Now that August is ready to leave, the August weather has arrived—hot, dry sunny days and cool evenings. I’ll take it. Better late than never.
Every night that it is nice, Clif and I bring our plates to the patio so that we can eat outside. We know these days are numbered, and we try to squeeze in as many outside meals as possible. Last night, with its deep blue sky and setting sun, was especially beautiful for this. I had made chicken in a slow-cooker, using Farmer Kev’s garlic, potatoes, and carrots. (A recipe will follow next Thursday.)
As we ate, we talked about the day’s events, and we watched the birds come to the two feeders on either edge of the patio. At one point, there was a downy woodpecker, a goldfinch, and a nuthatch all in a row at the brown feeder with its single perch in the front. A male cardinal chirped and came to the feeder. The other birds flew away.
I said to Clif, “Before the cardinals came this year, that brown feeder was what you might call the least-favored feeder. Birds fed from it, but not very often. I hardly ever had to fill that feeder.”
“True enough,” Clif replied. “The tube feeder with all the little perches was the favorite one.”
“The cardinals are new to the neighborhood, and the brown feeder is good for them. Do you suppose their presence encourages the other birds to go to that feeder?”
Clif said, “Maybe the cardinals are trend setters, and the other birds want to eat where they eat.”
Could this be even remotely true?
“Who knows?” Clif said. “It’s just a thought.”
One thing is certain. Before the cardinals nested in the woods by our backyard, few birds came to the brown feeder. Now that the cardinals are eating at this feeder, the other song birds flock to it.
Such are the things we puzzle about as we eat our supper in the late August dusk. Our very own backyard continues to be one of the most interesting places we can be.
But, then, it doesn’t take much to amuse us.
End of August pictures: