Our Walden Pond

Wife and I live in a 20-unit apartment complex. Ten apartments face the parking lot and a Catholic parking lot. Our side, the back side, faces the thicket shown in the picture. I’ve written about this before, and while it may seem static and redundant to some, it is actually very dynamic, a scene teeming with wildlife.

Management frowns on bird feeders, claiming it will bring forth undesirable plant life in the lawn. Perhaps. But, as you can see, this is nearly mid-January and yet no one has bothered with last year’s leaves. But that’s another story for another time.

I’ve created a bird feeder, a used Altoids can, attached to the backside of the four-foot fence with a brass screw, concealed behind the styles. Management can’t see it, nor can we, but the birds can. And they show their gratitude every morning. I don’t keep it filled on a regular schedule, hoping they will not come to depend on handouts. They do keep an eye out. If we experience true winter temperatures and snow I’ll keep it filled for the duration of the cold snap.

I can’t identify birds as well as my mother and paternal grandmother could. But some of those I recognize are meadowlarks, wrens, blue jays, and a female cardinal. Last summer I spotted the male cardinal, but something must has happened to him since then. I can’t do much to protect them, nor should I. It’s simply life. Some must perish so that others may live.


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