summer, instead of ending with a poem as usual, I want to share some wisdom printed on the card the Daughter Person and SIL (Son-In-Law) gave me this past Father's Day. It was written by someone named Lin Yutang, who also wrote several books, including one titled The Importance of Living.
“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon
in a perfectly useless manner,
you have learned how to live”
That seems to me to be a worthwhile lesson to try to master during the next few months. I hope you learn how to live as well.

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