National Bird Feeding Month . . . Help Take Care Of Our Feathered Friends In These Harsh Winter Days

Feb 6th

Good Morning! It’s a cold, cold Thursday – not Polar Vortex cold, but cold for us.  I, as usual, started this last night, and when I went out with the dog the stars were AMAZING! The sky was so clear, the air crisp and clean.  Wow, I love this time of year.  It’s magical, isn’t it?  There’s a special quality to the quiet on a frozen night, like everything is holding its breath so everyone can sleep.  Honestly, this weather wakes me up, makes me happy and puts a giant smile on my face.  The only down side – but only because I’m on a special eating plan – is that it makes me want to bake.  In my mind there’s a connection between the cold and something yummy in the oven.  Maybe I got it from Grandma K, or maybe from my Mom . . . or maybe I’m just addicted to baking.  Whatever the reason, it’s nearly an irresistible force.

Lame Duck Day – Well, this one is going to take an act of will and self-control, because when I think of a Lame Duck these days, it is with glee that that guy who calls himself our leader is a Lame Duck.  Thank God.  I just hope we can survive the remaining time until we can see the last of him plaguing our TV screens, newspapers, and lives.  Maybe the next person will be fiscally responsible, love our nation and the American people, respect our military and take our Constitution seriously.  (Yes, this truly is me showing self-control – you don’t want to see me NOT showing self-control.  Well some of you might . . . )  For any of you who have decided to get your panties in a wad over what I just said. . . relax.  I’m not telling you to agree with me, and it’s called Freedom of Speech . . . something that we still can claim . . . for now.  Anyway, that’s a Lame Duck.  Someone, usually in political office, who cannot be reelected and is approaching the end of their term.  Did I cheer yet?  I did? Well, I’m doing it again . . .and dancing a little.

National Bird Feeding Month – Here we are, mid winter, and I’m sure you’ve noticed all the little birds flitting around looking for food. We have four feeders for the hungry little guys, and some days all four are completely busy with a variety of birds coming and going.  It’s fascinating.  I always thought hummingbirds went away for the winter, but their feeder is always busy!  Which reminds me, we need to check to make sure it’s not frozen. I’m sure it is by now – someone is going to get a bent beak!  I didn’t even think of that yesterday when I was on the back deck – could explain why two of the buzzed me!  Anyway, this celebratory month was created to educate the public about wild bird feeding and bird watching as a hobby.  It’s actually an idea month for promoting and enjoying bird feeding because most of us can easily do it at home, bring a little bit of nature closer to our windows so we can appreciate it.  February is one of the most difficult months in the United States and Canada for wild birds.  It is difficult for the birds to find food, water and shelter, so any of us who feed the birds are helping them to survive.  Did you know that about one third of the U.S. population feeds wild birds in their back yards?  Are you part of that one third?  Celebrating this month by feeding the birds isn’t just good for them, it’s good for us too.  Taking time to watch the birds eat has been proven to be very relaxing and peaceful, relieving stress by just absorbing the beauty of nature.  This can also be an excellent educational tool for young children.  They can identify different species of birds with a field guide and learn about their feeding and living habits.  If you don’t have a bird feeder, maybe look up some DIY feeders, or head down to the store to find one that fits into your budget, buy a bag of seed and you’re set.  Just a note – I’ve found that our birds prefer just the black sunflower seeds, rather than the mixed wild bird food.  We had the wild bird seed and the silly birds were kicking those seeds onto the ground and just eating the black sunflower seeds. Go figure!  Oh well, the squirrels seem to like the scattered seed, so it’s not a loss.  (Re: this picture – my husband takes the best pictures of our back porch birds.  I forget what this little guy is called, but isn’t he beautiful?)

Canadian Maple Syrup Day – The Canadian people have long celebrated the gift of rich maple syrup, but they didn’t have a set holiday for it.  Maple syrup festivals happen in late March to early April around the country, and the American Maple Syrup Day is celebrated in December each year.  It was decided in 2010 that Canada needed a special day to mark the beginning of the syrup rising in the maple trees, even though they may be running at full speed closer to the beginning of spring.  Those first few drops of syrup appear in early February, and those are the ones that are worth celebrating!  And so it is that February 6, 2010 marked the first Canadian Maple Syrup Day. So how should you celebrate this one?  Well, by cooking with pure Canadian maple syrup of course! Make pancakes, waffles or French toast for breakfast.  You can use maple syrup for supper in roast potatoes, yams, carrots or squash.  You can use it as a glaze on ham, or a marinade for salmon.  It’s great for dessert too!  Maple syrup cookies, ice cream or liqueurs are just a beginning!  YUM!

This Day In History

1935 – The board game Monopoly first went on sale.     
1971 – Astronaut Alan Shepard hits three golf balls on the moon.

Food Celebration of the Day

National Frozen Yogurt Day – The health-crazed ’70s brought the birth of frozen yogurt, but it didn’t really take off until the ’80s, when the sugar was increased to balance the natural tartness.  I wanted to make some not long ago, but realized that I’d lost the paddle to my electric ice cream freezer.  I contacted the company and apparently my machine is old enough that they don’t have parts for it any longer – so I’ll need to buy a new one. Maybe one of these ideas from www.food.com will entice you to make some today! Let me know if you do!

4-Ingredient Fruity Frozen Yogurt
Horchata Frozen Yogurt
Tangy Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Fruit Yogurt Popsicles
Snickers Dessert on a Diet
Cranberry Blush Smoothie
Low-Fat Peach Frozen Yogurt

Please be sure to stop by and check out the Pinterest Party!  Today is the first time I’ve been asked to be a guest blogger for one and I am so excited!  I still don’t have much of a clue about how Pinterest works, since yesterday was the first time I’ve taken much time to look at it, but I am trying to learn!  Have a wonderful day today, enjoy the celebrations, feed the birds and join the party!  God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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