When we moved into our current home, the view from my kitchen window was of the neighbour’s garage.
Nice neighbours. Ugly garage.
Since I spend so much time in my kitchen, I wanted to see something beautiful when I looked out my window so, bit by bit, we improved the view. We extended the fence with lattice and trained some Virginia Creeper to grow through it. We planted an apple tree and a couple rose bushes and other perennials. And, last summer, I painted the garden shed.
I love colour and had a lot of fun picking out some vibrant paint for the door and trim that would uplift me even when I looked out my window in the dead of winter. And dipping my brush in the paint and applying that vibrant colour was so much fun! There’s something heart-opening and soul-expanding about slapping colour onto a canvas, no matter what that canvas might be.
I like for things to be functional as well as beautiful so the fact that this shed housed our garden tools fit the bill, but the piece de resistance of my vision was a shelf above the shed’s door that would hold the sweet, little bird feeder I had found at Victoria’s Flowers and Gifts.
The feeder had proved popular with the neighbourhood birds when I placed it on a log in the back yard. But it wasn’t in a place where I could easily sit and watch my feathered friends as they kibbutzed around the feeder. Nor was it the safest spot around. In fact, a few area birds have met their untimely demise thanks to our cat, Kally, so I thought moving the feeder to this shelf out of reach of her claws would not only keep them safe, but would provide me with free entertainment while I washed my dishes.
Shed painted, shelf installed, I filled the feeder, bought a couple of bird seed cones from my son’s band fundraiser, and was eagerly looking forward to some beautiful times communing with the birds.
I was very pleased with the way it turned out.
Unfortunately, the birds were not as enamoured as I was.
They didn’t come.
In fact, they stayed away in droves.
I’m still not sure why.
Perhaps the shelf is tucked up too high. Maybe it’s too far away from the safety of the trees. Maybe they no longer like the food. Perhaps they feel too exposed or don’t want anyone watching them as they dine.
Maybe they prefer the adrenalin rush that comes from snatching a bite to eat from under the nose of the cat.
Whatever the reason, I have not seen one bird perch on my shelf all winter.
Not one bird.
Other than these, of course:
Maybe I’ll strategically place a few branches on the shelf to make it feel more tree-like.
Or maybe I’ll just forget about trying to lure the birds to a place they apparently don’t want to go.
Even though my vision hasn’t turn out exactly as planned, I’ve already got a lot of enjoyment out of the project. Planning it was fun. Painting it was a joy. And I do still get to enjoy the colours every time I look out my kitchen window.
Maybe that’s enough.