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    A Goldfinch Convention in Our Backyard

    I have been recently purchasing some bird food that attracts goldfinches to our birdfeeders. And luckily, the squirrels don’t seem to care for it. So I don’t spend a lot of time yelling out the windows, “HEY!” to the squirrels.

    As soon as I say “HEY!,” Moxie, our Dalmatian, comes running to the window and puts her paws up on the sill to see what’s going on. She is very offended by any creature who puts his or her paws on “her” property. Just as well, she gets offended and often “up in arms” when anyone walks by on our street while walking their dog.

    Sometimes when Herman is walking her, he comes upon another dog and Moxie goes nuts. She’s great with people, but not so great with other dogs. She’s also great with cats as long as she’s been properly introduced. But strange cats, well, they fall into the category of any other creature whose paws dare touch her turf.

    One day in September of this year, there was a gray cat lounging in our back yard. Moxie went nuts. The cat was doing nothing but lying in a sun beam and staring at the crazy dog at the door barking frantically at her. When she got good and ready, she sauntered out of the yard at her own majestic pace. That’s a cat for you.

    And when the goldfinches are flocking to the bird feeders, like a mini-convention. Our two cats, Sally and Sam, sit at the window just three feet away in awe. All those snacks on wings and no way to get to them. Once in a while one of the cats will jump up on the window sill or to the top of the window and scare the flock of birds away. Just asserting that they can still do it I guess.

    I often will spend time watching the finches as they grow fatter thanks to our bird food. It’s a very peaceful habit, watching birds, and I recommend it highly. All that fuss and bother to get a meal which I actually have set out for them.

    The name of the bird food is called thistle seed and it certainly attracts a lot of gold finches and chickadees in this neighborhood.

    I have a hummingbird feeder which I took down one day in late September because it seems the local hummingbirds had flown south. Or at least that is my guess. They hadn’t been around for awhile and it must have been that time of year.

    Also at this tile of year I sadly have to put away my shorts and have to start wearing long pants. But I’ll still be outside every sunny day there is. And I’m happy to say we continue to get a nice flock of finches and chickadees at our feeders. So, happy fall and happy bird watching!

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com