The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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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

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Birds Are Back - Saving Money with 50 Pounds of Corn



Norma Boeckler mentioned how many sunflower seeds her birds had eaten already. I figured correctly that our birds would be hungrier once the cold weather arrived. But this is hardly winter. We have morning frosts that melt away, supposed snow that melted on arrival - never saw it. The days are sunny and warm with  brilliant blue skies.

However, the hard frosts have killed off the insects that move, cutting back on the menu for birds. I work across the street from a seed and feed shop, where the prices are far lower than a hardware store's, with greater variety.

I will buy a bag of corn ears for when our grandchildren will stop by. It is fun to see a squirrel sitting at his chair and eating his corn. In fact, when I stopped filling them last summer, empty cobs were carefully laid out where I would see them, near the regular bird feeders, not at the foot of the tree. That made me laugh, but not hard enough to spend $7 for a bag of corn ears.

That ends up being the price of 50 pounds of corn. I wanted that for two reasons:

  1. Squirrels are going to fill up on sunflower seeds if they have no corn.
  2. Bluejays really enjoy corn kernals, and I like bluejays.


I was spreading around corn and getting limited attention from the birds. I bought a large bag of black oil sunflower seeds and generously spread them around the Jackson Bird Paradise and the feeders near the house. I also spread some Walmart peanut butter on a metal holder.

The sunflower seeds were ankle deep (for a bird) in the hanging platform. The sun was out and the birds arrived.

  • First five goldfinches sat there eating away, very happy. A house finch joined them.
  • Second, a chickadee or two landed on the platform. Some birds began to line up on the Jackson EZ Bird Swing.
  • Third, a woodpecker also stopped by for food.
Last summer I found some attractive, slender stumps to plant in the Jackson Bird Spa area. The stumps provide a four-season place for feeding, since birds and squirrels feel more safe when they have a perch. They also photograph better.

Each day I put corn or sunflower seeds on the stumps. I will add peanut butter today.

That Spa expanded into the Paradise, which normally includes a large platform for feeding, several baths, and the potential for nests in the blocks holding up the clear plastic platform. I needed to move all the baths to the back half of the backyard, because all the cardboard was threatening to blow away in the wind. Now the cardboard is quite soggy, so the danger has passed.

The suet is old but still being eaten. When I get near the meat market again, I will buy a few pounds of suet to share with the birds. Suet is perhaps the cheapest food of all, because a pound goes a long way and is loved by all insect-eating birds.