How to Feed the Birds

chipmunk on bird feeder

Our kitty-cat always starts with the head

You people on antidepressants don’t know what you’re missing. How are you ever going to know who stole your seeds? Personally, I’d rather be just fine for thirty days and then go catatonic in the morning. A certain constellation under a half moon, an overlay of weaknesses that line up with the map.

Before I feed the birds, I have to look outside and see if the coast is clear. A couple of chipmunks or a single ground squirrel can wipe out all four feeding stations before the birds ever have a chance. Sometimes there are jays and chipmunks getting pushy with each other. The key is to have a large bucket of birdseed and keep it filled. Like loaves and fishes.

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • kaye September 28, 2013, 4:55 PM

    Sure we know who stole our seeds! We just find out later then the rest of you. Its not so bad…..when you have cats to help out! I know they are smarter than me…heeee

  • Michael Walsh September 29, 2013, 5:22 PM

    I took a photo of a caterpillar close up and put it on facebook. Did a search and it was highly poisonous. My son got a photo of a huge butterfly. Just beautiful. Camera phones are cool for these opportunities. Going for a week of dirtbike riding in Mt Blue State Park in Maine. Foliage and great people.

    • JHF September 29, 2013, 7:07 PM

      Yeah, I need a camera in my pocket, too. What kind of bike do you ride, Mike? I sorta almost bought a BMW Sertao last year. Never been to Mt. Blue. Do you camp? And do you live in Maine?

      Lotta questions, I know. 🙂 But every time I look at the ad for my late aunt’s house in Vassalboro—which still hasn’t sold—I think about Maine…

  • Michael Walsh September 30, 2013, 2:47 AM

    I have a diesel pickup and tow a enclosed trailer with two bikes. Both Yamaha YZ’s 250. A four stroke and a two stroke. I live in Worcester Mass. Love Maine though. I thought you were gonna fall in love and want a Maine life. Gotta love winter though. I do.

    • JHF September 30, 2013, 8:51 AM

      Hey Mike, thanks for the info! I was really curious about the bikes. Sounds like you know how to have a good time in the great state of Maine. I’ve been through Worcester several times, BTW.

      As for Maine… You may not know, but in ’75 I moved from Austin, TX to Maine. At least that was my intention. I stayed for a while at my aunt’s house in Vassalboro and exhibited my welded steel sculptures at art shows up and down the coast of the Pine Tree state. I was on deck to be caretaker at an isolated farm up in northern ME through the winter, but that didn’t work out, and I eventually drifted down to MD, where I had a chance to stay at my grandmother’s house and get my bearings. Ended up getting a place to live there in Chestertown, as it turned out, and stayed for 25 years.

      I’ve been to Maine a number of times since then and do like it a lot. But in ’99, I wanted to take my wife and me out West, and here we are. You get used to a dry climate amd wide open spaces, and I don’t know if I could ever go back to high humidity and high population density again. If my aunt had only willed the house to me, that might be a different story, but being a Farr, she couldn’t—it would have been “too generous,” if that makes sense to you. In my family, money was always a substitute for love, or what they thought was love, and you had to prove you were worthy of it by doing what they wanted. Didn’t work for me. 🙂

  • Michael Walsh September 30, 2013, 4:36 PM

    I took up motorcycles again after a long hiatus to raise two boys. I was not even looking to resume my passion but fell into a old BMW. That lead to a new Ducati. Then a vintage roadrace bike. I loved the races at Loudon NH. But it wasn’t enough. I got a modern racebike for more seat time. Than a factory GP bike. I added a dirtbike for some fun. Then another for guests. I did make it out to NM to live but didn’t stay. I missed home and family and the fellowship of AA. So I went home. I am glad I tried it even though it wasn’t for me so I don’t spend my life wondering. I will be back up in NH at Gunstock this winter chasing my dream as a ski instructor. In NH I am only 99 miles from home so I make the trek often. It doesn’t seem like I am so far away and alone. I will come back to New Mexico some day to ski Taos, Red River, Angel Fire.

    • JHF October 1, 2013, 10:44 AM

      I love this! You have a lot more motorcycle experience than I do. I don’t ski, either. I wish my dad had taken a hiatus from drinking and fighting with my mother to raise his kids. Would be happy to meet you someday, Mike. I’d say buy you a beer, but I guess that’s out. Thanks for stopping by.

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