May 6, 2009 I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. The joy of having the first orioles come to my feeder is overwhelming. They are just so beautiful. Their neon orange feathers are as close to tropical as we get here in Ohio. And they're quite vocal, too. Their distinctive whistle can be heard throughout the neighborhood, and since I've put the feeder up, I have learned some of the other chirping sounds they make.

Their feeder is at one end of our deck, and our grill is at the other end. Yesterday afternoon, I lit the charcoal and began to do my best Bobby Flay imitation. I had my Caribbean jerk chicken breasts, burgers, and bacon wrapped steaks ready to grill along with a couple potatoes. I had rubbed a little oil on the skin of the chicken, and as soon as I started placing the meat on the grill, it started smoking up a storm! About that same time, one of my oriole friends came through and decided it was time for a snack. He was NOT a happy camper! The smoke was, of course, coming directly at him and he let me know it was not acceptable. He sat on top of the lattice and began a rapid-fire disapproving chirping at me before flying off into the nearby trees.

After about 15 minutes or so, the smoke finally died down to where it was lightly swirling around the grill. My oriole friend returned, perched on top of the trellis and gave a few light chirps of approval before hungrily devouring more grape jelly. He and his friends visited quite a few more times before the sun began to sink behind the distant trees. Each time they arrived, I marveled at their beauty and wondered when our hummingbirds would arrive at their feeder. I can tell it's going to be a colorful spring and summer

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