November is a bit of a guilty pleasure kind of month for me. It’s not the kind of month that provokes nods of approval when I tell people I like November. Most people prefer October and May, and while those can both be very nice months, I still prefer November.
I like days that start out chilly and progress to shirt sleeves. I like a fire in the evenings. I like the view once the leaves have fallen. In my case the views I like are both the distant one over to the western mountain and the nearer one that lets me see deeper into the forest than the nearest 15 feet. And if I had to choose between them, I prefer the one that lets me see across the forest floor for a few hundred feet or so.
In the mornings, the feeder birds are glad to see me when I put out the feeder that I bring in at dark to keep the raccoons out of them. The raccoon still cleans up any seed the birds kicked out of the feeders, so he’s not starving, just in case you wondered.
The chickadees and downy woodpeckers are especially glad to see me and are already tamer than is usual for this early in the feeding cycle. This morning, a downy started eating at the tube feeder that was within a foot of my left ear while I was still filling the platform feeders. I could hear it pulling seed out through the wire mesh. Perhaps emboldened by the female downy, the chickadees landed on the deck railing and then the feeding table as I was adding seed and this year’s new offering—freeze-dried mealworms.
Last week a I held a chickadee that knocked itself silly when it startled and flew against my living room window. I stood outside with that tiny ball of fluff in my hand, waiting for it to recover. The rest of the feeder birds apparently viewed this operation as proof that I was “safe” and were soon darting into and out of the feeders while I held the little chickadee. Soon the little one was better and popped off into a branch.
Since then, the feeder birds have pretty much ignored me when I’m outside. I love being surrounded by them when I am outside. The birds don’t come to the feeders much in the warm months; the forest produces all the natural food they need. It’s only when that food disappears that they return to my feeders, yet one more happy event of November and one more reason to enjoy this time of year.