The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

A Winter Day In The Blue Ridge

By Ivalien Hylton Belcher © 1985

Issue: March, 1985

a winter day in the blue ridgeEasy to make bird feeder provides hours of entertainment for you and nourishment for birds.The first week in January brought a touch of winter to the mountains of the Blue Ridge in the form of an ice storm. Along with it came broken trees and power lines. In spite of the hardships, I believe it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. You probably are thinking, "How in the world can she think all that mess is beautiful?"

I just couldn't get very much work done on this day. There I was carrying in firewood for my woodstove and enjoying every minute of it. All day I admired the beauty of the ice storm. The trees wore sparkling coats of ice, some as much as two inches thick. The sunlight made diamonds seem to appear dancing in the ice. Even the lowly briar was transformed into a thing of beauty. Stately pines wore an armor of ice. I went onto my deck and stood amazed. This was a restful day and I took time to enjoy it.

With the storm came the birds. Several different types came to feast from the bird feeders. A Red Bird spent the entire day and was still there when darkness came. That bird sitting in my Mock Orange bush made a picturesque scene. A naughty Blue Jay made himself at home on my deck.

The bird feeders were in use all of the day. I would like to share the directions for a simple bird feeder anyone can make. They are quite simple and even I can make them. The idea came from my cousin when I was visiting my aunt and saw the feeders in their pine trees.

First, get a two-liter plastic bottle that soft drinks come in. Save the metal screw on lid too. You will also need a large plastic butter bowl. It will form a protective "roof" for the feeder. Cut a hole and insert a bolt and washer from the bottom side of the butter bowl through a hole in the bottle cap lid. Screw on a nut from the bottom side. Screw the lid on the bottle. Next, cut holes in two sides of the bottle down near the hard plastic. This will be the "feeding holes." Bore holes through the hard plastic sides, below the feeding holes and insert a stick for the birds to perch on. You can wrap a wire around the bolt at the top and use it to hang your feeder from a tree limb. Fill it with seeds and sit back and enjoy your little visitors. They will bring hours of enjoyment to both young and old. I enjoy the birds and their little antics all the time.

When darkness settled in, it brought a different kind of beauty on that winter day. A full moon came creeping over the mountain. The trees were glistening in the moonlight. Several times I went onto my deck and enjoyed the scene of beauty. I never saw a tree at Christmas time that could top that.

Yes, I had broken branches in my yard. No electricity! But my oil lamp and candles gave a soft glow of light. It had been an enjoyable day. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. God's hand had touched the Blue Ridge Mountains.