According to Dorothy Frances Gurney, we can’t get closer to God than when we are in a garden. I’ve noticed there’s something else you can come closer to while working or resting in one’s own garden—birds. Many times I’ve been blessed by visits from feathered friends who’ve landed in nearby branches as I sip afternoon coffee or give a sip of water to my flowers.
When I first started taking pictures of my property, I focused on the flowers, trees, and bees. But as I spent more time photographing, I noticed the birds in my neighborhood became more comfortable with my presence. They started hanging out closer to me. And as long as I didn’t overstay my welcome in their space, I was blessed with birdwatching opportunities without having to drive to a nature park.
The key to taking advantage of wildlife in one’s own garden is to be prepared. Having your camera nearby and ready is worth the forethought it takes when a lovely creature shows up in one of your trees. Often, I leave my camera by the backdoor so I can quickly reach in and grab it when opportunities arrive. During peak birdwatching season, I usually keep it with me when I’m outside. Some birds are shy and don’t sit still long enough for you to click a shot. I’ve been trying to catch a clear picture of Cedar waxwings; so far, I’ve only managed to capture blurry shots. But I will keep trying.
Through birdwatching in my garden, I’ve gained an appreciation for how humans and birds can co-exist in harmony. I don’t use chemicals on my plants, and I rarely remove flowers that have gone to seed. This provides safe food for birds during winter and clean straw for their nesting material in spring.
As I admire the beauty and variety God has created in the bird world, I’m drawn closer to Him as I worship and praise the Creator of both gardens and creatures. Yes, Dorothy Frances Gurney said it right:
“The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.”
I hope you’re able to grow or visit a patch of garden where you can enjoy birds too.
Blessings from my garden to yours ~ Wendy
About the Gardener/Writer
Wendy L. Macdonald is a Canadian, inspirational writer/blogger/podcaster who also loves to photograph nature. When she’s not writing, drawing, gardening, or sewing, she enjoys hiking, with her husband, in the beautiful parks of the Comox Valley. Wendy invites you to visit her blog: www.wendylmacdonald.com, where you will find nature photography and links to her “Daily Bread” style Facebook page and other social media sites. Her passion is inspiring others to walk with faith, hope, and love. You can hear her podcasts at: www.hopestreamradio.com/program/walking-with-hope.