Like most things bloggish, I haven’t written a things thankful in over a month. Must admit with the ramping up of pain, the freezing temperatures keeping me cold-stayed, and various other life happens moments, perhaps I haven’t been as thoughtful and thankful as I could. (I use the word could, on the advice of a therapist, rather than should which is judgmental in my lexicon)
One thing I am daily thankful for and enjoy are the birds who visit our yard.
I’ve mentioned this before.
But I want to highlight birds again because the 2019 Great Backyard Bird Count happens in two weeks. The GBBC organization invites:
“. . . you to participate! For at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 15-18, 2019, simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world, for as long as you wish!”
Once you’ve done your observations:
“enter [your] checklists at birdcount.org. Anyone with internet access can participate, no matter what their skill level—it’s a great family activity, too.”
You don’t need to leave your home. Watch out a window, sitting in a comfy chair, sipping hot cocoa.
If you need a primer on the who’s who of birds, there are lots of sources on the web. For example, e-birds provides a free course on bird identification. Or, Project Feederwatch (of which I am a participant) discusses ways of identifying what you see.
Even if you live in a very urban environment, birds are still a part of the cityscape. I see my physical therapist (specially trained in the kind of therapy I need for my orofacial pain) at the orofacial pain centre which is in a very inner city location. (Though the environs have been somewhat gentrified since I first visited the area to see a pain management specialist over 10 years ago). While I was walking to the bus stop, beginning my long trek home, something caught my eye. “That looks like a hawk coming in for a landing” on the tree planted next to a parking garage. Sure enough, it was! The same species of hawk that regularly uses our backyard as a hunting ground!
I spent a few minutes observing, but not wanting to attract attention I moved on.
This is my year of the hawk. On January 1, a juvenile hawk found a meal in our yard. For a very special 40 minutes, the hawk perched on a branch very close to my kitchen window eating and digesting his/her lunch. I felt very privileged for this close observation, and discovered new things about this hawk’s behaviour. A PBS Nature or NatGeo channel moment.
Now I’m asking for a favour.
I am so moved by the stories of food insecurity here in North America, and around the world. The UNICEF Report on Humanitarian Aid For Children highlights the need for action.
But there are so many who are in trouble around the world and around the corner. I would love suggestions as to how I can take action, and feel I am making a difference. My heart has many holes, and the horrid conditions folks deal with pierces it so deeply.
And thanks to the 10 Things of Thankful project (and Wendy at picnicwithants.com for reminding me of being thankful/mindful) for pulling me out of the self-destroying, self-sabotaging vortex of focusing on my own woes.