bit by bit, moving toward perfection

“Don’t let perfect get in the way of better.”

It’s a phrase used at work regarding lean manufacturing efforts and the process of continual improvement. I have mentioned it previously, and embrace it in my personal life as well. Personally, it allows me to find manageable steps to breakdown overwhelmingly massive projects. The lesson of this allows me to move on an acceptable option instead of freezing in the fear of not-good-enough…

So… let’s talk bird feeders. Easy, right? And a sensible progression. First, flowers. Then bees and butterflies. Oh, the mulberry trees draw all sorts of birds. A feeder then. A “songbird mix”. Drew lots of predatory “bully birds”. Switch to black oil sunflower. Find “squirrel-proof” feeders (pictured in the back of the first photo below). They prove to be weight sensitive enough to suit smaller songbirds but not larger bully birds. Sparrows still swarm them, but the finches hold their own. Fair enough.


Concede that the less desirable birds are acceptable since cardinals, woodpeckers, jays begin to show up as well. Soooo many cardinals. Return the large feeder to the first mulberry tree. The evolving flower beds have now attracted a few hummingbirds. Add nectar in glass feeders.

By this point, without intent, every feeder is a “hammered” bronze finish. Even the metal parts of the hummingbird feeders.

Except. Those silly little green-coated wire suet cages. The most affordable, basic feeder available. Three years now, every hardware store, every garden center: only those cheap little green-coated suet cages.

Sometimes, I like matchy-matchy. Sometimes, I NEED matchy-matchy. The total utility of those cages crept into my head and began to make my brain itchy.


So, I took to the internet, which I try not to automatically start with. We like local. We like vetting our sources. We like being loyal customers, but I also sometimes like matchy-matchy.

So, really, I want the garden totally crazy, over-grown, full of every color and everything happening nearly everywhere. That said, I want the fixtures, the hardscaping, to be even and consistent and tight in range of texture and material and color.

So, matchy-matchy.

I actually searched Google for “fancy suet cage”… who knew they existed? This was over the weekend. They showed up today.

And…. I love them. Perhaps, it is ridiculous, but I am ridiculous. I am a big bald queer gay man of a certain age, digging in the dirt in a wide-brim floppy hat, making art from the ground, working reclaiming chunks of old driveway into rock borders, squealing whenever a goldfinch deigns our nyger feeder worthy of its presence.

I acknowledge my ridiculousness, encourage and celebrate it. And am ridiculously giddy that one more utilitarian thing has been upgraded visually in our wabi-sabi life.

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