Goldfinches return–it must be spring!

Goldfinch enjoying nyger seed at our backyard feeder.

Goldfinch enjoying nyger seed at our backyard feeder.

Dave filled our bird feeders to the top last weekend.  What perfect timing!   We have two–one for the sparrows and chickadees and one for the finches–and chickadees as well.   The squirrels are foiled by the sparrow bird feeder–they really cannot get onto or into that model! It is smooth all over and the lid screws down tight, so they are flummoxed.  It isn’t easy to flummox a squirrel.  They may be rodents, but they would take over the world if they could figure out how to cross a street.  Some of the seed invariably drops to the ground, for the enjoyment of pigeons, mourning doves and other ground feeders.

Our long wire mesh feeder is filled with nyger (a kind of thistle) seed.  The individual seed is tiny, but doesn’t fall out of the feeder easily.  The top of this feeder also screws down tightly, so the squirrels hang on it and can pull out seeds, but cannot dig into it.  Wednesday we saw a pair of goldfinches on the feeder. The iridescent golden yellow of the male, the subtler yellow brown of the female–hooray!  That is the whole reason I bought that feeder.  After reading in the local paper a few years ago that if I put out a thistle feeder, goldfinches would come, I had to have one.  Just like the baseball field of movie legend, the promise came true.  By the middle of summer we will have three or four goldfinch couples feeding in our yard.  Somehow they work a deal with the squirrels, because we see our furry neighbors as well.

The robin’s nest in our flowering crab out front still has the robin’s nest from last year.  We don’t know if they return to the same nest.  I’ve heard the robins outside, but don’t know when to expect them to start raising a family.  We were surprised they nested right by the front door last spring, other than the fact there are just the two of us, Dave and I, coming and going most of the time.

Spring is everywhere, in the midst of strong winds and the threat of snow on Monday.  What would April be if we didn’t get snow?  The crocuses are pushing through the bricks, the morning glories are sprouting.  Tulips have shoots and the crab tree has buds. Our honeysuckle is greening up as well.  With so many windows in our house, I can track hourly the growing of shoots and buds!  There are some advantages to growing older–having time to pay attention to details.

Yesterday we went to the park with our grandsons. We grilled some brats and hot dogs, much appreciated by all.  We ate too many potato chips–the reason we never buy them except for special occasions.  Boys are amazing–climbing, running, jumping, digging.  They had a great time, as did we.  If felt good to feel the sun on our backs.

Later on all of us gathered at Jen and Rich’s house for a hamburger cookout.  This get-together opened the season of fun times together for celebrating lots of birthdays and special occasions.  The Cousins–Julia, Andrew and Beck–ran from back to front, playing, digging, kicking balls, performing a “show.”  It is always gratifying to see everyone together again.

Three cheers for the grass, the trees, the flowers and the growing of children and family bonds.  Renewal abounds!