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    Hummingbirds and Gold Finches

    I would never have described myself as an outdoor nature enthusiast. But with the help of Herman and my aide Terry, I’m proud to announce I’ve become a Gold Finch and Hummingbird watcher. And it’s right out my bedroom window as well.

    I confess I have to take a back seat to my two cats, Sam and Sally, who are totally enthused watching these creatures from their “50-yard-line seats” on the window sill.

    I have even seen my cat Sally stand on her hind paws, meowing and swatting the window trying to get to them. Sam, the older of the two cats, definitely appears bored by her enthusiasm, although when he used to drape himself over my computer monitor with the aquarium theme, I saw him swat at the screen trying to get to the fish.

    Los Angeles was never a venue for me to have outdoor anything, as I always lived in apartments or houses converted into several apartments. Most of the yard was used for parking spots for the tenants.

    There was also a huge amount of street parking in L.A. There was also a lot of street parking in New York City, but you had to get up very early in the morning to change sides of the road for street cleaning. That idea in itself was kind of hilarious.

    Central Park was often filled with people and their dogs as well as people laying in the sun on blankets. It was amazing the amount of bird activity in the park as well, in a city of that size. There weren’t areas where there were birds per se, but there were a lot of ponds and I remember there were would be interesting ducks, swans and geese swimming around which added to the serenity of the park.

    I didn’t spend a lot of time in Central Park as it is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and I was firmly rooted in Greenwich Village, some 57 blocks south.

    I didn’t see much in the way of birds on the beach in Los Angeles other than seagulls. But they were quite abundant out there.

    When we first lived in the winterized camp that Herman grew up in, there were a number of wild turkeys who would daily march up the driveway to their feeding grounds. We occasionally saw deer, raccoons and possums and of course chipmunks, squirrels and a multitude of birds. We were literally in the woods there and the wildlife was all around us.

    In that environment I had to literally travel between trees to catch any sun and the sunlight would come late in the morning and leave early in the afternoon.

    At the beach house where we are now, there is sun from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the height of the summer and I get to enjoy as much as I want. There are days when I put in 10 hours outside in the sunlight (yes, wearing plenty of 50 SPF sunscreen).

    So wherever you live, enjoy the birds and wildlife and of course the sun.


    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