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Okay, so, I live in an apartment. I don’t have my own yard. We have nice shared grounds, though. I’m on the second floor and from a couple of my windows I can see a huge, beautiful horsechestnut tree and a smaller tree that I still haven’t been able to identify. It’s one of those maybe-tree, maybe-shrub creatures, with what looks like multiple trunks all coming from the base.

There’s a woman who lives downstairs who enjoys putting lots of flowering plants into containers out back, and she also feeds the birds. Just outside her window she put a bird feeder hanger with several different plates for seed hanging from it. She does this every spring and summer and by now has attracted a lot of wild birds—sparrows, nuthatches, black-capped chickadees, jays, cardinals. But I can’t enjoy them too well from up here because it’s at an awkward angle for me to look out my window at them. I decided I needed my own feeder, which may not sound like a monumental moment to you, dear reader, but was a big deal for me since I’d never done it before. I waned something inexpensive and I found it: a $4.99 cone-shaped green metal suet feeder. For another couple of dollars I purchased a suet cake with red pepper in it because the birds don’t mind the pepper but the pesty squirrels can’t stand it, so they stay away. Two evenings ago I set up this contraption on a low-hanging, sturdy branch of the shrub-tree that I’d be able to see easily from my windows, and when I got up unusually early yesterday morning (thanks to a cat that woke me by vomiting on my bed) I remembered about the birds and went to have a look. They were having a party! Thanks to the lady downstairs and her big bird collection it didn’t take long for word to spread that there was a new feeder in town. I watched throughout the morning as they chipped away at the brick-colored block of suet, and by the end of the day it was completely gone.

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