As I sit here on a Saturday afternoon, I have a fresh cocktail mixed up, the sun shining, and my daughter just picked me the most beautiful bouquet of dandelions.
Both of my children talk about how wonderful the lilacs smell and gingerly hold the blooms to their noses. I have already picked some this morning to permeate my house with the incredible fragrance—my favorite of the summer.
They then move on to discussing the small, yet exciting, buds growing in the garden: How my son is intrigued by the the tomato plants with little green fruits growing on them. How my daughter is excited for the beets to grow, which she insists is her favorite pink vegetable. I somehow doubt she has ever tasted one before.
See also: How to Grow a Bird-Friendly Garden
Throughout this splendid time outside with my kids, there is one constant—one glorious symphony that reverberates throughout our afternoon: the birds are singing.
A courageous house finch sits at our feeder and peeks around the side to make sure my rambunctious children are not too close. A quick chickadee sits at the top of the dead tree in our yard (that we constantly talk about needing to remove) and sings a cautious song. My daughter points out her favorite, a robin that is hopping around the open space behind our yard, trying to catch his dinner.
See also: Birdsong Identification Tips
Our back yard, though small, is alive. Alive with sounds, smells and sights that I am so appreciative of. My kids are outside digging in the sand, running up to me when they hear a new bird song, asking me what it is. This, instead of being inside watching television.
My son excitedly lets me know he heard a hummingbird buzz by, but we have yet to see this elusive guest.
I am sitting outside, sipping a lovely adult drink, connecting with my children and listening to the happy nature around my house. This is why I feed the birds. There are so many reasons that it’s hard to describe, and I’m sure it’s different for everyone. But my reason is being with my kids and seeing them get so excited about this place we have for a home.
I get to talk to my kids about the different species. We listen to their songs and watch their different dances. It’s like a free amusement ride, where things are constantly moving and new experiences are happening each minute. For that, I’m so grateful. And for that reason I make sure my feeders are full, ready for the next customer to be provoked by my curious children.