My favorite spot not in the house.
When I began to think about what makes my home “sweet” home, my two favorite spots to work came instantly to mind.
At first I thought my favorite thing might be my back patio.
That’s my preferred place to work, weather permitting. And Georgia’s mild climate kindly permits me to grab my laptop and work out there in the fresh air quite often, serenaded by the songs, sightings and sounds of nature all around me.
A close runner up would be my home office
because it’s right above my patio, and the desk is placed so I can gaze right out of the window and into the tree tops to be entertained by the bright flash of birds flitting about and squirrels leaping from limb to limb while I work.
But drilling down to the common denominator, I realize, my exact favorite thing about the house that I would not change is not in the house or on the patio.
My favorite spot not in the house is out at the end of that Georgia back yard. It’s that weathered old fence, that creates a perfect venue for every kind of native and migrating bird and butterfly and affords me a never-ending nature show. I know you can’t see them in the pictures I snapped this afternoon, but trust me when I tell you the denizens of the woods are there, in force.
It’s actually the location of the back yard that drew me to this place, pushing as it does right up against this small stand of Georgia woods -- tall pines swaying in the wind, interspersed amidst a thick and unruly tumble of deciduous trees and wild flowering bushes, Texas rose, honeysuckle, columbines, scuppernong vines, wild white lilac and more.
You see, that weathered old fence separates the lawn from the woods and that strip of brush, undergrowth, scrub and fallen leaves running along its edge creates a year-round smorgsbord for small creatures. Especially my beloved birds. They all come to that fence -- the jays, robins, chickadees, cardinals, catbirds, towhees, mockingbirds, flycatchers, redwings, cedar waxings, crows, hawks, falcons, hummingbirds, owls, bluebirds, woodpeckers, even the turkey buzzards and geese have stopped by for a visit.
And that’s JUST the birds! There are dragonflies, butterflies, anoles, tree frogs -- all kinds of things that fly, hop and scamper, show up at that fence from time to time throughout the day.
Just the opposite of manicured, the woods my old fence harnesses and holds in check is a wild and wonderful mess of color and life, with blooms in the spring and berries in the fall that attract every kind of bird or butterfly that passes this way.
And, oh what a show in autumn, when leaves burst into flames of hot color -- one final spectacular show before they fall away and permit me an unobstructed view of beautiful, bare trunks and branches reaching upward against winter’s grey sky among the evergreen pines laden with cones. That's when I get to see the birds in their full glory.
It's not cute nor cultivated, but it's beautiful, and is my favorite feature of the property.