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Just Outside My Door

August 22, 2013
Elaine Cole , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Last week we had some cold nights and it was not typical August days when the week began. It started warming up on Friday, just as forecasters predicted, for the thermometer reached 70 degrees Friday, August 16th. It is supposed to be summer weather again by the weekend. Since we haven't reached that date yet, I don't know what the weather will be like then. Whatever we get weather-wise, we'll take, for that's one thing we cannot control. However, we do know that as long as the earth remains we will have Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring for God says so and He is in control of all things (Geneses 8:22).

When I think of seasons I'm reminded that I am beginning to see a few winter birds, such as chickadees, returning to our feeders. Last Thursday I saw a whole flock of black birds under them in the back yard. I've been using some mixed seed recently and I think they like the corn that is mixed into it. I often see them in the spring and fall but not often in summer. I'm wondering if they are a sign of an early fall. I know they no doubt like to come around but they can devour an enormous amount of food in a short time. Seed is expensive and I'd rather they pass our yard by.

Speaking of birds reminds me how I've enjoyed watching them in the bird feeder this summer. Since I don't have a heater for it in winter the water freezes. Thus it's not used then, but I have had to clean it quite frequently this summer. I usually scrub it with bleach and then rise well before I add clean water.

My recent Bird Watchers Digest had an article by Julie Zickefoose entitled "The Backyard Birdbath Cleaning" that gave me good advice. First of all, she mentioned that "there are reasons to be scrupulous and go beyond hygiene and aesthetics." If one desires to have water for them, it necessitates giving the feeder a good scrubbing because droppings and algae make the water bad. Thus one must clean it every three days to prevents the algae. She drains the feeder and sprinkles sink cleanser over the bird bath and lets it sit a few minutes, scrub it with a stiff brush, rinse it good and then repeat the procedure.

I normally don't clean ours that often and I use bleach instead of cleanser. From now on I'll try her method because it would probably be a better way to keep it clean even though it would be a lot of work. Moreover, Julie says when she goes out to clean her feeder a little cheer is made by the gold finces that she enjoys and the cardinals stand at attention. Bluebirds gently call, Titmice high-five each other and other birds fill up a near-by tree. I can't say for sure that our feathered friends do all that Julie said hers do, but I always talk to them and like to think they are responding to me when they perch in the Mountain Ash tree and chatter among themselves as I fill the feeders.

Also, the blue birds talk to me when I go out the door with mealy worms in my hand. Although we don't often see the latter in winter, the other birds greet me with various chirps when they fly to the feeders. I talk to them from inside my kitchen or dining room as they come for their breakfast.

I have to admit however, that I don't clean the porch feeders very much in winter when it's freezing cold. They don't seem to mind for they continue to fly to and fro feasting on the seed and suet. They make every winter day cheerful even as God's word does also, whatever kind of weather He sends.


August 22: Allen James Eimers, Bessie Endress, Shane Hawley, Austin Charles Tallman

August 23: Cheryl Cole, Kmberley Cole, Duane Gabiel, Leann Fisher, Amanda Miller

August 24: Fawn Fisher, Florence Turner, Fannie M. Burkholder, Jim Weise

August 25: Jimmy Farnham, Wanda Cummings Latimer

August 26: Deidra Crane, Zachary Martin

August 27: Tyler James Barron, Missi Lyon



August 22: Paul & Beverly Harris

August 23: Doug & Carol Hay, Dave & Julie Morton, Mark & Sherry Palmer, Terry & Brenda Yankoski

August 24: Chad & Nikole Cole, Scott & Hailey Douglas

August 25: Brett & Rachael Freligh, Tylor & Melissa Griswould

August 26: Allan & Sandy Meeder, Michael & Dawn Zemeik

August 27: Ryan & Laura Swanson



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