Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Queen of the Boardwalk


I was out there to meet the Queen. I’d been trying to get an audience with her for several weeks. But she’s a Royal and follows her own rules. I’m used to that.

Anybody out there? Hey Mr. Downy, are you hungry?

You see, almost every day I’d see, on Facebook, a photographer who calls herself the “Hand of Snacks” feeding a female cardinal along the boardwalk at my favorite park.

Well, at least one bird wants a snack!

Lots of birds come down to any number of hands filled with snacks at this park, but cardinals are famously shy. Quite stand-offish. So to see this female sitting in a hand regularly intrigued me. And I drove the 30+ minutes every week or so, hoping to get to meet her Majesty for myself. Oh, I’d see her – sitting in the scrub along the boardwalk. I’d offer a treat. She’d watch me. But she never showed any interest in getting to know me better. Week after week I’d leave disappointed.

They almost always go for the peanuts first.

This Wednesday, there she was, sitting among the twigs of a dogwood bush with her partner, the bright red Mr. Cardinal. And that morning she seemed interested in me. She moved out to the end of the branch and eyed me up and down. I stood still, gifts offered. She flew to the railing, quite a far bit away from me and eyed me some more.

She’s not too sure about this.

Clearly I was not her Hand of Snacks. I was an imposter. But she was hungry. But I was an imposter. Could she trust me? Would she trust me? She hopped along the railing to get a closer look. She looked up at me and then down at the snacks in my hand. I stood still, barely breathing.

Come on sweetie, it will be OK.

And then she reached out, her feet still firmly planted on the railing, she wasn’t going to actually stand on my hand, and grabbed an oiler seed, moving rapidly away from me to eat it. I stood still.

You have options, pick your favorite!

She hopped over again and helped herself to another treat, not moving so far away this time…and then she grabbed a peanut and with a slight nod to me, she flew back into the bushes to share it with her partner.

You’re such a good Queen, taking your partner the best peanut.

And the politely waiting chickadee hopped up onto my hand to see what she had left behind.

She’s off to share. Mr. Chickadee is waiting in line.

Now I can say I’ve met the Queen. And it was everything I knew it would be.

I’m glad she left him some of the good stuff.

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.

27 thoughts on “Queen of the Boardwalk

  1. This is absolutely spectacular, Dawn! Now that you have met her, the next time she will stay away a little less (I’m a firm believer) to one day, finally, land on your hand…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A queen and a princess…you really are royalty, Dawn!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Persistence pays off! Yay you!


  4. Yay Dawn!! I agree with Lois – royalty is attracted to you!


  5. What an uplifting day and an uplifting post.
    The Queen reigns!


  6. Amazing!!!!!! She must’ve heard you once served a royal Princess in your house, so you could be trusted. What an exciting moment for you!


  7. You are bringing back memories from Dad’s youth. Watching birds eating at our bird feeder and watching the sparrows from my bedroom window.

    Dog Dad


  8. How wonderful! I do hope she warms up to you and your treats soon. What splendid photos these are!


  9. WONDERFUL! Your patience and persistence paid off!


  10. You have a vibe obviously that the birds love. I can stand and stand and they wait in the trees in the yard until I have gone into the house to come down . Love this post!!


  11. Now this is a wonderful way to bring in the New Year, Dawn! Well done and great shots!

    Liked by 1 person

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