President’s Message – January 2017

President’s Message – January 2017

This is the time of year when we enjoy watching the activity at our feeders rather than trailside. The dark, cold, wet days provide us time to quiet down, reflect and think about things we might push aside during the rest of the year. We get close looks at the Steller’s Jays, chickadees, juncos, sparrows and Varied Thrushes, and observe their behavior: chickadees come to the feeder, one at a time, pick a sunflower seed, and immediately move off to a bush so another can come in and get theirs. Juncos stay and eat, as do the jays, while thrushes below pick away at ground food. Grosbeaks’ feeding frenzies we try not to criticize. Kinglets are a bonus when they chip above us, moving though the bushes. We see the gamut of behaviors and are tempted to relate them to our own. Enjoy these winter visitors. They make us feel better, calm us down. Sometimes they help heal us. Look up the story of Penguin Bloom in Australia’s The Guardian for a beautiful example of this.

This winter you can sign up for the Great Backyard Bird Count in February, join a number of citizen-science projects, or help us prepare for our Annual Dinner on March 4th. Margery Beeler, who ran the silent auction for years, has stepped down; likewise, Meagan Thorn is no longer coordinator of the dinner. We are grateful to these wonderful women for sharing their expertise and talents to make our dinners affairs to remember. Now we need volunteers to help procure items for our sale and help with its organization; if you can solicit artwork, gift certificates, trips, or nature-related pieces, please contact me by phone or email. We’ll have a meeting to sort items at 4 p.m. January 23 at my house. You can bring items to speaker meetings, too. I recently received a contribution from a local ceramic artist who—after immediately saying “yes” to donating—said, “We are a community, and we have to help each other out.” I did by purchasing some of her work, and, in turn, she donated to our chapter.   (from Jan/Feb 2017 Echo newsletter, by Deb Nickerson, photo – Linda Tanner)