Monday, July 11, 2011

Raising Nature Lovers

Outside our kitchen window is a very tall pine tree.  Very tall, remember we're on the sixth floor.  While this sometimes obscures our view of the garbage trucks on trash day this is a fabulous vantage point for watching nature. 

Recently the tree was home to a squirrel nest.  Man, are they rowdy neighbors!  The chattering and scratching of their claws on the bark made me crazy.  Not to mention the chases up and down the tree.  When one started trying to forage on our porch, though, that was just about it for me.  The final straw was when I was sitting on the couch reading a book with Bigger and looked up because movement caught my eye.  There was the squirrel, climbing the window screen of the sliding porch door!  Scared the begeezis out of me!  I have never seen a squirrel do that before!  And I forgot to mention it was a creepy black one.  (We have both black and gray squirrels here and I am still not used to the black ones.)  Bigger thought this was all pretty awesome but Mama was ready to go find a slingshot and a big pile of rocks. 

Thankfully the squirrels have moved on.  Which has made lots of space for birds.  Robins, crows, and sparrows are all common to see in the tree.  I don't remember seeing the local cardinal that high up but we do see it all over in the smaller trees.  I wish we'd get a redwinged blackbird but we only see those out on walks, usually on the bike path.  Seagulls glide by, sometimes close enough to cast a shadow on our dining room table.  But our favorite is the goldfinches :) 

(I'm not sure if that schmut is on the camera lens or the window, could totally go either way.) 

We usually see only one.  They're just lovely and so neat to see such brilliant color right next to our window.  And that color makes them easiest for the boys to spot in the tree.  They get so excited when there is any bird in the tree and always ask what a bird is when we see one. 

But nothing beats what we saw the other night during dinner.  We had just about finished up when I noticed a goldfinch in the tree.  And then another.  The boys got excited to see one chasing the other almost around the tree and then I noticed a THIRD goldfinch!  They sang and hopped from branch to branch and took turns chasing each other.  One flew right by our window and out of sight.  I figured that was probably the end of the show.  But then it was back and it landed on our window!  Right in the middle, on the top of the frame of the screen.  I can't believe the shrieks from the boys didn't scare it away.  It was as if he was looking in to see what we were having for dinner.  We were up close and personal with nature right there on the sixth floor.  :)

The trio of birds flew off and Bigger lost interest and was distracted by his own call of nature.  But poor Littler kept waiting for them to come back.  When it was clear they were gone he broke into tears and demanded "more go-fitch."  He needed real consoling over the loss of those three goldfinches who were off to find a better spot, maybe away from the prying eyes and noise of two seriously overexcited little ones.   

Makes this Mama very happy that her boys are so interested in nature.  Now it keep it that way...

1 comment:

Emily said...

Your comment about finding a sling shot made me giggle. Goldfinches are my son's favorite bird to watch for!