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Just Outside My Door

December 26, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

A new year is a magic chest

Untold wealth is in it:

A golden chain of precious hours

Every link a minute.

Tears and laughter, sadness, song

Jeweled gems that lend

Richness to the legacy...

Ours to keep or spend.

A new year is a magic chest;

The gift of time is in it.

So guard it well, and do not lose

One precious, golden minute!

-Rachel Van Creme

How true that poem is and I would add, "put a watch upon you lips."

And let no iniquity have dominion over me. Remember that words spoken can never be erased.

Every year many folk make New Year's resolutions, but I don't because I don't know what the up-coming year will bring. Moreover, I would no doubt break at least one of them before the first week of the new year ended. I do however, try to live each day as if it were the last day of my life and trust God for the future.

As I ponder the up-coming new year, I'm reminded of the many blessings we've had the past year and one of them has been watching the birds just outside our back door.

We've been observing them for many years, especially in winter. It's amazing how many of them visit us daily. One day last week I counted two dozen juncos, sometimes called snow birds, gorging on the black oil sunflower seeds that had fill the feeders. The most colorful birds are the bright red male cardinals, especially when they perch on the snowy trees or on the ground. The contrast against the snow is spectacular. Their mates are less colorful, but they are still notable. The blue jays, dressed in part blue and white, add their own beauty and sometimes there are six or more landing on the feeders, making the smaller birds quickly fly away. The various woodpeckers are probably the noisiest of the crowd followed by the blue jays and chickadees. I especially enjoy the rather timed titmice that depart quickly when they see me in the kitchen window. There are also a number of sparrows and more.

One species of birds that I haven't seen since 1988, except for a few that arrived last year for just a few days, are the evening grosbeaks. They are a part of the finch species and are about the size of a robin, dressed in yellow, white and black. Although they were pretty they scared the smaller birds away from the feeders and quickly devoured all the seeds. I had not seen any if them, except for a few that came for a short time last year. I had wondered why they never come these days, but that question was answered in my recent "Bird Watcher's Digest."

The article stated that evening grosbeaks are a nomadic species from the north. Although in the late 20th century they came here in large groups, for some unknown reason very few, if any, have come in recent years except a few arrived last year for a very short time. However, it is predicted that we will see more of them this year. Perhaps there is a lack of food further north. If so they will possibly come to our area in search food. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile many other species are enjoying our buffet from early morning until dark.

If you want more information about grosbeaks or other birds check out the publication "Bird Watcher's Digest." They are available in some libraries, stores and on the Internet.


December 26: Belen Luray Damcott, Dawson Freligh, Jameson Irwin, Arden Ohlsson

December 27: Harry Waite, Jordyn Warren

December 28: Amanda Chambers, Michael Courtney, Mikayla Alice Martin, Colin Palmer, Daniel Robertson, Amy Swanson

December 29: Kirk Ayers, Kyle Barnes, Angelea Briggs, Christopher Ray Endress, Baylee White

December 30: Roger Thomas Hatfield, Soraya Raven, Michiale Raven

December 31: Rebecca Blumn, Christopher Crane, Danny Hurlbut, Sara Wengerd, Tammy Weise,

January 1: Carlie Marie Gable


December 27: Steve & Cheralee Rater

December 30: Danny& Amber Hurlbut

Decmber 31: Zachary & Breeanne Agett, Kevin & Cheryl Cole, Hewitt & Coleen Meeder, Torsten & Manuela Mietko

January 1: Dave & Janet Dawley



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