Learning patience by birdwatching

(Click to enlarge photos)

Black caps and white cheeks flash past my windows as the chickadees flit to and from the birdfeeder, interspersed with the occasional nuthatch. They dart in to snatch a morsel, then swivel away on their rapid return to the trees.

I sit with camera in hand and try to catch a photo, but on the automatic setting and without my tripod it’s almost impossible. These tiny fliers are constantly on the move and most of the images show the birdfeeder, but not the birds. Timing is everything!

The stellar jays and juncos are a little more cooperative, sometimes stopping briefly on the railing as they munch a mouthful.

Sparrows and varied thrush have a different mealtime technique altogether, choosing to clean up leftover seeds from the deck rather than hover airborne. The different species often arrive at the same time, but take turns, obeying an invisible pecking order as they dart in for their meal.

There is so much I can learn about God’s care from watching the birds. They may seem like insignificant creatures with very basic needs yet God provides for them, although they must work industriously to take advantage of those provisions.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” [Luke 12:6 NIV]

Thinking of the earlier “timing is everything” comment, there’s a writing application here, too. When years of writing, revising and querying make us question our publishing dreams, it is encouraging to remember that patience coupled with vigilance and effort is important, and that “success comes when preparation meets opportunity.” [Henry Hartman]

To expect success in this particular challenge, I think I’d better go find my tripod!

What other lessons could we learn from God’s many creatures?



5 thoughts on “Learning patience by birdwatching

  1. Judith Robl says:

    Your photos never cease to amaze me. They are lovely. Thank you for sharing. You have enriched my life on so many levels.

  2. When this post showed up in my email and I read the title … I knew immediately who the author was ! Yes, you are the teller of her tales, the link to her majesty and I love your photographs as much as the message they convey. There is everything in our world we need … we only have to stop and look 🙂

    I might answer your question with another … what don’t we learn from the majesty of our Higher Power?

  3. joylene says:

    Beautiful photos, Carol. Simply stunning. Their colours are so vibrant.

    I love watching my cats up close. There’s a wisdom behind their eyes that is so captivating. They’re not generally as tender as dogs, but they seem to know a thing or two. I learn patience from them. God teaches me to live in the moment through them. Those now moments are always precious.

  4. Laura Best says:

    Nice photos. Trying to get photos of birds is very challenging and, like writing, requires much patience. It’s a good thing we have digital cameras today and can snap to our heart’s content.

  5. So nice to have all of you stop in with your comments this weekend. Thank you, Judith and Florence, for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoy the photos. I’m pretty much a point-and-click person and hope to extract a few useable shots from a great quantity of discards. Yes Laura, I’m appalled at how many photos I delete now and what a waste that would have been back in my film-shooting days. I took a lot fewer shots then. I love my digital camera!

    Joylene, there’s a lot we can learn from the animals in our lives, isn’t there? Mind you, at times they refuse to be ignored, demanding their needs be met.

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