Wool, wings and wonderment


So we bought this big ball made of twisted sticks and filled with alpaca wool and hung it in the tree. It goes well with the little basket that we bought last year. It seems, indeed, that we have become friends of the birds. And we love it!

I look at the nesting material within this crazy looking ball of wool and wonder why we didn’t create something like this long ago. You know that feeling you have when you walk into a store and find something that costs a small fortune and is a really great idea and wonder why someone in your family or you didn’t come up with the idea before?

Well, that’s more or less the way I feel when I look at these two things hanging in the tree.

The little basket is a refuge/escape for little birds being pursued by some critter like that nasty Steller’s jay that hangs out in our back yard. We have never seen any bird go into it but feel satisfaction knowing that they have an escape room.

So now we have this big ball of fuzz that the hummers seem attracted as it is nesting time. We like to think that we are indeed feathering (wooling) nests. Alas, it seems we fall for birdy accessories, but then we don’t have a dog.

I know I often talk about birds, but you don’t grow up on Neff Road without having a deep appreciation for the sweet things. However, having said that, I do find it weird that long ago we sat listening to birdcall records at Granddad Loxley’s house. It might have been a bit odd, but then a bird hidey-hole might be a bit off track as well.

Perhaps it is retirement that makes one more aware of the joy of birds. Perhaps it is entertainment for those wondering ‘what would you like to do today’ when all days run together. For me, it was born in me along with the smell, the feel, the very soil of Neff Road. Dad could whistle bird songs. He would whistle to a singing bird then tell me to listen. A duet between a songbird and a songster. I wonder if that makes my grandmother Whistler’s mother. Ah, but I get sidetracked once more.

I will be heading to Indiana/Ohio this summer to spend time with my sister June. Once more I will sit and marvel at the cardinals that for some reason cannot fly over the Mississippi River to Oregon. Fireflies have that same problem. Of course, their wings are shorter. I will listen to the songs of different songbirds as I watch the orioles, which are more colorful than ours, flit by. And, once more I will be home.


By Pamela Loxley Drake

On Neff Road

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of On Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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