Every morning starts the same way. I pour my orange juice and my coffee then I sit at the table where my computer resides and my books,papers, pens, etc. sprawl. This is where I write. This is where I work. Ok, insert the words “try to” before write and work. On the past few snow days, as all the magical found time evaporated without an appreciable diminishment in my work pile, it finally occurred to me (duh!) that perhaps my work setting is less than desirable. Or too desirable.
I mean really, is it any wonder I don’t get anything done? I’m perpetually distracted by the world outside my window. Before the sun rises, there’s a chance I might get some morning writing done, but the lightening day offers its own allure as shadows gradually soften and dawn’s glow spreads. Then the first birds arrive and I’m lost. The parade continues from early morning until late afternoon. The chickadees, those cheerful, bold birds, gather in the nest of wisteria vines and pop in and out to access the feeders. I’m endlessly amused by the nuthatches, both red-breasted and white. I’m a rapt spectator as they indulge in their upside-down antics, walking up and down tree trunks or lingering upside down on the feeders. When they perch, they hunker down and their necks meld with their slight bodies, creating their unique endearing nuthatch-y profile. I’ve become inordinately fond of the female cardinal with her understated beauty and watch closely for her arrival, usually heralded by the showy scarlet flash of her mate. How many colors are in her soft plumage, so often overlooked?
On the ground the juncos double-foot hop comically along the snow covered garden paths, joined by a few tufted titmice and a golden brown sparrow. Hairy, downy, and red-bellied woodpeckers swoop in and gorge on the suet cakes. Occasionally, a pileated woodpecker makes a dramatic cameo appearance, sending me running for my camera. In winter the finches have faded to a drab olive-gray but every so often the light is just right and their yellow breast shines in the winter landscape, pulsing with a promise of sunlit summer days. Flashing in on cerulean wings, posturing and squawking, the blue jays arrive in a burst of movement. They jostle for position, sending shimmering showers of snow tumbling from the branches to the ground below. Just yesterday the mourning doves returned, adding their soft calls to the chirps and squawks and their sober presence to the activity below the feeders. There’s simply never a dull moment.
I love watching the birds but clearly I need to consider doing something differently. I seldom write more than a few sentences before my attention is distracted by some flash of movement at the feeders. Perhaps I need to work in a different spot and reward myself with occasional viewing? I considered this at length as I watched the show yesterday and finally came to my decision. There may be a loss of productivity in my current setting, but the gains decidedly offset it. There’s no way I can deny myself this natural extravaganza. In the spirit of “in for a penny, in for a pound”, I headed out to the feed store yesterday afternoon and made a few purchases. Today, I’ll take those bags out to the birch tree, pull out a new feeder or two, fill them with some tempting new varieties of seed and suspend them alongside the others.
I can’t wait to see the show tomorrow!