Last time I wrote, I was celebrating my birthday and getting used to letting go of Winter and welcoming Spring. In the weeks since, we have seen the blossoms come and go on the trees, and we have celebrated Easter….

We have delighted in the warm days and sweet breezes and tried to accomplish our studies and tasks. I managed to make all that I had hoped to make for my Spring shows, which were wonderfully successful and filled with appreciation and satisfying visits with dear customers.

The days at home since the show have been mostly grey and rainy (lovely!) and good for rummaging through closets and cupboards, restoring order. I intend to spend as long as I need to going through the whole house, a little bit at a time, and paring down and freshening every corner. But I intend, also, to make some more of these new creations and share them on my website later in the month!

In fact, I have so much I want bring into reality with Small Meadow Press, and so much I would like to do here in the hedge…but our dratted internet connection is making that all so tedious these days, and I would like to talk about birds instead, if you don’t mind.

We are rich in birds around our home and I am very grateful, for they have been my favorite creatures since I was a young girl and enticed ducks from the lake into my lap and searched out the one field left near my neighborhood-with binoculars and Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds in hand. My sweet husband has given me a bird feeder outside my studio window and one outside the window by my seat at the dining table. So each day, all the year long, they are my companions and I do understand Emily Dickinson when she wrote-

“I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven.”

So what am I to do about The Cowbird? In the bird-scheme-of-things? I truly hope that you might be able to help me stop resenting their presence…and even more than that….their habits.
This picture is from an old childrens book and accompanies a very short story about the father bird providing for his little family.

No mention of the cowbird youngling stepping on the other little bird (or that it and the others might soon be pushed right out of that cosy nest!).

The songbirds have been filling the air with music for weeks, the robins have been hopping across the lawn, the woodpeckers are tapping away in the trees….oh, I could go on and on. This is one of my favorite little fellows, the Chipping Sparrow.

He and his brethren spend alot of time at the feeders and on the front walk. But for the past few weeks, he and all the other little birds are startled off the feeder each time a flock of Cowbirds descend. They always come in groups and eat so much, so quickly. They are overwhelming. I find myself shooing them away….which is not charitable, I know. But as soon as I do, the little birds come back immediately and stay until the next round.

I was fascinated to watch a Mourning Dove visit the feeder yesterday-and chase off the Cowbirds that were there. Over and over again, the dainty dove pecked at and ran off the Cowbirds. Oh Valiant one!

So I constantly wrestle with wanting to shoo them off and knowing that they deserve food and Life, too…but really….what must God have been intending with the idea of Cowbirds? My peace-loving, Quakerly instincts are being sorely tested. Thank goodness we have run out of food for the moment and the Cowbirds are nowhere to be seen.

But we did have a bluebird in the house today….for the third time in as many weeks! It (or they) insist upon squeezing into the unused woodstove pipe and into the cold and ashy woodstove. When we hear the fluttering of wings in the stove, we open the top and eventually catch the bluebird and release it to the wild again.

Please write if have any thoughts on the Cowbird Dilemma. Until then, I wish you all the joys of the season, hoping that there are some wherever you reside.