My Amazing Morning

As I sat at the table drinking coffee this morning I watched the birds right outside the window – goldfinches, the regulars – sparrows and starlings, and a gorgeous rose breasted grosbeak! It’s probably the prettiest bird I’ve ever seen and they pass through my yard every year in May.

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Suddenly I heard a loud thump and knew that a bird had flown into the window! I ran to the door and there was Heidi inspecting that beautiful grosbeak on the ground. I yelled at the dogs to stay back and ran to the bird and scooped him up in my hand. He was stunned and wasn’t moving.

I was immediately alarmed and didn’t want to open my hand just in case he could fly away in the house! And there would be a dozen cats and two dogs chasing him! So I took him into the screened porch and tried to take his picture – one handed, of course. Why wasn’t Rick home to help me?????? Grrrrr….

I think this is the most beautiful bird to visit my yard! Look at those colors! There’s a quilt color palette if I’ve ever seen one. And look at his prominent beak!

I could not get a picture of his underwing but it is also rose colored – just gorgeous! After a short while I took him outside and threw him up in the air to fly only to see him flutter to the ground. Oh, dear! I scooped him up again.

I grabbed a wire wastebasket with a cover and left him in the pantry. I actually put some favorite grosbeak seed in the bottom. After about 60 minutes he was revived and and climbing the wire sides of the basket.

I took him out the back door and removed the cover – he flew away! Thank God he flew away and I didn’t have to watch him wither and die. What a blessing the beauty of this bird was to me today!

Now yesterday was a different story. It barely got to 40 degrees with a brisk wind from the north and the wind chill was about 26. Yikes! May 9 and it was winter clothes weather. When Rick got home from work we got our warm clothes on and loaded up one lawn mower at a time and went into town to mow the lawn at our church. I do all the trimming with my zero turn mower and a Rick uses the bigger lawn tractor for the “football field” in the back.

Aidan and Owen wanted a quick ride around the parking lot so they climbed on and away we went. Oh, that wind was cold! But you’d never know it by looking at their smiling faces!

This picture says it all – I was chilled to the bone after 2-1/2 hours of mowing. If this volunteer job was always done in this cold weather, I’d have to un-volunteer – ha! There are 6 families who mow so hopefully this is the last time this season that I’ll have to wear my winter clothes.

Tomorrow the youth from our church who are going to Costa Rica in August on a mission trip are coming to clean my barn for a donation. I have started some of the cleaning but I’ll be so happy to turn it over to this group of teenagers and I will supervise.

Think of us all tomorrow!

44 thoughts on “My Amazing Morning

  1. Polly Perkins

    So glad the grosbeak survived. They are my favorite bird also. They stay here all summer and I love them. The birds have been very hungry this spring with all the cold rainy weather. We have had Baltimore Orioles for several years but this year we have Orchard Orioles as well. So many beautiful birds. Some of them just migrate through in the spring. My neighbors have seen an Indigo bunting but not me! I keep watching for them but no success. Another neighbor saw a Scarlet Tanager but not me! Too many doctors appts lately. Having surgery on my neck June 7. Looking forward to relief soon.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Polly Perkins – the grosbeaks do not stay for the summer so I have to enjoy them the next few days. I have had both types of orioles and in the past I’ve had indigo buntings but none last year. Reed had a summer tanager last week but it was injured or something because he was able to walk up to it and the next day he found it dead. The sweet boy buried it.
      Neck surgery? Are you in pain?

  2. Felicia Hamlin

    Mary, this month we saw a Rose Breasted Grossbeak, only the second time we have seen one. They are beautiful and I wish we saw more.

  3. Minnie Homans

    I have many grossbeaks at mt feeder also. I had three orioles at me feeder at once. They are so beautiful. I put out some grape jelly and I saw them feeding on that too. I also have hummers and the wrens are back. They are checking out my wren houses. I hope they will stay. I love to hear them sing. I also have a suet feeder out and the birds are waiting in line to feed on it.NW indiana

  4. Luci

    I really enjoyed seeing your pictures of the grosbeak. They started visiting at my feeder a couple of years ago, and they usually stay for the month of April. The males show up a week or two before the females, and it is such a treat every time they come to Georgia. They have turned into one of my favorites, next to the glorious cardinals.

  5. Gloria B.

    What a beautiful bird! Lucky he flew into your home.

    Jessica, best to you through your treatment. (From another survivor).

    Diane, Happy Birthday to Pete!

    Happy Mother’s Day to all.

  6. Leslie

    Have you all seen the window clings that adheres to your windows? They are opaque, so for the most part, humans don’t see them. The birds can see it and steers them clear of glass windows and doors. You can get them on line, National Wildlife has them or farm supply/ hardware stores. I have 4 sliders that go out onto our deck and they have helped with birds not flying into them.

  7. the other Angie

    I always love your posts, but this one was kind of special and had lots of reminders about the important things in life – sharing the load (even when it requires a wooly hat!), helping each other (which includes all of God’s creatures!), bringing joy to someone, and squeezing in a little time for some 9 patches! What a super day!

  8. Nancy

    We have a cabin in northeast Iowa. Yesterday, we put out our Oriole and Hummingbird feeders. Both had visitors within five minutes. This morning, a Rose Breasted Grosebeak visited the Oriole feeder and fought his way into the feeder. He enjoyed the jelly as much as the Orioles. Yellow Bellied Suckers also like jelly. I wonder if we would have had those visitors on “wintery” Thursday. The make Scarlet Tanager is also hanging around.

  9. Pat Smith

    What a wonderful story with such a positive outcome, thank goodness. It’s astonishing to me that you were able to hold the bird in one hand and take pictures with the other. We have birds fly into our patio slider in Vermont and then fly away after a short recovery period. Our cats don’t go out any more, but you have a completely different situation on the farm, I know.
    About the adds— do I need to open them first to prove I’ve seen them, then go back and close them by pressing the X ? Or does it count to just close them from the start without first opening them?

      1. CountryThreads Post author

        Carol – yes – all you have to do is click on the X!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Pat Smith – all you have to do is click on the X to close the ad! And thanks for doing that for us!

  10. Paula Philpot

    The gift of the bird was your reward for mowing in the cold at the church. Paula in KY

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Paula Philpot – I hadn’t thought of it that way but I think you’re right!

  11. Mrs. Goodneedle

    I am also a bird lover; haven’t seen a RBG around here for a few years, I cannot imagine even holding one! Wow!! So glad all is well and he was able to fly away again. Spring certainly seems to be a fickle season in IA, it will be all the sweeter or you when it decides to come and STAY.

  12. Nikki M

    Beautiful bird, thank you for saving one of God’s creatures. The pictures were wonderful .

  13. Patti in W Barnstable

    What a beautiful bird! I’ve never seen one on Cape Cod. You were so goodl to help him. We had the cold winds the other day also. I still have my hats and gloves ready by the door…

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Patti in w Barnstable – I already washed my big parka and insulated overalls and don’t plan to get them dirty again this season! I hope it warms up soon.

  14. Caryn Goulden

    What a beautiful bird! Such a blessing you were right there to rescue him and give him a chance to recover. Today I read a bit in one of the Goat Gazettes that just arrived. What fun! I have a number of your books from “back then” but I wasn’t aware of the Goat Gazettes until I started reading this blog. So enjoy hearing of the happenings on the farm. Brings back memories.

  15. Jessica

    I’m so thankful you were home to help that incredibly beautiful little bird. I’ve never seen one before! The colors are amazing. We’ve had a few bird strikes when we lived in New Hampshire (mostly chickadees and cardinals) and I always flew out the door to help them. It always amazed me how fragile they felt in my hand.

    I FINALLY got my sewing room done today and I have more charm squares than I thought (also thought my husband was going to have a heart attack when he saw the amount of fabric I own, LOL) I’m going to be busy this weekend trying out 9 patches. Chemo starts Wednesday. I’m nervous about it but I’m ready to do this.

    1. Kathy in western NY

      Jessica- you got this and will beat it. We are all beside you on this journey. It’s great you have your sewing room to create and think of your projects as your “meds” work to heal you.
      Thank you Mary for such a wonderful story caring of this beautiful bird who needed time to rest and recover. So much goodness in your heart to hold that bird and then take time out of your day to mow the Church when it was so cold out. You are my Saint Mary of Iowa.

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Jessica – please send me your mailing address so I can remember you with a card. That fabric you own is comforting, is it not? Just think of how many sweet little nine patches you can make. Yes, the bird felt very fragile in my hand and I was so afraid he would struggle and I’d lose him. It was a sweet moment for sure. Use my email if you’d like to send your address there.

    3. Carol

      Best wishes for a not-too-difficult time with your chemo, and a 100% positive outcome. God bless!

    4. LINDA

      You got this! I too went thru chemo (twice actually) and have beaten this ugly disease. You too can do it! I’ll be thinking and praying for you daily.

  16. Maryjane

    When I was teaching, birds flew into the big windows a lot. I found if I put them in a little box and kept rubbing their chest and tummy they would come back. Once they started moving their wings, I’d sit the box outside and they would be happy to fly away. They are just stunned from hitting the glass but a little “physical therapy” brings them out of it. Such precious creatures.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Maryjane – I was so afraid o keep holding that bird with all my cats around!

  17. Beryl Hoff

    The grosbeaks are so beautiful!! So glad you gave him a chance to revive!! Their beaks are very different. I had some cedar wax wings visit each year when I lived in a different house that where I am now. I am more in the mountains so haven’t seen any here. They have a different beak also and are such a beautiful taupe color.
    I saw my first hummingbird a couple of days ago!! I know summer is close when they return. I had put my feeder out Monday but didn’t see one until Tuesday. He may have been around looking Monday!! I think a male scouts out the place first an then the females come. I have heard they return to where they were born but don’t know if that is true. they are amazing little creatures.
    Your grass is so green!! We still have freezing temps at night so things are slow.
    I am making a quilt for my cousin who is in the VA in Marshalltown, IA. His wife took him to a quilt show last week that was honoring Vets and giving Quilts of Valor. He wasn’t on the receiving end so I have decided to surprise him with one. I used 2 charm packs in patriotic colors. the pattern is Stars Galore, I think! A Pat Sloan pattern. It is turning out pretty nice. It is ready to pin together and then quilt. My sister sold her longarm so I have to use my machine…it didn’t take me long to get spoiled!! LOL!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beryl Hoff – you are very kind to make the quilt for him. Our grass is nice and green but our temps are still down in the 30’s at night. My hummingbird feeders are going out today.

  18. Diane in WI

    We have had rose breasted grosbeaks, too. They are beautiful. Today the Baltimore orioles came back. white crowned sparrows, and indigo buntings. We also have many goldfinch. It has been a colorful day at the feeder. I put sugar water out tonight in case the hummingbirds come back.

  19. Donna Sproston

    We have at least five male grosbeaks this year. We usually see just one male later in the summer. There are females too, but I am not sure how many because I notice only one sitting on the feeder while those males appear to be fighting over her. Today my hubs found one dead male in the grass so they must really fight! Several friends in our area are reporting grosbeaks in greater numbers too. I am so thrilled you were able to save yours. Love the photos too.

    New neighbors: five alpacas about a mile away. What fun!

    Little nine patch report: addictive. Two table mats ready for binding, and four more sets sewed in pairs. Christmas sewing has begun!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Donna Sproston – you keep making those 9 patches! Wish your neighbors were my neighbors.

  20. Carrolyn v

    What a wonderful post, Mary! Both my husband and I were so intrigued and moved by your kindness and caring for our feathered friends. And what a gorgeous bird! The world, which seems so messed up these days , is blessed to have lovely souls like you in it! I wish there were more!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carolyn V – I isolate myself unintentionally by not going anywhere really and don’t always watch the news and have cancelled the newspaper. I just don’t want to know about all the terrible things happening. I really loved holding that lovely bird!

      1. Launa

        Mary, I like Home and Family program over all the ugly news. The local Thursday newspaper shares who was speeding in town, driving without seatbelts and good local activity news.
        Thanks for saving the beautiful Grosbeak…all my favorite colors.

  21. Diane Bauer

    So glad you were home to hear when the bird hit the window. That happens regularly out here too. I am always in awe of the ‘angel’ image they leave on the window when they hit it.

    Such fun for the kids to get a ride on the mower! We always lived when my uncle would give us a ride when he was mowing.

    Today was Pete’s 34th Birthday!!! Jen is coming home tomorrow to visit and give him birthday treats!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Diane Bauer – you realize I wasn’t mowing, don’t you? Just riding around the parking lot? Pete is 34! Wow! I did not know horses lived to be that old! And Jen will come home on Mother’s Day to see you AND Pete!

      1. Diane Bauer

        Yes, that’s what we used to do with my uncle as well–just riding!!!

        Jen was home just for a few hours this afternoon as she has to work tomorrow. It rained all afternoon, so she didn’t get to see Pete this time. I’ll have to take pictures again this next week so she can see the most up-to-the-minute picture of him. He is 34 in human years, but that’s something like 105 in horse years, so he is quite senior. Not many make it to that age. He’s a pretty amazing guy!!

  22. Gina Thackara

    Another great day on the farm! I just love these blog posts! Quilts, fabrics galore, wonderful animals. What a great place to be. You are so blessed!

    And, I spent some time this rainy afternoon here with the copies of the Goat Gazette that arrived yesterday. I could almost cry because I didn’t know about you and the shop until just before you closed. How I wish I’d known you guys sooner!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gina Thackara – it’s funny – I can usually tell which readers have known us for years and those who have just “ discovered” us! Haha! We started in 1981 – quite a few years ago when quilting hit a high and slumped many years later.

    2. Marilyn

      You did a great job taking pictures with one hand. How exciting that would be to hold one if only for a moment. Im7 working on the 9 patch too. Thank you Mary

  23. Kathy Hanson

    Oh, I am so thankful for the Rose Breasted Grosbeak that revived and flew away. We are seeing quite a few of them – with their lady friends with them as well, at our feeder in the back yard. What a gorgeous site. So glad that you got some beautiful pictures of this poor fellow. He will have quite a story to tell his friends tonight! How much fun those little boys had getting a ride on your mower! I spent part of the day today making the 9 patches with the directions that you gave. Fun!! I am doing red and white. We shall see how it turns out!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy Hanson – it’s not quite bedtime – maybe I could make a couple 9 patches before I turn in! Ha!

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