Feast & Festive Outdoor Tree For the Birds
For me, caring for the land in my trust is part of the creed I live by. It has been a guiding principle in my life for many decades now and will always be a part of who I am.
It is natural then, when the Yuletide Season begins, I’ll want to bring the cheer and festivities outdoors. In the last couple of years we’ve not been able to do this; but, there was no stopping us during our time at home in the midst of a pandemic.
There are a ton of recipes out there for the how and why. For our tree this year we made a garland of popcorn, cranberries, and dried oranges. We also spiked mandarins with black sunflowers pierced into the rind and hung them. They act as nutrient rich liquid supply as the birds peck at them, as water sources can freeze this time of year, which the day after we put all this into place we got the following:
We also took the last of the pumpkins from our garden and cut them in half and filled them with birdseed and coconut oil. I had just recently made Sun King Soup and used the center piece of the two halves of the pumpkin I roasted for that, which contained a cool looking stem, and rubbed the inside with vegetable lard — fat intake is critical to birds right now toothpicked cranberries inside of it and made little cranberry perches for the birds.
We also took apple slices and put natural peanut butter on one side and dipped it in wild bird seed. Lastly, we created holiday cookie cutouts of bird seed and coconut oil; but, I don’t have any silicon molds, which was recommended, so it didn’t quite work. More exploration for perhaps a Imbolc tree for the birds? At least we learned and can better prepare for next Winter Solstice.
As I write this we haven’t yet seen our feathered friends; but, there is evidence they have found the goodies. One of the oranges has already been pecked of its seeds and something with sharp teeth bit at the rind. Of course now, that orange is under the snow; but, it’ll be there when it likely melts in the next day or so.
This holiday tradition is deep in its pagan roots of caring for the earth and its inhabitants. And it was fun and fulfilling to do. We have hours and days of watching the wildlife enjoy our offering and as a food-grower, this area will become one that will be for the wildlife always and hopefully they’ll leave our crops alone (haha!) One can hope.
I’m happy to entertain any questions if you want to try to do something similar. You don’t need a whole tree; but, that certainly is prime. But over the years, I’ve hung these types of things from apartment balconies, along my favorite trail, or from a shepherd’s hook near a prime viewing window or door. A potted plant at the entrance can help bring you and nature together at Yule time.
Bright Solstice, all and a Blessed Yuletide. ~Runa