Backyard Pauses

a young chipping sparrow fresh from the nest

© Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine…


Most every day I lie down for a short afternoon nap.  It is invigorating, relaxing, rewarding and necessary.  You see, I have a disorder; it’s known as aging.  You take dis and dat and you put dem all together and you end up with disorder.  So I take a nap every day and hereby recommend you take a small dose of naptime every day too.  Now that we have gotten past that, you’ll see where I’m headed with this.  Smile now!

Today while resting from my disorder, I relaxed and thought of all sorts of things.  My mind was about to conk out when I heard a strange noise coming from the back yard.  It was a bird call, one that I don’t remember hearing before.  It was repetitive and loud, almost parrot-like.  My cockatiel, Jake, was in his cage, so I knew it wasn’t him.  I was going to look it up in my bird book when I got up but forgot exactly what it sounded like!  It could have been a catbird.  They like to mimic sounds that they hear.


Anyway, the thought occurred to me that while I was lying still and hearing strange bird noises, I would listen for familiar birds to enhance my awareness of our backyard locals and visitors.   The ever present sparrows were chirping cheerfully from their lofty perches.   I do believe the sparrow family has had a healthy summer, what with the many cousins and kin we have seen at the feeders and nest boxes.  The house sparrow outnumbers the others in this area.  The cutest of them all I find is the white-crowned sparrow.  The little white caps atop their heads look like knitted winter hats!

white crowned sparrow

The tiny house wren and Carolina wren are ever present, along with the comical chickadees.  Almost absent now are the blue jays, with only one pair continuing to call this home.  They used to be all over the place, interfering with the other birds and being neighborhood bullies.   Cardinals are singing their stiletto calls, and the purple house finches are thriving so radiantly. I can’t leave out the coo-coo of the mourning doves; it is such a relaxing call, almost a hypnotic lullaby.


There are many other species out there but most don’t come too close to the house.  Bluebirds, goldfinches, swallows, purple martins, woodpeckers, and nuthatches are frequently seen.  Robins are scrounging up the last of the worms before frost time, and the ruby-throated hummingbirds have just vacated the homestead, winging their way to Mexican winter vacations.  There you have it, the bird symphony my ears listen for, to know all is well in the back yard.


So–if upon one’s mid-afternoon, you come across an urge to curl up to some relaxing music, just go lie down and take a nap. . . .and listen.  It’s good for your dis-order and the symphonic sounds are out of this world.  Guaranteed!

Peace . . .


4 comments on “Backyard Pauses

  1. Jeanne – This is a special post and your photos are magnificent. We lived in NC for 2 years and I had several bird sanctuaries and loved all the sounds and scattering several different kinds of bird seed daily. We don’t have many birds as we’re a new neighborhood. I’ve had several bird houses and bird feeders + baths out since we’ve been here 14 years. Just 2 yrs ago I started seeing a few birds and the hummers finally showed up. It’s been a slow process but I have hope and faith.

  2. Love the birds. They make me smile … even those bully blue jays. 🙂

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