Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

We could use a smile


Things have gotten kind of crazy here in the States. No matter which side of the virus crisis argument you stand, it’s gotten crazy. I feel like I need to write something about all of this, but I also think we all need to stop and take a deep breath and maybe even smile.

This guy is a red-bellied woodpecker, showing off his red belly.

So, for now, I’m going to go for the smile.

Yesterday I took my neighbor out to my favorite park to feed the birds. She and her husband have just moved into the neighborhood and I’ve told them about the experience of having wild birds land in your hand.

The usual suspects stopped by for a snack.

This week we both had time to spend out there, and the timing was good. The sandhill cranes are back and the red-winged blackbirds arrived just a couple days ago.

This couple greeted us soon after we got out of the car.

Both are hungry.

I told her that the blackbirds wouldn’t come sit on our hands, they are always interested in the food happenings but will usually wait around until we move off and then go in for the leftovers. Just as I was saying this a huge blackbird landed on my hand.

“Thanks, Lady, this peanut is irresistible!”

I guess they were really hungry, because several of them swarmed around for a treat. I’ve never had them come in like that before, and it was pretty cool.

Of course the cranes were intent on getting lunch too. As we were feeding the little birds these two sauntered up the path behind us.

The cranes that welcomed us to their park stopped by to see if we had anything good.

We had seen them over by the parking lot, but apparently they were interested enough in us to follow us as we made our way into the woods.

We wandered through the woods, over hills and across streams. Just about everywhere we stopped little birds came flying. It was so much fun!

On our way back to the car I noticed these three coming to see us at a fast jog.

“It’s a race! Whoever gets to those ladies first gets the best treats!”

They were absolutely beautiful, look at the colors in their heads…

They almost look fake.

…and in the feathers on their back. The sun wasn’t even out and they still glowed.


Speaking of bird heads…I was speaking of those right? Look at these two closeups of the crane heads….one of them had more feathers making the red part look like a heart.

A heart shaped forehead.

And the other in this particular pair didn’t have similar facial feathers at all.

A more streamlined face.

I wonder if one is a female and one is a male…or is one just different?

Now, a turkey head…well…these are just weird. I think Dr. Seuss designed the turkey.

“What you looking at lady?”

Anyway, we had the best time, and we were serenaded out of the park by another pair of cranes in conjunction with our new best friends, the three turkeys!

Do you see them? They’re both screeching. The turkeys behind us were gobbling. It was pretty intense.

My neighbor shared our stories with her husband and he wanted to experience it all for himself. So this morning we headed back out. Today we had blue skies and big puffy white clouds and a lot of wind.

We were met by the parking lot greeter cranes.

Nom nom nom…

And then we ventured back into the woods. At first it took a lot to entice those little birds to come out of the trees for a treat.

“I’m not sure I’m coming down there, people!”

But eventually we found a spot with lots of the little guys and we spent a long time letting them flit around us looking for good stuff.

“Thanks, mister!”

And of course a pair of cranes came wandering up to see if we were worth investigating.

“Good stuff hiding under these leaves!”

So we had two days of smiles this week which, thankfully, eclipsed all the news on television. I guess things will probably get worse before they get better, but as long as we have retreats like this to escape into, we’ll get by just fine.

The sun always comes back.

I hope you are all finding something to smile about too. If you do, share them in your blog and link back to Trent’s smile post. He’ll post a recap on Monday of everyone’s smile.

These days sharing smiles is something of a public service.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

46 thoughts on “We could use a smile

  1. These beautiful photos definitely made me smile just as all the desert blossoms are making me smile. We’ll be okay if we don’t panic and use our heads. But nothing to take lightly there for sure.


    • I’m seeing way too much panic and I’m working at not being sucked in. I didn’t buy 2 weeks worth of food last time I went to the grocery, didn’t think this was really going to be this big. So in a couple days I’m going to have to go back to the store and see what I can find. Maybe some of it will be restocked by then. Otherwise we’re going to have to eat odd things out of the pantry.


  2. That’s awesome! What a fun experience. We are currently at our last art show for the winter, and thankfully this one didnt get cancelled like all the others around here. Then back out to the desert we will go.


  3. What a great neighbor you are! I had to laugh at your comment about the turkey. Yeah, poor guy. But he sure has pretty colors! I am amazed at the birds that eat out of your hand. We have to duck and cover when the osprey are in the sky, but that’s about it for birds. Thanks for the smiles, Dawn. You are right–so badly needed right now.


  4. I didn’t know you could feed cranes like that! I mean…their faces are sharp 😂 There is a couple of them who live on the edge of a farmers field here right by the woods. They are always milling around there year after year. The guy built them an enclosure of sorts out of sticks that looks like a big teepee. And they keep returning to it no matter where they go!


    • I’ve been going out there and feeding the birds for years. I’ve never let a crane eat out of my hand because their beaks looks so big and sharp. I always tossed them some seed on the ground, which they gobble up But this week my neighbor, who had a glove on, let them eat out of her hand the they were so delicate and careful as they selected a peanut, that I let them try out of my gloved hand too. The turkeys, on the other hand are quite assertive and will snap at your hand…so they’re not going to get another chance at being hand fed!


  5. This is waaaaayyyyyyy better post that focusing on what happening with the WHO. A splendid way to spend time with new neighbors.


  6. Very cool. We don’t have the Sandhill Cranes here on the east coast and I don’t remember them ever making it to Ohio when I lived there (or visit). The redwing blackbirds are very pretty, and the one on your hand is great. I do see a lot of turkey, but they usually try to avoid me…

    Anyway, glad you have woods and birds to make you smile! 🙂


    • The turkeys around my house are very skittish, I haven’t ever been close to them. But those at this particular park are way too tame. They ran down a long lane at full speed to catch up to us when they saw (or smelled?) us feeding little birds. I think Ohio has sandhill cranes now, pretty sure anyway. The blackbirds ARE pretty, but here on my feeders they are pigs! They will empty a feeder of oilers in an hour. I am currently putting some oilers out for them and then when they eat those I am putting out safflower seed that all the other birds like but they don’t, so somebody else gets some food.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow!! Wonderful post. I’d like to go on one of those outings with you. This sure did make me smile. I think you’re right about it being a public service. It’s so good to be reminded that life goes on, no matter what’s happening with the humans on the planet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would love to have you and M here, any time! You would both enjoy it. Of course we get more bird participation in the winter when there’s less other food for them, but any time of year I can usually get them to come down and eat.


  8. What a WONDERFUL smile!! I was just sitting here thinking how crazy this world has become and decided to see what’s up here and YES!! I found your wonderful smile post. I just LOVED every photo, what a sanctuary, and so amazing how the birds fly and eat out of your hand. That’s so cool!! ❤️ thanks so much for sharing! Here’s to smiling! 😃


  9. SO cool! I’ve only ever had a chickadee land on my hand. Would love to get up close and personal with the cranes. Great post and thanks for the smiles.


    • The cranes can be sort of intimidating, they are almost as tall as I am! But they are very gentle. Of course I don’t move fast or do anything to startle them. And when they have babies we stay far away.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, I’d love to feed birds like that. Guess the dogs can’t go there.


    • No, no dogs allowed on these nature trails, though there are a lot of other places at this very big park where dogs are allowed. Mostly I take Katie to other parks though, where there are trails through the woods that allow dogs. Tonight, at home, I almost got two chickadees to come to my hand. I think I can get them to do that sometime this spring. So exciting!


  11. Great shots, Dawn. They definitely did bring a smile to my face.


  12. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience and pictures, Dawn. Thank you so much for the smile! I hope you smile knowing how many people smile because of your pictures and posts.

    If you need to find more smiles, maybe you could go through your SW pictures reliving the experience and create another post or two to share more pictures.


  13. I’m smiling. One “benefit” of all this virus stuff is both of my kids’ schools are closed, so maybe we can get together.


  14. Lovely photos of some creatures who aren’t consumed with worry. Great idea to share this today.


  15. “These days sharing smiles is something of a public service.” AMEN to that, Dawn!! What a spectacular bunch of photos — I can practically feel those little bird-feet on my hand! Our Central Illinois birdies don’t seem as friendly as yours — or maybe they’re not as hungry?? Anyway, we could all do with a bit more outdoors these days — and mercifully, our animals don’t seem to be the ones spreading this nasty virus!


    • Your birds just haven’t been conditioned for years to being fed out of hands. I think everyone needs to try to get outside once a day every day to get through this!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ours are most eager — especially during winter — to scarf up all the bread, grains, and such we share with them. Gee, maybe I ought to try holding some seeds out for them, now that Dallas won’t chase them off!


        • Yesterday I was filling the finch feeder with niger seed…and had the metal garbage where I store the bird food open…noticed two chickadees flying down to try to swipe a peanut out of the bag that was in the can. Silly little guys. So I went over there and grabbed a handful of peanuts and held my hand up to them. They watched for a bit then both flew down, each one almost landed, but then zoomed back to the porch railing, or a tree branch. They tried to get brave enough several times until I finally laughed and put the peanuts on a stump for them. I think I could train them with a little more patience. I have been successful 2x getting a chickadee to land on my hand here at home. Both times the feeder had been empty for a day and they were HUNGRY! Give it a try, it might just happen! PS: Katie was standing next to me yesterday and she might have been why they couldn’t quite trust me.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’d love to have a bird land in my hand to get food — I’ve told you this before. So thanks for the nudge, and I’ll have to give it a try. I might not get a picture of it, but if I succeed, I’ll let you know.


  16. Your fab images made ME smile and you are lucky to take your walks and feed the birds, Dawn! Our weekend of wind and rain is keeping us all indoors!


  17. Yes we need more smiles. Feeding those birds is just awesome! I can never get ours to do that!


    • The birds at this park have been fed by people for years, so they aren’t shy at all. I have been working, off and on, mostly off, to get my chickadees at home to come down to my hand. I’ve been successful a little bit, only when there’s no seed on the feeder and they’re hungry enough to be brave.


  18. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap 3/9 – 3/16/202 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  19. Good morning, Thank you for the smile this morning. I skimmed your post yesterday and liked it, I came back this morning for more. I needed it. We all need a smile and realize that we have so much and we are blessed. Being positive is what is going to get us through, so I must listen to the rustle of the wind, the call of the birds, and the peace of the Earth. Thank you. Peace.


    • Awww, you are welcome. I hope you find some peace. Walking in the woods does it for me, most of the time anyway. I found myself getting anxious this morning, listening to the news, so I turned it off. I have enough food to get me through a couple weeks, and then we’ll just have to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautiful photos of those birds.


  21. Smiles are needed! It truly honestly really doesn’t matter that some of us remember the days when there were NO flu vaccines. When the flu came around everyone got it, schools did not close, businesses did not close, the stock market did not crash, everyone got sick and then got better (except sadly a few folks died), but life went on. Most folks today don’t remember those times so they are easily led to believe that this is a new thing. Believe me, it isn’t. So far this year, more people are dying in car accidents than from this new virus. My nursing friends tell me that people are dying from pneumonia, not the virus. Who knows? Of course this virus is scary because people do die, but I sure wish the media and people who control the money of the world wouldn’t twist us up like this. Smiles are needed! I heard Sandhill Cranes for the first time in my life just this past year, Dawn. Oh they were wonderful! 🙂


    • I think remembering the past is important so that you can apply those lessons to the situation today. Whether it’s a new thing or not, it’s up to each of us to act responsibly, which sometimes means we have to give up the things we love to do, at least for awhile, if it keeps some people from dying. Virus, pneumonia, car crashes, all of them are preventable if we take care. I’m glad you got to hear cranes, their voices are especially unique. My best advice is to spend more time listening for cranes and less time listening to the news.


  22. Loved the smiles you shared today. Birds are difficult to photograph, but you managed to hold them captive with your treats. What part of the US are you in? Sandhill Cranes are commonplace in Florida but I have never seen them anywhere else.


    • Birds are incredibly frustrating, but oh so satisfying when I do catch what I saw. Most of these are not that…but they give you the idea. Cranes are common up here in Michigan now days, when I was growing up we never saw them. Now they are everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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