Tampa Homebody

Gifts from my Garden

– Posted in: Gardening, Tips, Thrills & Tales
Birds have real estate needs too!

“The weather outside is frightful” – at least for us warm-blooded Floridians. In order to help protect my plants from our dipping temperatures, I knew I needed to cover and water them. So, just before dark the other evening, I hooded myself up like a little mummy and made my first seasonal pilgrimage into the cold.

As I pulled and wrangled my water hose around a pyramid of pots and plants, I finally got myself settled enough to start the chore of watering (hard work, don’t you know?) Soon, my mind was wandering … with thoughts of what I still needed to do … when I needed to mail packages … what needed to be baked next … and the list went on and on …

Suddenly, I thought I saw something to my right, in my peripheral vision. I did not see a puddy-cat, but surely … there was something there. As I moved from one plant to another with my cold drift of water, I looked up and saw this most beautiful wood-pecker! The coming of winter had brought this sweet creature looking for warm shelter, and luckily for me, it was right outside my back door! We just stood there – the both of us – staring at each other with awe.

My fine-feathered friend was beautiful. Only his head and neck were visible; for the hole to his home was just big enough so that you could not see the rest of his body. He had found refuge in our cold weather in a Palm tree that had died a few years ago. We sawed it down just enough to put a bird feeder on the top of it. It was a perfect home for my friend, and he did an excellent job on the construction of his entrance and door frame. He did not appear to need a security system, as he looked to be on guard at all times!

I was so thrilled with my adventure and the sighting of my little friend that it made me smile throughout the remainder of my watering task. He made me forget all about my pending “to-do” list, and all the other hoopla that goes along with the stress of the holidays. I was jubilant, happy and giddy … all because of the sighting of this one beautiful creature. He was a Gift from my Garden, and was adorned with red on the back of his head – all in a holiday theme.

While I do enjoy the flurry of activities during the holidays, I found that this one precious moment brought it all into perspective. I love my home, my nest … if you will. It brings me comfort and peace. It is a place where I can quietly enjoy all the beauty that Gold bestows upon us, in creatures both big and small. My wood-pecker friend had reminded me to welcome the season with reverence and joy. Of all the wishes and wonder this holiday season, his visit will be my most precious gift.

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