Since I was a boy, nature and wildlife have been the most amazing experiences. I would always look forward to being a mere witness in the middle of it all, with immense excitement. A close friend, a passionate bird watcher and quite knowledgeable of their behaviour, used to captivate my attention with amazing stories and taught me to pay attention to the unbelievable songs that filled the forests all day long. Among these stories and teachings, P. was telling us how we all have to consider nature as a best friend, and learn how to make it part of our daily life. During winter, his backyard was overflowing with small wooden boxes filled with seeds and animal fat; he used to say: “Winter is harsh this year, and our friends that enchant our nature hikes with songs and sights, are in trouble, it’s hard for them to survive in such conditions. I have to give them a hand.”
Years have passed since then and unfortunately he is not longer with us, but every year, in my family’s backyard, you will find, as he taught me, boxes with all kind of seeds, fruits, and animal fat.
And every morning, as we drink our coffee, a whole bunch of curious hungry little eyes would stare at us, as if saying: “Ok, ok, you and your coffee! Hurry up, it’s our turn now!”
As spring starts to melt the frozen soil, temperatures rise and trees start to blossom, you will find the backyard gang still there, but this time cleaning the trees of all sort of insects, and singing their love songs, looking at us as we do our chores around the house…
Now, this winter, harsh and cold as it was, this hopping around the trees has turned into a “portrait” photo session. And the “stars of the show” behaved quite well, although in the beginning they were a little weary about the lens and the click-clack of my camera. But in the end, they were more interested in the food, my presence was overlooked, and the hopping, and running, and chirping around the trees and bushes never stopped till sunset.
Now, folks, meet the gang:
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