My good friend is a backyard bird enthusiast. He has been feeding birds for many years and in winter provides a heated bird bath. The birds have responded to his welcoming garden: they visit all day long and eat generously from his several feeders. His secret is consistency and variety. The feeders are always filled and they each contain different types of seeds. I admire his efforts and the calm, loving approach to providing this oasis. A well-used bird identification book sits near the window and he knows every type of bird visitor, even the rare ones.
When I visit his home I am settled as much by the birds as the nature of their care. Life can be fast-paced with much attention to media (such as blogging!). Any opportunity to pause and really take in your surroundings is vital. Happiness really does come from doing things which bring perspective and joy.
Some of the most frequent visitors to my friend's feeders this time of year are Pine Siskins (top) and Black-Capped Chickadees (bottom).