I’m with Gorky on this one, and spend plentiful moments watching the birds in the garden.  Their cheeriness and resilience even on blastingly cold winter days never ceases to impress me.  

Mainly, we have blackbirds, coal- and blue-tits, a feisty robin, and perky sparrows by the dozen.  In summer the range expands.   One of my greatest pleasures is putting out fresh water for them, including when the cold freezes over the bird baths, and then watching them pile in to splash about. 

I loved watching the habits of small birds, and thinking about them.  It’s wonderful to sit alone at the verge of a field of snow and listen to the birds twittering in the crystalline silence of a frosty day, while somewhere far off the bells of a passing troika – sad herald of the Russian winter – sing out. 


Source: Maxim Gorky, My Childhood, trans. Ronald Wilks (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1966), p. 151

Photo credit: 12019 at pixabay


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