Friday, February 26, 2021
39.0°F

Daily blessings are the true valentines of our lives

by VALLE NOVAK Contributing Writer
| February 14, 2021 1:00 AM

Most of us who are parents would agree that our favorite valentines are our children. I’m no exception, and Paul, Diane, Grant, Shelley, Keith and Olivia (along with a long line of progeny) are my six all-time winners of the Big Red Heart. Friends come next, and then the love list follows with animate and inanimate subjects/objects.

For me, my four resident cats, followed by a truly fine bottle of great champagne is high up there — (I don’t do well with chocolates!) — and a day of pinochle or Scrabble with my two close-at-hand daughters. I used to love dining out, and maybe I’ll last through the COVID-19 spell long enough to enjoy a few more restaurant visits.

However, every day is Valentine’s Day when you’re a bird-feeder! When I step out around 6:30 a.m. — arms laden with containers of black oil sunflower seeds and wild bird mix, I’m greeted on even the coldest nastiest day with an enthusiastic gathering of “snowbirds!”

I broadcast handfuls in several feeding areas, some spacious open ground, some with tree cover — and by the time I return to the porch to scatter the remainder on the deck, a group of song sparrows is already waiting, barely moving away from my feet as I sprinkle the much-needed winter sustenance for their “daily bread.” I have a huge flock of them, at least 100; out in the yard, all feeding together, it’s a moving mass of softness — pecking, hopping, often suddenly swooping skyward en masse from some scare, with almost instant return.

Next I toss out the peanuts for the waiting Stellars’ Jays — big, noisy, and oh, so beautiful! They share (because they must) with the nuthatches and chickadees, who while eating the sunflower seeds, still enjoy digging into a peanut from time to time. What a fun thing to watch!

Surrounded by so much sweet, feathery beauty and total trust — can anyone say this is not a valentine? Anytime I go out onto the porch — for firewood or other chores — the birds simply make way for my feet — and the air-bound fly around me as though I were not there. Some swoop closely — looking me over — greeting me perhaps? What a gift! No matter what the weather, my heart is light and filled with joy every morning and through the day with the acceptance of these precious creatures. They are true living Valentines — just as our pets are — innocently following the credo of Love (which really does make the world go ‘round!) Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

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(Photo by VALLE NOVAK)

Alpha big brother Tonio Diego Bandito, basks in arms of his smaller (but much softer) twin, Palemoon Longtail.

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Valle Novak