storing it up


The Chickadees have been busy in the remaining sunflowers. I put a couple large heads on the deck so we can watch the tough little birds do their business. They fly from the garden, to the deck, to the trees where they hide the seed for future consumption, presumably when the cold and snow hits and food is scarce.

A Downey Woodpecker has been watching them and I wonder if he will be the beneficiary of all their hard work.

Like all of nature these small birds seem to work extra hard just to survive. They hide ten times what they will need, because they know most of it will be gone when they need it.

A Turtle lays a hundred eggs and only a small number survive. A tree produces many cones, some fall and lay dormant, some are eaten by birds. Some sprout and are trampled and die or don’t get enough light. Sometimes it takes a lightening strike or fire to clear the brush and let them survive. Without going ‘above and beyond’ perhaps all would have died out by now.


Then there is us. Humans are the cruelest animal, it is our nature to wreak havoc on animals, resources and the natural world, because we feel we are somehow above or separate from the trees and fish and even the coal in the ground. It’s because, like every other living thing, we guard our young. For them, we produce and consume much more than is required. In this moment of time we have gotten too good at being cruel. All of our seeds are still in the trees, we have ten times more than we need, but we’ve killed off all the woodpeckers.

The last 200 years, even the last 2000 years is such a small amount of time for nature. It is our hubris, maybe even our nature and our weakness, to think we are on top, or somehow in control.

3 thoughts on “storing it up

  1. mountaincoward

    My poor little sparrows are under attack from a damned sparrow hawk every day now. I put out food for them as it’s getting really cold now but they hardly dare come out and eat it 😦 I managed to see the sparrowhawk having a swoop at them today and banged on the window to scare it off. Don’t suppose it will put him off for long though…

    We also have a visiting woodpecker and he’s quite amusing. He’ll take over the feeder and the odd brave sparrow will nip onto the other side to try to get a bite. The woodpecker then sticks his beak around and pecks them on the bum. Very amusing to watch!


    1. underswansea

      Birds are great fun to watch. Woodpeckers always try to rule the feeder. Those sparrow hawks, if they are like ours, are a tiny falcon with as much killer instinct. Take care., those rocks are going to start getting slippery.


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