birds, beasts, and childhood memories

Winter at Away – bird feeders return to our deck as our not-so-friendly neighborhood bear heads up the mountain for a long nap.

My favorite time – Saturday mornings; with a warm mug of coffee cupped in my hands, I watch as a birdie party takes place on my deck. I think we may be feeding the entire Green Mountain National Forest. I’m okay with that.

On these mornings, I am often reminded of childhood visits to my grandparents home in Arkansas. My grandpa enjoyed feeding the birds, imitating their calls for me. As I set peanuts on my deck railing to attract the blue jays, I imagine him shaking his head. We never did agreed about blue jays.

We also disagreed about these little beasts – but I have since come to understand the error of my ways. Squirrels lose their “cute” status after they’ve taken up residence in your attic – not pleasant. This little bugger came late to the party, missing out on the peanuts. (smile) Yeah, I know – he’s cute… in the tree… only in the tree…

Ella enjoys watching out our slider, too – fascinated by the closeness of the birds. She is a happy, curious little girl.

And while it’s unlikely I will be the cookie-baking grandma, I wonder whether, someday, she will remember childhood visits to her grandparent’s home in Vermont – watching the birds in the winter.

I am joining Eileen for Saturday’s Critters


17 responses to “birds, beasts, and childhood memories”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I think about that often too, What will be my grandchildren’s memories be of me. I didn’t have great relationships with either of mine, one having a stroke before I was born and always bed ridden, and one divorced and dealing with her own struggles. I want to be the “grammy” that I didn’t have, that much I do know.

  2. Eileen Avatar

    Hello Karen, pretty captures of the Titmouse and Blue Jays. The squirrels are cute but, I would not want them in my attic. The little devils! Ella is adorable
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Thanks so much for your comment and visit. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  3. It\'s All About Purple Avatar

    whatever memories she has – they will be wonderful!! maybe you can make soap together (that was unnecessary of me…hehehehe)

    the images of the birds you captured are gorgeous, crisp and clear and snow is always best!!

    little ella is adorable, she looks happy!!

    and just to top your squirrel story, we had raccoons in our attic. got them out, with the help of muskrat jack, and back they came. so many times until we sealed both fireplaces and could not use them, did we finally get rid of them!!!

  4. León Avatar

    Critters in the attic are not fun. I had raccoons when I lived in Ohio and I swear they threw parties up there – directly over my bedroom, of course – in the wee hours every night when they came home from foraging. Then there was the rat in the attic in California. You wouldn’t believe how much noise one small animal can make, and again, always in the middle of the night. I’ve never had to deal with squirrels invading my home, so I still see them as “cute.” I’m fond of blue jays, too, though they can be annoying with their screeching. But I tend to be fond of critters in general. I suspect Ella will have wonderful memories of the time spend at her grandma’s place. Who wouldn’t?

  5. Sandra Favre-Byles Avatar

    So lovely to visit you here, Karen! I love your beautiful bird shots! What a little treasure of a granddaughter you have in Ella! My grandson, of nearly 15, says he cannot remember coming to me when he was very small, but then I show him photos and that jogs his memory. I’m sure they remember the love they feel and the atmosphere of those times with you.

  6. Terri Avatar

    I’m sure she will have loely memories of you and your mountain home. Squirrels are cute, for sure, but I don’t want them anywhere near my house! I took a big chance this year and put out a seed bell, then finally put up my bird feeders. To my surprise, the starlings have left both alone and the cardinals have had a free for all with the sparrows. Your Ella is so cute! Don’t blink- she will be grown before you know it!

  7. Betty Crow Avatar

    Beautiful shots! I wish I had more birds to feed. My feeder has only been refilled once in 10 weeks. So far only 3 varieties have come to visit.

  8. Nanci Avatar

    Your bird photographs are beautiful and I love the snowy background….Perfect winter captures….

    Your Ella is just precious and don’t you worry she will remember all the wonderful ways you were a grandma to her. I love asking my older ones ( 13, and 11) about things they remember and it’s never what you think and often something you don’t even remember which makes it even more special…

  9. Cathy Hubmann Avatar

    Such beautiful birds! I know they love finding those peanuts stuck in the snow. Love that we have an Arkansas connection! I didn’t have much of a relationship with my grandmothers, one bedridden from a stroke and the other mentally challenged. I always wanted to be the grandmother I didn’t have and I think I have accomplished that so far! My five grandsons and I have a wonderful, fun and loving relationship. I know you’ll have the same with Ella. By the way, she is such a cutie!!

  10. Lisa Gordon Avatar

    Ella is just precious, Karen, and I am sure she will have wonderful memories of Away.
    Your feathered friends are beautiful. I especially love the Titmouse.
    They really are such sweet little ones. 🙂

    Have a wonderful week ahead, Karen!!

  11. Angie Avatar

    You have perfectly framed the personality of all your critters …. and the delight on Ella’s face is radiant. I find with our kids and their grandparents, the key is time spent together doing something fun!

  12. Beatrice P. Boyd Avatar

    To answer your question, Karen, I do think that Ella will remember the visits to her grandparents even more so than any home-baked treats (which I don’t do either). Time spent with family always creates memories. I enjoyed seeing the birds snacking and it brought back memories of hours spent photographing them at the feeders outside our VA home and I totally agree with you on the squirrels – nicer to see them in the trees.

  13. betty-NZ Avatar

    You have captured some awesome critters! I’m sure the two-legged cutie will have fond memories of bird-watching, even without cookies!

  14. Michelle B Avatar

    I don’t have any grand children yet (thank goodness, my kid is too young!) but I think our grand kids will remember how it felt to be with grandma more than the activities we do with them. What ever we do, if we do it with love and give them all of our attention they will have fond memories, whatever it is. I am sure your beautiful grand baby will remember the birds too. Those birds are cute, although I have to agree with you about the squirrels….

  15. Jeevan Avatar

    Lovely capture on birds! Visiting grandparents’ home could never be forgotten by anybody and your grandpa sounds sweet 🙂 I’m sure the little girl would be happy checking your photos and here’s a cute image

  16. JoAnn M Bayne Avatar

    Great photos – I do love the Blue Jays. We have three grandsons and I’m so happy when they want to come up and visit – two of them live here locally and the third one lives in West Virginia. I too often wonder just what their memories of Grammy and Grampy will be.Two of them are now teenagers and they still ask to come up and spend the day – so I’m happy with that.

  17. Carola Bartz Avatar

    First of all, these are amazing images. We don’t have blue jays here but scrub jays and while they are sassy guys I truly love them and they often crack me up. I am split over squirrels. One part of me thinks they’re quite cute, the other part is just annoyed by them and that they always steal the bird seed and kill my sunflowers in the summer. We never had them in the attic, but we had a rat in the old house which certainly was no fun at all.

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