Yellow Bellied Mattress Thrasher!

I love birding. Particularly the art of attracting birds to feeders and nesting structures. I remember my very first bird feeder as a young kid... we got it using the S&H greenstamps earned at the grocery store. The stamps were sort of the old school shopper loyalty program. The store had a catalogue from which you could order merch using the stamps as payment. The bird feeder I saw as the perfect prize! It was a large red plastic hopper type feeder shaped like a barn, perched atop was a plastic cupola lid where you filled the feeder with bird seed. It also came with a Golden Guide to birds picture book!

When we got the new feeder I remember watching it closely to see who would be the first bird to use it. To this day when I put up a new feeder I relive that moment! This morning as I sat on the porch swing at my stoa I enjoyed the birds as I do most mornings. It is a great way to start each day with a cup of coffee. I have been feeding and watching birds for probably a bit over 40 years now.

And today.... I saw something at my bird feeder I have never seen.... a yellow-throated warbler! I was surprised as most warblers are totally insectivorous and would rarely if ever use a feeder full of seed. However today I learned the YTW does occasionally eat at feeders! This is what I love about a good hobby... you never stop learning. There is always something new to learn or experience. Reminding me to take everyday with the attitude of STUDENT.

Great hobbies or past-times are this way... you never fully master them. For me this includes physical fitness, flying, parachuting, backpacking, mountain climbing, biology, public speaking and learning in general. I love it all. I am not merely "interested" in self development... I am OBSESSED with it!

Think about how you start your day. Did you start it with CNN or a bird feeder? I watched the bird feeder! How you start your day sets the tone for the kickoff. Did you start it in awe, wonder and gratitude? Or did you start it with fear, loathing, and sensationalism?

Start your day with THANK YOU! Give thanks for each bird sent your way, the breeze, the sun, the trees, the grass. And one more glorious day! GIVE THANKS, then revisit your DECLARATIONS! Restate your deepest declarations- I will be my best... I will stand for me... I will take care of my body... I will continue to improve in all areas... I will be humble as a student but never satisfied... I will honor all who came before me.... as God is my witness I will never quit!

How you start everyday sets the tone! Start with gratitude then declarations! Thank you for coming my way this morning Mr. Yellow-throated warbler!

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