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It's all for the birds...

Updated: 4 days ago

Every Spring, my husband and I eagerly wait for the arrival of our summer roommates.

No, we haven't rented out the little cabin out back. Heck, we haven't even renovated it. The only creature that dares to sleep there is the mouse we nicknamed "Mouse on a Motorcycle" - who managed to fashion one heck of a bedroom out of an old plastic cup.

But I digress...back to our summer lodgers.

Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe.

If you have ever spoken with me during the month of May, I have absolutely no doubt you have heard me go on and on (and on) about the pair of Phoebes nesting on the edge of our home.

Phoebes have been coming to our home every year since... well, I can't even remember. We watch rather obsessively as they raise their mini-phoebes - and have observed group after group of little furry-winged fledglings fly the coop with the same teary admiration that human's typically reserve for grandchildren.

In a nutshell, we're all about the Phoebes.

We've watched their parents work harder and with more attention than most on-call surgeons. Holy hannah, the dedication to those hungry mouths. And so many of them! Typically two nests full a season. We actually think Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe are responsible for the populating most of Southern Vermont with glorious flycatchers. When we hear the tell-tale "Phoeeee-Beeeee" call, and see that characteristic tail flicker, my husband and I immediately look at each other and smile. Yup. Probably one that hatched at our house.


It's not just the phoebes, friends - we love all of the birds that visit us (and beyond).

And I don't think we are alone in our bird obsession.

The "Birds" themed section of the gallery is so popular. Right now it includes this amazing watercolor from Vermont artist Amy Hook-Therrien. And it also includes a number of beautiful custom framed antique prints.

When people find a piece of art inspired by their spirit-bird, they fall in love.

I see it happen all the time,

and it makes my heart swell with joy.

This year, a portion of all proceeds from the "Birds" area of the gallery

will be going to the


VINS is dedicated to educating the public about birds and the environment, and they also have an important role as a bird rehabilitation facility. There are beautiful raptor enclosures that house a group of rescue birds - hawks, eagles, falcons, snowy owls, and more. There are also two songbird aviaries, which are home to a cedar waxwing and northern cardinals and more

(side note: my niece and I can sit in the aviary for hours).

VINS also has an indoor and outdoor classroom, interpretive nature trails,

and live raptor programs. It is a very special place.


We are excited to include VINS in our

charitable giving plan for 2024.

Enjoy Spring, and all of the lovely bird-joy that comes with it.

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