When I lived on the 16th floor of a
high rise, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to feed the birds. Even if I could, I’m not sure I wanted birds frequenting my balcony, especially if the birds were of the seagull variety. Toronto
I had lived in the country in another life and at times found the city overwhelming, all that concrete, noise and activity. When I needed to get away I often drove to St. Jacobs for the day. I know, I know, it was still shopping and lots of people, but it was different. And the drive to get there, on the back roads, was very peaceful.
There was a store in the village that specialized in birdfeeders and all things birding. I was intrigued with the handcrafted birdfeeders and wanted to make some of my own. Single mother, high rise, no tools, it wasn’t going to happen.
Years later, we had a trailer and spent weekends in a lakeside park. I made trips to Beaver Lumber to collect free wood from their scrap bin, and bought myself a hammer and a hand saw. At the park I walked along the beach collecting interesting pieces of driftwood.
I spent the weekends cutting and hammering those scrap pieces together, embellishing my creations with bits of natural wood, and made myself some birdfeeders. My kids were preteens at this time and easily embarrassed, and particularly embarrassed by their mother playing ‘carpenter’ where all could see.
They had no respect for my creative endeavours.
I have a birdfeeder now, though I regret it’s not handmade.
From where I sit at my computer, or in my comfy chair, I have a front row view of my feeder through the picture window. It’s a calming thing, a visual break from the computer screen or whatever craft I’m working on.
Birds are fascinating. They flit in from the trees, hover at the feeder and fly away. In the mornings I wake to their songs, and watch them breakfast at the birdfeeder.
As I write this, I remember all the ideas I had for feeders and think I just might have a new project for the summer. I’m a block from the lake with an ongoing supply of driftwood, and I know the lumber store still offers scraps for free. And bonus, there’s a workroom in my building that is loaded with tools.
The kids each have homes and families of their own now; I bet they could use a handcrafted birdfeeder. I’ll have to get busy.