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Grape Jelly

As I stood by the kitchen window the other day I noticed a flash of orange out of the corner of my eye. I was mostly concerned with the angry looking thunderstorm clouds I was seeing across the Missouri River heading my way. So I tucked the flash of orange in the back of my mind for later. The thunderstorm dropped some much needed rain on my freshly fertilized lawn and then moved on to the east.

What was the flash of color? An oriole! It's such a great day on the farm when the Orioles make their return from vacation down south. Such a pretty bird with an even prettier song.

In bird world the beauty contest is almost always won by the male. We get both Orchard Oriole and Baltimore Oriole here at Blue Tin Ranch but my favorite has got to be the male Baltimore. He has such a vibrant orange color that really stands out in the trees that are just starting to get their summer green. His female counterpart isn't exactly lacking in the beauty department though.

I immediately went to my pantry and broke into my stash of grape jelly. If you notice the empty store shelves in the jelly section this time of year, it's because many of us are feeding the Orioles. I try to buy up Smuckers in the winter time so I have a ready supply when the birds make their appearance, but I will inevitably run out before the birds leave to build their nests and starting eating insects.

A hanging plate is where I feed the Orioles. It is located in a tree outside of my living room window and watching them jockey for position to be able to dip their beak into the sticky jelly is such a joy. The guests in the chicken coop also have a 'birds eye' view of the feeding station.

So, if you are craving a PB&J sandwich this time of year and are disappointed by the bare shelves in the store, maybe change up the menu and opt for a grilled cheese. The Orioles aren't here for very long and I'm sure the shelves will be full again soon!

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