TMF: That Magic Feeling
Okay so this may not be that novel of an idea of if you already have a pet or are a caregiver… but there is something so simple and magical about feeding a living creature especially those out in nature. Also it can be incredibly simple, you can put out a bird feeder or get a few peanuts for the squirrels or chipmunks depending on your area. If you live an apartment complex and cannot feed the local wildlife you can go to a petting zoo and feed the animals. (And if you aren’t into the feeding aspect just watching these creatures in nature or watching animals can spark some magic.)
If you do decide to feed the local wildlife with any regularity you need to do some research, the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, etc. in your area make like a specific type of food… also you want to make sure that your area isn’t prone to certain types of pests… what time of day to put out the food, what type of feeder if one is needed, where to put the food, etc.
Specifically I feed a chipmunk. It makes me feel like a Disney princess because this specific chipmunk is so used to me that he/she comes up to the door waiting for some yummy treats but is skittish of everyone else. (I am not sure of it’s a gender I think it is a girl for some reason, but I will use the pronoun of he from here on for ease.) This chipmunk disappears each winter to return every spring/summer/fall. About three years ago I started to feed him and it started with simple food like peanuts but then I looked into it and realized that too many peanuts can make chipmunk fat or even ill! So I did more research and only give peanuts as a special treat.
My husband feeds the birds with a bird feeder in the tree and we see so many different breeds/kinds. It is great to be able to bird watch from our window/yard. He’s done this the past few years (and if we can get our act together for the current summer we hope to keep feeding those birdies; long story but we’ve had a lot going on with work and family so trying to keep up with it is very tough). Normally when he does this he will fill up the feeder once or twice a week and the birds will come usually in intervals.
Now if you already own/have a pet you might be able to get that magic feeling when you give them a special treat, taking that animal for a walk, or playing with your animal.
But what if you don’t have a pet AND (for whatever reason) cannot feed the wildlife… well there are some options! You may want to check out zoos, county fairs, parks, or even your family or friend’s homes! My hubby and I attend our local county fair almost every summer and they have live animals that you can see, pet, and feed. (Usually it’s a minimal cost to get a cup of food to feed animals such as donkeys, goats, and cows.) Also some Zoos give you the opportunity to feeds the animals, I personally have not done this but I know people who have, some extra special events where they have a special ticket to feed animals like giraffes or penguins. Maybe family or a friend has a pet that you can spoil and be the aunt/uncle to! I know I am a proud Aunt to some fur-children. I also greatly enjoy just dog watching at the park and seeing all the adorable doggies (I unabashedly tend to call all fluffy animals floofers and my husband and I will say “floofer alert” when we see a cute animal… I think part of that magic feeling is allowing yourself to be unashamed of your geeky/dorky/”lame” self haha!).
Side note: All of this is a great way for me to have the joy of a pet without the responsibility, I know that sounds terrible… but I just feel like it would be unfair to have a pet at home when my husband and I work so much and are rarely home and other important factors… I mean if we don’t feed the birds a season they will find other feeders and other things to eat in nature… a pet would solely be dependent on us! (Also, I don’t have to clean up any poop, ha! Although I do help out a lot with family and friend’s pets and have taken them on walks, picked up poo, bathed them, fed them, etc.)
So, whether it’s from your doorstep, at a fair, in a zoo, giving a your/family’s/friend’s pet a special present… feeding/taking care of a living creature is a way to show nature that you care, and is something so incredibly simple that can stir up a bit of that magic feeling I keep mentioning! Even if you don’t feed the animals just going to the zoo or seeing dogs walking in the park can bring a bit of that magic and usually it brings a big smile to my face.
Remember You Got This!