Friday, May 23, 2014

Come to Mama

My mother feeds the birds -- and a squirrel -- year-round on her balcony. It's the only place they are safe from our cat.
(Whatever your feelings are about domestic cats being outside, I don't like being peed on while lying in bed so if she wants to go in and out, I'm happy to open the door for her.)
Every so often, a whispered, "Come here," gets shot down the hallway between my mother's room and my upstairs office. It means there's something on her balcony that she wants me to see, or it's the way the other cat, who we keep inside, is crouched and watching through her sliding glass door.
The tone of her hiss was such earlier today that I thought something was wrong. Rescue mission or sad ending?
"No, come see this," my mother whispered.
And this is the visitor having lunch on the balcony today:

Rose-breasted grosbeak! Jane and I saw one of these two years ago during one of walks through the woods in Oxford but the first time here in Riverview. 

I'd like you to note in the above photo how my mother arranges the seeds on the plate (yes, that's a pizza pan). I think it's tapas like that? She puts it on a plate because my husband complained the seeds are ruining the deck plus it allows her to bring it inside at night during a month in early spring when she gets raided by raccoons.

We've had two other rare birds drop by in the past. In 2012, a female cardinal who did not stick around and who did not return, and in 2011, a painted bunting:

But perhaps the blue bird of happiness?

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