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The bird feeder report has a long tradition at our house. Since forever, The Mom has been a fan of the outdoor wildlife, mostly birds, but it occasionally spreads out to include interesting squirrels, chipmunks, and the odd mention of a deer or coyote.

She could watch the bird feeder for hours, and in fact does. I’d say it was her retreat away from the crazy hectic pace of modern life with mobile phones and Twitter and Facebook, but in all honestly, out of those I’ve mentioned, she only has Facebook, and the pace of her modern world is generally fairly serene. Her enjoyment of the bird feeder reminds me of an internet TV show thing out of Norway maybe, Denmark? Anyhow, what it is, is a little set of a diner, and there are birdseeds strewn about, and the set is outdoors so sometimes birds come by. I watched it a lot. Very soothing. Not much happened.

But back to The Mom’s bird feeder which is by all accounts bursting with activity this year. There is an unusual type of joy to be derived from a well-tended bird feeder, and it seems like one attracts followers much like one might try to do on Twitter (which I am rubbish at).

In fact, this unusual and analogue version of Twitter is far superior than the digital version if you ask me, and of course The Mom who doesn’t have Twitter.

There’s the typical sort of back and forth between arch nemeses that you get on Twitter, only in The Mom’s version it’s the squirrels and chipmunks against the birds. The rodents troll the birds, but the birds do fight back. The chickadees will swarm the rodents, and if the blue jay is around, forget it. He will caw and caw and caw at the squirrels until they back off. So, sort of like what JK Rowling does when Twitter’s sexism and general mysoginy are worse than usual. Obviously, we root for the birds.

Then there’s the tweeting itself. The birds all sing and chirp, and Mrs. Beeton sometimes gets in on the act but she’s more like a newbie user, gleefully shouting that she’s here and she’s had a nice dinner and is looking very good. Love Mrs. Beeton though I do, she can sometimes be a bit Kardashian about it. All duck lips posing and showing off of her beautiful colours/fashions. The sparrows who flock around are sort of like the non-famous Twitterati that essentially keep the platform going, retweeting the front page of every newspaper without anything interesting about it. Background noise, though far more pleasant from birds that random people tweeting. The other bonus to hearing the birds tweet as opposed to people is that it’s a beautiful song, and not just the usual bitching and moaning.

Finally, I think The Mom is more adept at this real-life version of Twitter. Mainly because I think the birds make more sense to her (and me, I haven’t a clue what’s going on in the Twitterverse). The birds’ needs are fairly simple: they want to eat, drink and be merry. It’s not the complaints box of the universe, whereas digitally…

And instead of the notifications I get when someone’s liked a tweet or mentioned me in one, I get emails from The Mom, in short sharp bursts:

This just in! There were two nuthatches and a hummingbird!!

or:

OMG! The chickadee sat on the chair next to my bum and I think Mrs. Beeton was jealous!

Hardly longer than 164 characters as you’ll no doubt have noticed.

Throughout there has been an increasingly hysterical tone. As in, The Mom cannot believe that all her birds have come home to roost, so to speak. It’s sort of her just rewards for over twenty years of service. It’s kind of like when people reach a milestone in their number of followers. They just get super excited about it. Though, I think having a visit by no less than three hummingbirds, a pair of nuthatches (and you know what that means for the spring – babies!!), as well as the stupid cardinal babies (who are a classic – sort of like the tweet of God – a hilarious force for good in the world).

There are only a few more weeks before we move into fall and The Mom’s twitter feed takes a different turn. We will find out if the studpi baby cardinals (and truly three of them is quite the hat trick) make it, and we will await the triumphant return of the blue jay. There will be juncos awaiting us come winter, and hopefully, the three stupid babies will come around to fight over the seeds with the squirrels.

The Mom’s version of twitter is ever so much better I think.

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