So the conversation started like this:
IAN: Where do earffworms go in the winter, Mom?
ME: Um, I don't know. I think they freeze. Or maybe they hibernate. I'll read about it.
IAN: What do birds eat in the winter then?
ME: Well, they find whatever they can.
IAN: Ok. I'll start collecting.
1/2 hour later Ian comes to get me with his collection pictured above:
IAN: Look mom. This is for the birds to eat in the winter!
ME: Oh! That's great! There's one problem though. Birds don't eat rocks. Or flower petals. Maybe we can collect something else.
IAN: Like what? How can we feed them mom? The earffworms will freeeee-eeee-eeze (insert hyper shivering child here).
ME: Hey, I know...let's talk to Dad when he gets home, and maybe we can have a family project to build a bird feeder this weekend. We can go to the store...and...
IAN: Is Dad home yet? I'll wait on the porch.
4 hours later:
Evidently, Kenneth didn't even get to come inside the house. While I was getting Ella up from her nap, I came out on the back porch to see this. The man was building before he even had time to put his bag down.
OK. Don't freak out and send me hate mail. Yes, my almost 5 year old is inches away from a scary blade...of course he was never close to it while it was on. He was in charge of marking the wood. But we're of the school of thought that if you teach children young, they understand danger and how to act around it. Ian learned how to saute onions on the stove at age three, for instance...attended by an adult of course. But anyways....I have to cover myself because, you know, this is the internet and I've been sent hate mail for things like having my 1 year old in point shoes. Anyways...I digress....
So what I thought was going to turn into a fun weekend long project, took exactly an hour. We had scrap fence pieces laying around, and some tools to boot.
It got quite loud...but never boring.
Ken built a little hinged rooftop so we could pour the seed in and out easily. And the large tray would allow multiple birds to eat at the same time. (We have some big birds around here, and the last thing I wanted was to encourage fighting. Can you tell I'm a mom of 3 children under 5?)
And Voila. A simple solution to frozen earthworms.
It took a about 3 days for the birds to figure out it was there, and to come often. Now, we have birds we've never even seen before! Namely the really tiny ones that stay hidden. I'm going to have to start learning more about birds now...and it makes me so happy. Ella yells, "Ba! Ba!" and the children have learned to stop talking (yelling) at breakfast when they see the birds in the feeder so they don't scare them away.
Perfect. I'm starting to feel ready for winter already. We're keeping the birds happy in our corner of the earth. Or at least we're keeping the birds close to us so we can feel there is still life when winter erases most of it away. Either way, I'm happy.