The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream


NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Birds Learn Gratitude at the Feeder When Ice Coats Their Food

The nuthatch was created to find bugs in bark,
so it easily runs up and down trees, eating pests.

Monday morning was snow and ice-covered, which is when birds need food the most. Snow is not a big problem. They rummage through several inches of snow to get what they need, and bugs are easy to find on tree bark and in bushes.

The ice was all over the Town Car, a thick layer more like iron, and scraper did little damage to it. That is bird-feeding weather.

Undaunted, Sassy Sue and I went into the backyard and dumped sunflower seeds and meal worms at the Jackson Bird Spa.

When birds and squirrels are hungry, they are no longer so picky about their food. They flock around every food source and raise a ruckus, letting the others know where the food is. We normally have squirrels eating in the presence of birds, with little scraps going on. Starlings charge other starlings as they compete for seeds and suet.

I started the suet bags months ago, assuming it would take time for them to feel safe to the birds. Now the insect-eaters flock to  the hanging bags - and swing, eat, fuss, and fight. Starlings make a happy burbling sound when feeding, so we open the window and listen to them.

Purple finches and chickadees love the sunflower seed feeder near our window.
The position of the feeder makes it difficult for larger birds to land and eat.

Sparrows will always clean up.

Starlings, wasps, and hornets are often despised,
but they are the premier enemies of bugs.
One moment the birds are all there. Soon they leave as a group. Now a male cardinal is sitting in the pile of sunflower seeds, picking out his meal.

Male cardinals are especially cautious, so they either show up in groups (before mating season) or feed one at a time when the big crowd is gone.

Creating the new normal, step by step,
until no one can object without being vilified.
Romans 1 fulfilled. 2 Thessalonians in spades.


Feeding During Hostile Weather Is Good for the Birds
The food we offer birds before, during, and after a storm helps them get through the cold weather. They use up more calories in cold weather and find it harder to eat. They may be just as starved after an ice storm as the snow-shovelers are after clearing the walks. Therefore, extra food means more of them will live through the cold weather.

People chatter their teeth about minus 20 wind chills in New York, but we had minus 60 in Southern Minnesota for two weeks. That devastated flocks of winter birds.

I had flat window sills outside and lined them with seed. In the aftermath of crippling snow storms, the squirrels would get on the sill and eat as if it was their last meal. A squirrel that only ate the best corn was happy to chew kernels out of the ice on the sill.



No Gratitude in the Past
America had little or no gratitude for its blessings in the past. We had traditional, Biblical congregations where people worshiped instead of eating popcorn and drinking cola.

We took our freedoms for granted, as if we would always have them.

God created a land where freedom could flourish and citizens could enjoy prosperity from abundant food, mineral, and water resources. Scientists have not figured out how this happened (apart from God's will) but the breadbasket of the world developed without trees, which should have grown up in the Great Plains. The trees had to be imported, so the earliest settlers lived in sod houses. Yuk.

America was almost solid woods from Connecticut to Ohio, but all that stopped at the Great Plains, where prairie grasses with enormous root systems grew, fed the buffalo, got manured, burned in occasional fires, and grew again - building layer upon layer of rich humus soil.

The soil was like pudding in the Midwest. When people jumped from their wagons, the soil showed the shock-waves, like a giant water bed. The only time I have created that effect has been when an entire compost pit was filled with rich sod and rotted.

No one other place has top soil 20 feet deep in places. The European settlers added one more factor. They brought the energetic their earthworms  with a Protestant work ethic. These earthworms spread rapidly and plowed the soil long before John Deere created his polished steel plow. The richness of the soil was a problem, until he solved it and created an industry, a company that defined my hometown of Moline.