Here on Usonia Road, I recently put up a bird feeder. It looks like a little red house with a silver top and a platform on the front, like a front step, where the birds feed.

Uncool, maybe, but actually, kinda cool. It’s the easiest way to see a diversity of wildlife just outside your window that I can think of short of moving to a ground floor apartment in the East Village. Right now, for example, as I type, I’m watching what appears to be a fight between a male cardinal and a significantly larger blue jay, with the cardinal pursuing the jay through the rhododendron tree that flanks the bird feeder. Why is that happening? I have no idea. But it’s pretty dramatic, I can assure you.

I get up pretty early, and watch the birds as the sun comes up—it’s when they’re most active. Yesterday morning between 5:30 and 7:15 I saw countless sparrows and chickadees and tufted titmouses, a pair of cardinals, any number of jays, a red bellied woodpecker (he’s a recurring visitor, and astonishingly beautiful), and a wild turkey. Okay, that wasn’t at the bird feeder; he was crossing the road by my driveway.

Maybe this is middle age speaking, but…it’s wonderful.

The jay and the cardinal are still fighting….

(A red bellied woodpecker, not the one in question)