I dare you not to smile.If I were a betting woman, I would win this wager the moment the pitter-patter of tiny feet landed ever so lightly on the palm of your hand.I know I am right because I have done this many times.There is something infectious about close encounters with adorable little birds. Somehow, it is both a calming activity and one that can make you giddy.
We are at the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary walking in the woods with pockets full of seeds, listening gleefully to the chatter of the chickadees fluttering around us.Their perky and nimble friends, the nuthatches are hanging around too, mostly scrambling down the surrounding trees head first as they forage for insects in the bark. Every once in a while one of them darts over for a visit and I hear a human chuckle of pure delight.
Today is not about pushing our physical boundaries or burning calories.It is about slowing down and communing with nature. Gaining the trust of these fluttering creatures brings a sense of contentment and a chance to appreciate the miracles around us.The simple action of sharing a moment with these aerial wonders offers us a temporary reprieve from the whirlwind that is our lives.
We stand silently, our welcoming hands stretched out in hopeful anticipation, willing our feathered friends to come.These social creatures flutter about spreading their contagious light-heartedness from one palm to another. Just listening to their exuberant symphony brings a smile to my lips and an appreciation for the simpler things in life.
Chickadees are spunky little puffballs with acute vision.I watch with amazement as they zoom in on the mixed seeds I am holding and, in the blink of an eye much like skilled magicians, snatch the peanuts leaving the darker seeds behind.Flying back to the branches up above with their heist they add to their winter cache preparing for leaner days.Taking my cue from them, I replace the mixed seeds with a batch of unsalted peanuts.
Trying to photograph these hyperactive cuties can be quite a challenge because for every successful capture there are half a dozen pictures of empty-handed friends with upturned noses standing around like frozen statues.For me this is all part of the fun, almost a sport it itself. Thank goodness photography has gone digital or it would be an expensive endeavour.
As we walk out of the forest towards the parking lot, I look back at our group and sure enough, even the most stoic among us has the hint of a smile on his lips.In fact, I think he might actually be humming.What did I tell you?Those chickadees have a knack for making even the dullest of days brighter.
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