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    Hints of Balsam and Pine  from our  corner of the Adirondacks. Adirondack Letters
    No.12: A Chickadee Story.
    Hints of Balsam and Pine: Nature Reflections in a minor key from our quiet corner of the Adirondacks. For Fourpeaks Guests and anyone who ever dreamed about a wilderness getaway. CLICK & GO!  (On this page.)   Adirondack Letter No.12: "A Chickadee Story."   More stuff in An Adirondack Miscellany.   (On the next page.)   Chickadees in Winter.   List and Links to all the Adirondack Letters in this series.  

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    "A Chickadee Story" Adirondack Letter No.12
    Subject: "A Chickadee Story." Adirondack Letter No.12
    Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 18:37:33
    From: Your Adirondack Guide < >
    To:    Fourpeaks Visitors
    At:    < youremailname@youremail.address >

    Dear Fourpeaks Visitor,

    November a couple of years ago I remember things didn't feel
    right. The air was cold and the forest world all around was
    already bare and still--you could see right through it to the
    end. But something was wrong. The flock of small black and grey
    birds that gathered every year at the lilac by the Stone House
    back door was nowhere to be seen.

    At first I blamed myself for not putting out the Winter feed early
    enough. The large clear plastic holder let out seeds from the
    bottom. Maybe they weren't visible enough. I got the big sack of
    mixed oily black and striped sunflower seed from the cellar bin
    and added an extra amount all around the perch. Maybe the hop
    vines scared them off, so I cut all that away. I worried about
    them through most of December.

    I put another feeder on the garden fence as well. Maggie made it
    as a sixth grader on a weekend visit to the Wildlife Center in
    Newton with a new friend from school. They worked with twigs,
    split oak and found woods pieces with the help of a young nature
    instructor. There was a sizeable gap through which some seed
    would always fall.

    All by itself on the corner of the fence with seed drizzled about
    and lots of air space around, they found that first. It took a
    week. There was only two, the lead couple from a nearby forest
    flock on a search for food. I refilled that crude inefficient
    feeder many times.

    By January the pair had found the big seed store. Soon they
    brought along a half dozen more of their frail fellow creatures.
    I added a tray of peanut-suet mix. Their numbers were nowhere as
    many as in former years. But it grew in time and things were again
    as they should be at a Northcountry home in Winter.

    A year ago I took up living at camp for good. When the time came I
    struggled with the choices. Bird feeders I used for years were
    lost like many other personal favorites in the maelstrom of a
    broken marriage. I checked out the Aubuchon in town and found
    quite a number of efficient models in plastic and steel. Then
    there were a few of the little painted wooden houses. The Agway in
    Plattsburgh had an even larger selection. One looked like it could
    hold a quarter bushel with lots of little perches arranged all up
    and down the long see-through tube that held the seed. Removeable
    too for convenient refilling. None of them felt like camp.

    One day a 2-1/2 gallon water jug from the recycling bin, some
    scraps of pine and an old broomstick I saved just fell together
    for a perfect camp bird feeder. I nailed it up outside the office
    window at Camp Barn. Low cost, created in such a totally
    accidental manner and in very little time--it fit right in at

    This time I remembered the method for attracting a new flock. I
    broadcast a generous amount of seed all around the drive in front
    plus even more at the tractor side shed to help them find it. It
    took a while and I worried same as before. But Eric assured me our
    Adirondack woods have an active chickadee population in all
    seasons and this store would surely find some happy customers.

    Soon pecking noises with an occasional loud thud regularly pierced
    the quiet. Tiny compact bodies poised over the seed. Hulls cracked
    with a swift blow. Watching them endlessly dart back and forth
    from pine to perch became a favorite winter pastime. George
    watched the busy feeder from the window in the sun. See it now at
    his "Office" webpage

    Forty degrees today. Water is dripping from the roof edge like
    rain, running off the ice sheet right into the shed. The frost is
    out at Stonehouse Road and I'm mudded in. Soon they'll pair off to
    raise a family in the dark woods, each couple in their own
    secluded place, separate from the flock all Summer long. We'll
    miss them. But we'll be sure the feeder is full again come Fall.
    CLICK for more about our chickadees
    plus a poem.

    Thanks for reading this. If you've ever been a guest here, go to for a earnest invitation to visit us
    again. If you've never been--check our up-to-date Availability
    Calendar and make some time. There's
    a lovely quiet season coming up.

    Till then please visit On-Line: "Explore our 700-acre rest and play-ground." Pretty Camps in a Hidden Valley. Walks with views & Beauty spots. Photo Guest Book--Meet our guests! NEW! "Stay Awhile In Style"

    Your Adirondack Guide,

    Martin Schwalbaum

    P.S. If you liked this Letter, tell a friend. CLICK to
    Recommend-It! If you
    didn't like it please send it back (reply) with "REMOVE" in the
    subject heading. Thanks.

            Member Whiteface Mountain Visitors Bureau
       Member Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau

    This is No.12 of a really occasional Letter, "Hints of Balsam
    and Pine from our Corner of the Adirondacks," for Fourpeaks guests
    or anyone who ever inquired about a Fourpeaks Vacation/Getaway. To
    see them all CLICK HERE To get off
    our list send this letter back (reply) with "REMOVE" in the
    subject heading.

    CLICK HERE for a bigger picture of the Fourpeaks Model H2O-2.5 Chickadee Bird Feeder.Fourpeaks Chickadee Bird Feeder.
    These hardy little birds keep us company through the long Adirondack Winters. We help them out with a generous handout of sunflower seed all winter long.
    CLICK HERE for Feeding Birds in Winter: The Black-capped Chickadee, to learn about their social behavior and aptations. It's fascinating.
    CLICK HERE for A Chickadee Story about our Fourpeaks Chickadees at Camp Barn.
    CLICK HERE for more views of our feeder and how you can make one yourself at very little cost.
    And CLICK HERE for a poem about them.

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    And receive occasional Adirondack Letters like this.

    .Are you in this picture? CLICK HERE to find out. 
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    'Hints of Balsam and Pine from Our Corner of the Adirondacks.' Keep up with us through occasional newsletters. CLICK for sample.
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