Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Flight

Suet birdseed cake and coated apples styled by Todd Foster

Jeanne d'Arc Living Autumn 2010

You move me
You move me
With your buildings and your eyes
Autumn woods and winter skies

Neil Peart (Rush), from The Analog Kid

Late fall is the best stage, when no green remains.  From bare branches vibrant leaves fall up, down, sideways, tinkling, snowing, flying in glittering droves, like birds. 

How I love wild birdies, especially chickadees.  Fall is the time to welcome your winter birds back, and why not pamper them in clever style?

This feature in Jeanne d’Arc Living’s 2010 Autumn issue (I bought on Etsy in May) by Dorte Palsgaard and Anette Christensen with photos by Lonnie Wurtz Jensen moved me so much I couldn’t wait until next fall to try their ideas.

A bar of lard cost about $2.00 and a 40 lb. bag of birdseed is $20 on sale, so a handful of seed is pennies. You melt the lard in a pan on low heat, pour and sprinkle seeds alternately, put it in the fridge overnight and it's done.   It made not only this lovely ‘suet cake’ but a pair of brioche tin shapes, too.  The seeded apples hung on hemp rope work better if you tie them against a branch to allow the birdies good footing.  Domestic birds aren’t exempt from this treat: hens eat wild apples if they’re cut up, and birdseed makes them bonkers.

Standing in my orchard with a warm sweater on, smelling the perfume of grounded leaves and woodsmoke, listening to the chatter of chickadees is one of the best things in life.  

Until next time, stay shabby!

For everyone wishing sympathy for the loss of my Belle, 
and congratulations on meeting Rachel,
I humbly thank you!