Birds and Beans . . . Beans and Birds . . .

Jan 5th

Day 2 of the weekend . . . Sorry I’m running a little late today.  Yesterday we (and by we I mostly  mean hubby) got the tree down and the rest of the decorations staged all over tables and counter tops.  We spent the morning sipping our coffee and boxing things up.  Taking a break now, but I think we can probably be done in the next couple of hours! Yippee!    It always amazes me how big the house feels after we get it all put away!

National Bird Day is celebrated on January 5th      
International Migratory Bird Day observed on the second Saturday in May      

Do you love watching birds?  I never used to, until last year, but honestly it’s fascinating!  We put up a few bird feeders in the back yard and what shocks me the most is the fact that I never, ever knew how many different types of birds we have in our own neighborhood!  It is amazing!  We counted about 30 different species – JUST IN THE YARD.  That doesn’t count the area as a whole.  They are competitive little guys too! They will go after each other if they want those seeds and someone is in the way!  

Bird watching is a favorite activity for millions of people, and honestly you can enjoy it no matter how old you are, no matter if you have money or if you don’t.  Celebrating it is as easy as simply opening your eyes and looking around you as you go about your day.  Now don’t be confused because there are different bird days – I guess with an activity this popular there is bound to be more than one, right?  Bird Day is the oldest of the celebrations and is set aside to recognize birds in general, and was first observed on May 4, 1894.  

National Bird Day was set up by bird activists, and was intended to raise awareness of birds in captivity, and to the exploitation of birds in the pet industry.  Now I need to put my own two cents worth in here – while yes, I agree that taking birds out of the wild as adults and putting them into captivity is cruel, raising domestic birds that have never, ever, ever been in the wild isn’t.  These poor birds wouldn’t survive in the wild.  I have seen rants by animal activists calling for the release of not just birds, but any animal in captivity, and that’s just plain stupid.  An animal born and bred domestically will not have the 1st clue about how to survive in a wild world and these brain dead folks need to just get a grip.  Plop them out of their comfortable homes and into the wild and see how THEY like it!  OK, moving on . . .  

Finally we have International Migratory Bird Day, which celebrates the amazing trip that migratory birds take each year.  They travel thousands of miles between breeding grounds in North America, and their winter homes in Central and South America.  Organizers say that this day is both to support, and increase awareness of efforts towards conservation of migratory birds.  Keep an eye out each season for the incredible sight of these birds coming in, or out, of your area.  

(These 2 woodpeckers I took with my cell phone – definitely NOT the quality of hubby’s camera)

There is a website my husband and I look at often that we both really love.  They have cameras set up in various areas to watch the local birds.  There is one that is set up in the winter showing a feeder.  Wow there is a lot of activity at that feeder!  It’s quite entertaining to watch!  Then there are others that show different birds through nesting and hatching.  I really loved watching the baby hawks hatch and grow up.  I’ve linked this site for you so you can enjoy them too! 

If you look towards the top of the bird site screen, the different types of bird cams are shown.  It’s not the time of year for babies yet, of course, but come spring you can watch the courtship of mama and papa, the preparation of the nests, and the laying of the eggs . . . it is actually quite addicting to watch the process. 



Of course, it’s not just the birds who appreciate the feeders.  There are always other guests we chase off throughout the year.   Just a note:  This morning alone hubby has documented 6 different species of birds that have visited the feeders.  Great start for National Bird Day!

Bean Day – Beans are awesome!  Seriously, they are!  They are a wonderful source of protein and energy.  You can store dried beans for months, or even years if stored properly, and they don’t go bad.  You can use them in soups, casseroles, or for seeds for the garden.  I’ve read several sources that listed that there are around 76 kinds of beans, but I think they must be speaking of 76 kinds of beans we currently eat in the society and around the world.  Wikipedia says that the world genebanks hold the seeds for over 40,000 different varieties of beans! The mind just boggles at that number!  It also makes me wonder why we only have the few varieties that are in the stores!?  I couldn’t find a complete list of all 76 reported varieties but I found THIS list which shows quite a few.  How many have YOU eaten?

 

List of Commonly Used Legumes
  • asparagus bean or snake bean
  • asparagus pea
  • baby lima bean
  • black bean
  • black turtle bean
  • Boston bean
  • Boston navy bean
  • broad bean
  • cannellini bean
  • chickpeas
  • chili bean
  • coco bean
  • cranberry bean
  • Egyptian bean
  • Egyptian white broad bean
  • English bean
  • fava bean
  • fava-coceira
  • field pea
  • French green beans
  • frijo bola roja
  • frijole negro
  • great Northern bean
  • green beans
  • green and yellow peas
  • kidney beans
  • lima bean
  • Madagascar bean
  • Mexican black bean
  • Mexican red bean
  • molasses face bean
  • mung bean
  • mung pea
  • mungo bean
  • navy bean
  • pea bean
  • Peruvian bean
  • pinto bean
  • red bean
  • red eye bean
  • red kidney bean
  • rice bean
  • runner bean
  • scarlet runner bean
  • small red bean
  • small white bean
  • soy bean or soybean
  • wax bean
  • white kidney bean
  • white pea bean
 
And don’t forget beans that won’t be on the eating list!  How about Vanilla beans?  or coffee beans?  Hm?  You wouldn’t put them in your soup, but they are bean products that we use all the time!
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Food Celebration of the Day  –

National Whipped Cream Day – I shouldn’t like this one so much, and you have no idea just READING the words, how much I want something smothered in whipped cream – my morning latte maybe! I won’t though.  As much as I think that we should celebrate coffee, cocoa and dessert EVERY day topped with whipped cream, I will resist and leave that up to other folks who don’t happen to be trying to eat healthy again.  It’s just far too soon to blow it! 

 

 

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.  Enjoy time with family, or alone if you prefer.  Spend time talking to God – He’s an awesome conversationalist and has a lot of amazing things to say if we just shut up and listen to Him.  You may think you are talking to yourself, the ceiling, or to nobody, but that isn’t true.  He hears, and He responds – that little voice that you hear in your heart of hearts?  It’s likely Him.  Shhhhh . . . pay attention . . . God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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