Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart Archives

starlings and house wrens and feeding the hungry

We have several bird feeding stations on our deck: suet feeders, a seed cylinder, sunflower seed, and small seed (mostly millet) for our sparrows. In the summer, we trade out one of the 2 suet feeders for a hummingbird feeder, […]


let it snow, or, giving back

I’m hoping you can see all the cardinals in the tree off the deck. Since today is the day my entire extended family is getting together to celebrate Familial Festivus (Christmas/ Hannukah/ Solstice), it feels very much like a white […]


a miracle of starlings

Actually, it’s called a murmuration of starlings. Possibly, as Dylan Winter, the narrator of this amazing clip notes, because of the murmuring of wings. Whatever the source of the name, the actual sight — even reduced to the size of […]


30 Days of Love: creative love and red-shouldered hawks

I love my neighbourhood. Today I saw a hawk twice, with its mate one of those times. Saturday I saw a vixen fox. Her mate loped across our front yard, in broad daylight, around Christmas on a bitter cold snowy […]

goldfinches, titmice, and wrens: what’s your pleasure?

The goldfinches have (finally!) arrived. They’re going through about a feeder of thistle seed every couple of days. My sister, looking out the breakfast room window onto the 1-2-3-4-5-6+ feeding and water stations, wondered aloud what this costs us monthly. […]


I wish I could say I took this picture. But I will say that the hawk sitting on my deck rail looked at me just like this before it flew off. I heard it call while writing at my desk […]

the blues ~

Sometimes I get incredibly blue. Blue as in indigo, deep and dark and find a hole to crawl into. Today has been one of those days… It began — as far too many days do — with aches & pains. […]

death of a blue jay ~

I don’t want to tell you how much of our retirement fund goes for bird seed. Not to mention bird feeders, suet and the containers to put it in, hummer feeders (and sugar for it — we make our own […]

Sofía the sparrow, Barney the blue jay, Fiona the finch, & others ~

One thing you learn when you draw birds: you’ve never reallyseen them previously. How different each one is. I thought I knew the birds on the deck — I can even distinguish a few from each other. But I recognise […]

resolutions, birds, and new beginnings ~

This year’s holidays brought many gifts — some the kind you unwrap, others less tangible. An Amazon gift card — how intangible is that?? — morphed verrry quickly into a book on drawing birds that I’ve been eyeballing for weeks. […]

fledglings ~

I love seeing young birds. Especially moulting cardinal & woodpecker fledglings, scruffy w/ patches of down still cow-licking from their adult feathers. They’re just so cute! We’ve had two waves of cardinals hatching — one already up and eating (some […]

learning to understand ~

I can’t stand my  next door neighbour. There. I said it to the thousands of people who may read this. But it won’t be him, because he doesn’t seem to read much… And yes, that sounds horribly snarky. But really? […]

bird epiphanies ~

Anyone who’s read this blog knows our deck (and yard) are like habitat central. We have multiple feeders: nectar for hummers, in the spring; suet & seed blocks for woodpeckers and wrens (and the ubiquitous grackles); small seed for sparrows, […]

Previous Posts

pebbles, lobsters, and priorities
I went to brunch with my beloved yesterday, to celebrate our zillionth (happy!) anniversary. It was beyond heavenly: all kinds of food I ...

posted 3:33:14pm Sep. 28, 2015 | read full post »

the souls of the others
I don't normally do book reviews, much less book raves. And yet... I just finished a book that captured me completely, Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an ...

posted 3:11:31pm Sep. 20, 2015 | read full post »

the gift of friends
I am blessed with friends far better than I deserve. Colleagues; former students; girlfriends & guy friends; family who have long since blurred that ...

posted 4:35:30pm Sep. 18, 2015 | read full post »

a bowl of weeks
Remember how I told you last week that I was trying to be more mindful of time passing? And about reading in Lewis Richmond's Aging as a Spiritual ...

posted 1:41:33pm Sep. 14, 2015 | read full post »

ode to nieces and nephews
Here you have them: three of my much-loved, and absolutely perfect nieces & nephews. These are my heart-sister's daughter & son, and my niece's ...

posted 8:00:31pm Sep. 12, 2015 | read full post »


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