From my kitchen window and beyond

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I know what amuses me: Standing by my kitchen window (inside the house) and watching all my little friends arrive to feed off one simple little birdfeeder. Yes, I said ONE! The antics I can watch for hours just makes me smile. It’s fun watching a blue jay chasing away everyone as if he was the boss and had to have it all. Just like life, karma will always get you. I just love the picture of the blue jay sitting on my canopy rods waiting his turn as the squirrel does to him what he’s been doing to others and, hopefully, he has learned a lesson here: To be patient and let others have their turn.

That brings to mind another photo where the male and female cardinals, and others, sit and wait patiently while a mourning dove has its turn at the feeder. This is the second year I see the doves actually eat from my feeder. They used to eat seeds falling to the deck but, like the others, they learned to take turns. It’s a simple joy watching a nuthatch come in and leave just as quickly with a seed in its mouth. Some woodpeckers like the peanut butter suet that hangs below the feeder. I especially love the squirrel hanging upside down trying to eat from the suet. I titled this picture, “When life turns upside down, just eat!”

I really love the picture of the mourning dove jumping in my flower basket for seed that fell there. I patiently waited for his head to pop up. When he did, it was PICTURE PERFECT! He stayed there for quite some time with me snapping happily all from my kitchen window.

My picture-taking does take me out in my yard, when the flowers are in bloom or after a recent snowstorm. I watch as a chipmunk runs into the bushes. A robin sits tall in my pine tree. I get the grackles, or the sparrows sitting in my Rose-of-Sharons. The call of their songs can get loud and soon I find myself going further than the back yard.

This can take me to the back trails behind my house at Nutt’s Pond. All walking distance for me (I don’t drive). I see the Canada geese, The great blue heron. Every walk is different with my camera in one hand and my dog’s leash in the other. Some days I see only mallards. The ice was still in and a group got scared by my dog and stayed on the ice like they were having a meeting about us. I do remember one time (only one time) seeing so many mallards and thinking they were getting ready to migrate and they rested here. That was a day where my heart pounded to see so many. I have never experienced this again. I have a picture where you can see many by a log that had fallen. It was an amazing day for me. Time stood still.

Another encounter I experienced at Nutt’s Pond is seeing black dots across the lake that were moving. I knew I had to get closer, and that meant going in the woods with a few friends and mace. After climbing hills and trying not to slip and fall we couldn’t get any closer across the lake. We had to settle for a spot so far away and zoom in. The sound of us stepping on leaves made them take to the water from fallen tree branches. With my zoom I could count 22 heads. The adrenaline was really going and my heart was beating. I told my friends that we had to sit quiet and wait for them to come back to the fallen tree for a better shot. I’ve got patient friends, also. We sat quietly and we got the photos we wanted from so far away. I posted a few of the cormorants on the tree branches. I have yet to see that splendor again. What an incredible day!

I also like going to a cemetery that is walking distance from my home. That can sometimes be adventuresome. I see The great blue heron there, and many Canada geese. I posted pictures of many Canada geese on a hot humid day in the pond with the water fountain going. I’ll never see this again, I thought to myself. Usually they are always fighting and squawking and not one group gets along with the others. This one day was different. I swear, God saves these days for me. When I first came upon them I heard the call of the wild. It was silent. Yes, silent. Not one group of geese fighting with another. Calm and peaceful and getting along. Wow, I guess they, too, are learning life’s lessons – at least for this ONE hot humid day. I haven’t encountered that again.

I follow wild turkeys around and watch them take off like planes. I see frogs and painted turtles on lily pads. It floored me how painted turtles managed to stay afloat on the pads without them sinking. My husband Bob taught me well. “Listen to the call of the wild,” he would say. He taught me how to appreciate nature, even from my kitchen window. I miss that angel of mine, but yet he’s still here with me. I can feel it and I saw it. I knew it the moment I ran into a baby deer so close to home: My babe was with me!

carol-2Gail Durant is the fourth-oldest from a family of 13 children. She has lived in Manchester her whole life with the exception of one year in Hillsboro. She worked for 41 years in shoe shops, laundry and manufacturing and fully retired five years ago. She lost her husband Bob almost three years ago to brain cancer, and is currently writing a book about their love story, Bob’s diagnosis, and the signs she receives from him, to this day. Proceeds from the book will go to charities to help children in some way and also for brain cancer research.  She resides in Manchester with her dog, Miss Spirit (short for Christmas Spirit) and has a daughter she adopted a few years ago, who came into her life at age 7 and is now 40. She has enjoyed photography most of her life, and loves taking random shots, and spinning the thoughts she has into stories, with pictures.

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About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!