Thursday, August 23, 2012

Food for the Birds

My boys love to climb trees. We have been blessed so far in that the worst climbing-related injuries we've endured have been a few scratches. So I let them climb. I love to hear them discuss from above how big the yard looks from up there. I love to hear how they squeal when they climb right past a spider web. I loved the delight I heard when they discovered an old bird's nest.

They marveled as they observed how different materials were woven around and secured together with a paste of mud. I was so proud as my nature explorers looked, but did not touch, taking in all they could of this tiny litte home up in a tree.

As the boys descended, we were able to talk about the types of birds likely to have nested in our backyard trees. We talked too about how bird families care for each other, building a secure nest, sourcing and preparing food, teaching their young to fly. I talked lovingly about a fictitious family of birds as I thought about my role in rearing my own children, preparing them for a world that would have proverbial wind storms and backyard dogs.

My tender-hearted children wanted to welcome birds back to this tree for another season. As the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, birds will soon fly through our mild state in search of warmer winters. So we settled on a simple bird feeder of yarn and Cheerios - a snack and building supplies for another nest. We hung our feeders in the climbing tree and will keep our feet on the ground for a few days, giving the birds a chance to enjoy. Hopefully next year, we will find new nests and new feathered friends.

In what ways do you help your little ones connect to nature right in your backyard?

This post was linked up at Natural Suburbia's Creative Friday Link-Up.

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