Hope for a better world

Talking with Animals and Trees

Do you talk to animals and trees? If so, you’re not alone!

If it were 600 years ago or so, I have no doubt that I would have been hung or burned at the stake by now. Why? I talk to animals and trees.

If we were living at the height of the witch hunt hysteria, I’m sure my neighbors would have thought I was uttering curses or incantations or what have you. They probably had no concept of the kinship of humans and Nature. (Although our more ancient ancestors did. There are many legends of a time long ago when animals talked to us and we could understand them. This was, of course, before we started wreaking such horrible havoc with the planet and all of life.)

Although I don’t currently fear for my life, I’m sure my neighbors, should they happen to look out their windows between approximately 7 and 8:00 in the morning., might think I’m a little on the loony side. I’m not at all, I swear! I simply love and adore the songbirds, my favorite tree, and the ducks. Most people understand the phenomenon of people talking to their dogs and cats. This should be no different.

Each morning, shortly after sunrise, I walk across my backyard toward the small woodland at the back edge of the property in order to scatter birdseed. A former petcare client introduced me to this concept. Every afternoon, he would fill a large 3-gallon plastic bucket with birdseed and then he’d fill a large feeder and he’d scatter the remainder throughout his high desert backyard. He’d also fill two “socks” with thistleseed, a hummingbird feeder with sugar water, and he’d make three small piles of dogfood for the coyotes and ravens. His place was absolutely brimming with wildlife! It was paradise for a nature lover like me.

The thing I like about scattering birdseed is that 1) it’s more natural. Birds naturally look in lawns for food anyway. This way of feeding them encourages their innate food-scavenging behavior. 2) Birds don’t have to “wait in line.” I’ve seen 25 to 30 birds eating birdseed at a time. And although in spring they don’t necessarily need my help as much as in the winter, I want to help them any way I can, especially since we had so much snow this past season. And besides, it brings me an incredible amount of joy to begin my day this way.

After four months of daily feeding, the birds now await my arrival. A few are in bushes looking for me, and several others either see me approach or hear me cheerily calling out, “Good morning, birdies!” And then they start flying in from all directions. (Which, I have to say, is really quite cool.) After I scatter a couple cupfuls of seed along the edge of the wood, I stand beneath a beautiful old cedar tree to say my morning prayers. (It’s more like sending out love and blessings for all parts of our dear world.) Of course, I also greet “my” tree.

I felt attracted to this tree from the moment I saw it, when I first came to check out this house as a possible place for me to rent. Over the course of the last several months, this tree and I have become friends. When I bless and acknowledge this particular tree, as well as the trees and forests of the world, often the cedar’s branches will sway and dance. I am absolutely convinced that it responds to my words and my love, just like animals do. (In fact I’ve experienced this phenomenon for so many years with so many different kinds of plants that it is now a given for me.)

Does all of this make me a witch? I don’t know. I don’t identify as one, but I do know that wise women (this is what witches were once called) always communicate with the natural world, as do shamans and medicine people and little children and other “sensitives.” And I certainly know I’m not alone. I’m sure hundreds of my friends talk to the animals. Perhaps if we all talked with Nature more, and even better, listened, the world would be an infinitely healthier and more peaceful place.

Note: cover image by Rainhard Wiesinger on Unsplash.


  • Dana O'Hara Smith

    Birds weave an invisible web around us. I loved reading this post. I always start my day with doggie massages and then go outside to connect with my plants. Its a great way to start the day connecting to nature. Thank you for sharing! Glad you are feeling at home back in PA.

  • Bess Zazow

    The birds and other small animals ( or large like deer in Pa) adore the birdseed. We love watching the birds and squirrels, other mammals and even other rodents consume seed. I enjoy making “ clicks” to announce breakfast.

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