A goldfinch pauses atop the bamboo fountain outside the front window of The Nuthatch cabin.
YOU MIGHT CALL IT “BIRDIE THEATER,” the tableau we’ve set up just outside the sliding-glass door off The Nuthatch cabin’s living room.
Besides spending $30 or $40 a month on birdseed to attract the feathered friends that help keep us old folks entertained day to day, we’ve set up a water feature, a large ceramic tub with a recirculating bamboo fountain. As part of our deck garden, it’s surrounded by draping branches of fuchsia whose hoop-skirt blossoms of crimson and lavender dip nearly into the water.
It’s a hit with the birds in our dry neck of the Northwest woods, ranging from goldfinches to towhees to hummingbirds. It provides a rare source of fresh water in which to dip their beaks or have a good, shake-all-over bath. And it provides us and our guests entertainment that has nothing to do with Netflix or Amazon.
On solstice day here at The Nuthatch (Latitude 48 degrees 48 minutes North), where one cathedral-ceilinged wall is all windows, I awakened when the sky started getting light at 3:45 a.m. The nice thing for us retired types: I could whisper to Barbara, “Good god, it’s getting light already,” and then turn over and go back to sleep for four more hours.
To my Northern Hemisphere readers: Enjoy your summer.
Its tiny wings a blur, flapping at up to 60 beats a second, a female rufous hummingbird pays a visit to the water feature on Center Island.