The past few days I have been in Paradise. I’ve been staying with dear friends at their new home in Montana and enjoying the fruits of their labors. Birds by the hundreds flock to their ranch to take advantage of the bird-friendly environment they’ve created. Right now, Pine Siskins dominate the feeders and the water features, with hundreds flocking in to spend the day. I suspect they don’t venture much past the stately Ponderosa Pines that surround the area as they return at first light. While the Pine Siskins far outnumber other birds here at the moment, in the few days I’ve been here, I’ve seen 30 different species of birds, mostly right here at the ranch. The only down side is that the smoke from the wildfires in California has found its way to Montana, turning the sun a bright red and blanketing the horizon with a thick haze. I’ll be returning late today to Northern California where many of the devastating fires continue to burn without containment. I’ll miss this Paradise.