Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Can’t help but smile


May is my favorite month here in Michigan. The grass greens up, the spring flowers bloom, the trees begin to leaf out in that pretty spring lime green, the weather isn’t hot, or dry, or cold, and it doesn’t (usually) snow.

You may need to open this on a bigger screen to see the love birds in the redbud tree.

There’s so much potential. The gardens are still in the planning stages, stuff hasn’t died or rotten on the vine yet. The deer haven’t eaten all the greens, the ground hog hasn’t eaten the green beans and there are big, juicy tomatoes on the vines in our anticipatory imaginations.

And my summer birds come back to the feeder.

This week the orioles came in for the summer. I put my feeder up after reading that others in my area had seen them. Four hours later the first male baltimore oriole tentatively checked it out.

Is that grape jelly down there?

I was thrilled and couldn’t stop smiling.

Hope you got my good side, lady!

They are such beautiful birds, it’s hard to miss those colors as they fly through the yard. And it’s hard to miss their anxious call too, that loud crackling sound they make when they’re unhappy about something. I always know when they’re in the trees above me as I’m filling the feeders.

This year I have another visitor to the oriole feeder too. I’ve never seen an orchard oriole before, in fact I never heard of them until a couple years ago when a friend in New York state mentioned having them.

Orchard orioles are a darker, rusty orange.

He is very skittish and I’ve only been able to grab pictures once – I was already standing still in the house taking pictures when he arrived. If he’s at the feeder and I move to pick up my camera he flies off. So, for now I’m sitting still when they arrive and just enjoying them.

I was out in the yard yesterday afternoon and saw the baltimore oriole, the orchard oriole and a goldfinch sharing the feeder. I think they were taunting me because I didn’t have my camera. It sure was beautiful to watch though.

But this morning, the early morning sky was lighting up just the tips of the trees and I was outside trying to capture the magic…

The sun lit, just for a moment, the very tips of the trees across the street.

…when up over my head, high up in the birch tree I heard that now familiar call.

Hey lady! Go back inside, you’re making me nervous and I want my breakfast!

Good morning Mr. Oriole! Welcome to my yard and the grape jelly in your newly filled feeder! Have a good day!

Geeze, I thought she’d NEVER go inside! I was starving up there in that tree!

I know he will. Little stinker.

What’s that over there?

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.

35 thoughts on “Can’t help but smile

  1. I rarely see oriels around here. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any in NH and have only seen them a few times on Cape Cod.


    • I guess I’m lucky that I get to see them every day. I never used to, but then someone about five years ago suggested we put up a feeder and what do you know! They just showed up and have come back every year. I haven’t been able to find the nests. Each year I watch which way they go, this year it’s an entirely different direction, but even though I’ve looked each year I never find it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great photos. I like the attitude of the bird in the last photo. Snarky and sweet. 😊


  3. First time to see this bird. He must be a Hummingbird wannabe.


  4. May and September in Michigan — my favorites! But then, June and October are good, too. Oh, they’re all good! And I say that even though I’ve been in Arizona since December and am still here, leery of travel at present.


  5. What a treat and what a thrill to welcome those gorgeous birds back. And have a new one join the gang.


  6. I am smiling from this wonderful post and pictures. I don;t see Orioles often, I saw one a few years ago which was a thrill! These are wonderful photos Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Years ago, out at the park I’d see one flit by out of the corner of my eye. It’s an entirely different thing to have them visit a feeder right outside your living room window.


  7. Oh my gosh, Dawn! You captured the oriole with jelly on his tongue! Perfect timing! Thank you for sharing! 😊


  8. such nature delight – enjoyed your nature smiles from Michigan in May.


  9. Oh they are pretty birds! My sister gets them in Ohio. You are so lucky to have them. The grape jelly on his tongue is perfect!


  10. These are beautiful — I’ve never heard of an orchard oriole before. I wonder if our being inside has anything to do with them “relocating” to your part of the country? Not sure May is the best month in Illinois. It’s still too iffy weather-wise for me. And this year, it’s been far too wet … and cold!


    • No, supposedly they’ve been here all the time. According to my Michigan bird book we have them in the bottom third of the lower Peninsula all summer. I’ve just noticed them before. Not as flashy as the baltimore…but just as pretty, almost thought he was a towhee the first time I saw him last week…and thought it was weird that a towhee who I had never seen above the ground would be at a jelly feeder. He’s a bit more slender than the plump baltimore too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Appears you’re in for an Arctic blast. Hope it doesn’t damage burgeoning trees. Button up!


  12. Orioles are magnificent! You are so lucky to see this guy. It’s a rare day when we catch a glimpse of one up here.


    • Last year another friend who used to live here but moved up near Munising a couple years ago said she had no orioles up there, and she missed them. I didn’t know they were not in the UP. We’ve had them maybe the last 3 or 4 years, when we started putting up feeders. Prior to that we didn’t know they were around, would see one once in a long while. Now they are total pigs at the feeder, though I haven’t seen the orchard oriole in a couple days so maybe he was just passing through. The baltimores, though, are constant, chiding me if the feeder gets empty, or if I’m just sitting out on the deck. They prefer that we are not outside when they want to eat. Which is all the time right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Had an Orchard Oriole at my feeder this morning with the Baltimore Orioles didn’t have a clue what it was. I looked it up and found your blog in the process, really enjoyed your article. As you were mentioning your adorable Sheltie I was reminded of my bearded collie Josie she was so smart. I had to put her down 2 months after my husband passed away last summer. It was one of those years for me so I’m now retired and doing things that are peaceful and healing. I worked in health care and am so glad to be away from a hospital right now. Feeling Blessed. I share your sentiments about this president and his agenda but not going to dwell on the negative. I’m busy enjoying the birds, my 2 cats, alcohol ink art, sculpting, mosaics, glass fusing, jewelry making, planting flowers and caring for the garden. On top of that my son and grandson live with me and I feel very fortunate to have them. God Bless You your writing is so beautiful it’s a place of peace for the soul. Thank you for listening and writing.


    • Hi Paul! Nice to meet you! I’m sorry about your bearded collie Josie, so hard to have to let them go, and so soon after your husband must have been doubly hard. I’m glad you’re out of the health care too, good timing! It must be just horrible for those that are working there, such long hours and so much grief and fear added to an already difficult job. I retired (the first time) in 2006 just before the big mortgage crash. I was soooo glad not to be in the mortgage business during that! I have another friend who was doing alcohol ink art for several years, it is pretty interesting. I also LOVE glass, would love to see some of your work! Stop by any time! You never know what you’ll find here! PS: Katie (the sheltie) says HI!!


  14. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 5/4 – 5/10/2020 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  15. Nice close-up photos of the bird.


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