I have to admit I am not a morning person. I am not one of these people who is up at 5am exercising and raring to go. I am an owl rather than a lark. The only time I get up early is if I go camping. Then I will rise and take photographs of the sunrise. (I am going to confess here it is a few years since I have been camping.)
It is particularly important for me to start the day in a positive way because morning is not my best time. I always eat breakfast and make sure it is nutritious. For the past few months I have been making it a ritual to sit out the front of my house and enjoy my coffee, drunk from a favourite mug. I put out some bird seed and watch as my feathered friends drop in for their breakfast. When I first did this I would get four or five visitors, usually spotted turtle doves and perhaps a crested pigeon.
The word spread quickly through the local community of seed eating birds. Now I often have around 25 birds. They wait in the nearby trees, on the roof of my house and on the power lines. As soon as I walk out of the front door they move closer. Once I have scattered the seed they fly down and start pecking away.
Some days birds that donít eat the seed also visit. Noisy miners like to come and have a drink from the bird bath or from the hose. Murray magpies (magpie-larks) also like to have a drink or a wash in the bird bath.
It is interesting to see how many birds of each species visit and how they interact with each other. Some spend most of their time trying to scare away the competition and donít actually get around to eating much seed. I havenít seen the noisy miners eat any seed but they will dive bomb the seed eaters anyway. The crested pigeons tend to be more interested in pursuing a potential mate than eating. The doves usually get straight down to the business of having breakfast. Birds have different personalities and behave in different ways just as human beings do.
As well as watching the birds I enjoy looking at the plants in the garden. When I moved in some thirteen months ago there was one pelargonium in the front yard and a row of agapanthus along the fence. Now there are roses, three pelargoniums, geraniums, a small lavender bush and some Australian native plants.
Sometimes one of my neighbours or somebody with a dog will walk by. We usually exchange greetings. Occasionally (mostly on the weekend) someone will stop for a chat. I find sitting out the front of my house is a positive way to start my day and it encourages me to get out of bed. The fact that there are birds waiting for me to put their seed out gives me another reason to climb out of bed and get the day started.
Other people have different morning rituals they find beneficial. Some people start with a series of exercises, a swim, session at the gym or a walk. There are those who like to meditate or have a time of prayer. Others say some affirmations or listen to their favourite music. Different rituals or habits help different people get their day off to a positive start.