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This is for the birds

OPINION by Jim Davidson | April 17, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

You have probably heard the saying, "He has gone to the dogs." In my case I have gone to the birds -- or at least for the birds -- and I have thrown the squirrels in for good measure. I married Janis a little over six years ago, and she has sold her business and her home and has moved here to my home south of Conway. We love it here. She has a gift for decorating, and by combining furniture from both places and adding a piece here and there we are very comfortable.

Our next-door neighbor is a terrific guy, and he has built a 12-acre lake and landscaped it to where it looks like a park. It just so happens that our house is closer than his house, so we have a great view, and our favorite place is the sunroom on the back of our home that is almost completely glassed in. This is a great place to sit and relax, especially in the evenings. We also have woods nearby with tons of birds, squirrels, and other wildlife. Now, that is the setting, so let me tell you about an experience we had recently when we went to Ohio to visit Janis' pastor son and his wife.

Her son, Roy, and his wife, April, have a beautiful home, and on the back side they also have a sunroom. As we would sit there in the evenings, we began to notice his bird feeders. He also had a special squirrel feeder that holds peanuts in the shell. It was not long until several squirrels, along with the birds, began to take the peanuts. Roy said they would clean it out every day if he would keep peanuts in it. Where they live in Warren in northeastern Ohio, they have a nearby Amish community, and this is where he bought his squirrel feeder.

The following day the four of us went to this Amish community. It was really neat, with their buggies, horses, large loads of clothes on the line, and their special Amish attire. We also stopped by an Amish restaurant for lunch. A little later in the day we stopped at a shop where I was able to buy the same kind of squirrel feeder that Roy has, and I brought it back on the plane. Well, a few days later I went to Walmart and bought about 10 inexpensive bird feeders. I went out to our trees and nailed up some boards to hang the birdfeeders along with the squirrel feeder.

I also bought bird seed, and some with corn for the squirrels. In no time we had birds and squirrels everywhere. I have seen as many as 10 squirrels at one time, along with all the doves, crows, songbirds, red birds, robins, and others that I don't know what they are. One thing I learned is that they will eat you out of house and home if you try to keep all the feeders full every day, as bird seed is not cheap. Now, everyone does not live where they have birds, and I understand that, but what a real joy to take care of God's special creatures, especially in the winter when food is scarce.

When I went to Walmart I was surprised at the wide selection and the quantity they keep on hand, which tells me that a lot of people are feeding the birds and squirrels. I don't know why but there just seems to be a sense of inner peace and satisfaction that comes from doing this. The Bible says that not one sparrow falls from the sky without God knowing about it. If you have children, there is another benefit that comes from feeding the birds. When you do this, it just says to your children that you care. There is not anything we need more in our country than to care, not only for the birds and the squirrels, but also for other human beings.

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