Saturday, 4 April 2009

That connection with nature thing...

Last weekend Gord and I spent some time outside in the treed part of our property -- we really needed to get out of the house and just be out there. Spring has been a long time coming, and while there is still a lot of snow around, the sky was blue and the sun was warm. So we went out to feed the birds, deterimined to take our time about it, and just enjoy being out there.

We have a lot of black-capped chickadees around here, and they have become less and less shy over the years. Often they will fly over and sit very close to us when we fill the bird feeders, and chirp loudly as if to say, "hurry up already, we want our black oil sunflower seeds!" At times there are dozens of them that come to the five or six feeders we have set up, for sunflower seeds, peanuts and suet.

This year has been a banner year for squirrels as well - there are four of them! It seems like they may be two mated pairs, but we really don't know for certain. They come to the feeders as well, and it is quite the show to see the squirrels and the birds vie for the prime feeders.

Gord has told me of how one of his uncles used to have birds eating out of his hand, and this Spring he really wanted to see if that could happen to him too. These chickadees were pretty friendly, so they seemed like they might just cooperate.

And last Sunday was the day - after standing still and sort of blending in with the feeder for about 15-20 minutes, the birds started sitting on the feeder while Gord's hand was there:You can see the squirrel there (whom Gord has named 'Chomper') in the background, keeping an eye on the situation.

A few minutes later, one of the birds landed on Gord's hand and took a sunflower seed out of it, before flying away. This happened quite a few times with a few different birds, and I managed to get one decent picture of this:
Not to be left out, Chomper came by in a little while for a closer look:

And then came closer yet for his share of the sunflower seeds:

I can tell you this was the highlight of our day! I've cropped the pictures so Gord's face isn't in there, but in some of these shots he is really smiling! There's something pretty amazing about having a little bird or squirrel think you're just another part of the landscape, safe enough to sit on.

Next time it will be my turn to try and stand still for 20 minutes at the feeder, and see what happens. I knew meditation was good practice for a lot of reasons, but I didn't foresee this particular application!

Wishing everyone a happy weekend, with time enough to stop and connect for a little while with Nature's goodness.


Liz said...

Last weekend Riley sat outside with sunflower seeds in her hand trying to entice the chickadees to land. Hasn't worked yet but I'll show her your pictures and I'm sure she'll give it another try. A couple of years ago while camping, the chipmunks ran up the kids' legs to take the peanuts out of their hands. (The were named Chippy and Chipeena. :o)) You're right about the connection with nature. These are the things that they'll remember.

SoapBoxTech said...

That`s really beautiful. I am so happy that you had the chance to make that connection. Just wait til you don`t even need to be standing totally still, making yourself scenery, when they come because they just sense the connection. I`m looking for that again myself.

There is a picture of my mom as a little girl on the farm, standing there a bird in her hand and one on each shoulder. Not eating or anything, just hanging out with her. I always knew she had some special kind of soul, but that picture was certainly proof.

Sherry said...

Life aure feels amazing when another conscious being willing approaches and connects with us ! I wonder what the beings feel from our positve and excited vibrations?

Anonymous said...

That's amazing! What a joyful experience!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! What a wonderful and joyful experience!

Apple Jack Creek said...

Oh, Theresa, thank you for that post! That's just so cheerful and spring like and wonderful.

You know you've found a peaceful 'center' when the birds will come eat from your hand!

Blessings to you!

Theresa said...

Liz - it seems to help if you wear the same coat or shirt all the time when you're out there with the birds, and it also seems to help if you can put your hand where they're used to landing anyway. How cute about the chipmunks, and those names are adorable! We have three more squirrels to name, so I may 'borrow' those! :)

SBT, wow, that would be something alright, to just have birds come and land on you because they just want to :) I remember watching that Grizzly Adams show when I was a kid, and wanted so badly to have a connection with animals like that. Sounds like your mom had that for real!

Sherry - that is a good question! I hope they can feel our good will towards them at times like that.

SensibleV - it certainly was!

Apple Jack - Gord does have that for sure :) We'll see what happens tomorrow when it's my turn!

Eco Yogini said...

This reminded me when I was younger- we would sit on the patio, surrounded by our 'lego' perches with seeds and wait for the chikadees to come feed. Sigh. My brother could never sit still long enough, but I always had them eating off my hand. IT is truly a spiritual experience (for myself).
Makes me wish we could have a birdfeeder on our balcony (we can't).
I used to sit crouched in the grass waiting for the wild rabbits to come up too... haha. It worked- but does that make me strange? lol

Theresa said...

Wow, birds AND rabbits - very cool!