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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v16n01)
Right in my Own Backyard - Try Something New in 19! - by Brandt Carter
posted: Jan. 04, 2019

Right in my Own Backyard header

Try Something New in 19!
Usher in the New Year with something different, something new, something fresh! It's time to turn the page and accept a challenge of innovation, change, or experimentation. I like the question,
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
From our store to your backyard, try our hottest hobby of feeding the birds. But wait, you say you do feed the birds already. But do you feed them peanuts? Peanuts pieces are now a phenomenon! In the past few years, they've been surpassing seed and seed-mix sales most weeks. Why you may ask. If you want to attract an interesting mix of birds, peanuts are a great food. They are small pieces called "picks" that are usually nonhuman-grade seconds or leftovers from manufacturers. They are either swept up from the floor or discarded from a batch of product and can contain anything from a variety of nut pieces like cashews and almonds or even chocolate bits! Their price is very reasonable since they come to us in bulk, and then we serve them to you in jugs. There are two advantages of feeding peanut picks. First, they require a special mesh wire feeder so the birds can peck out a piece at a time. That means they stay at the feeder longer. Second, there is no mess left by any shells or spilled nuts. Your squirrels will oblige you and serve as clean up!
COUPON: The best New Year's enticement is I talked to Steve at Backyard Birds, and he said, "So people will try something new and experiment, he will give 15% off any peanut feeder the month of January." Thanks Steve and Backyard Birds.
So now what else can you do? Try a new activity, a new restaurant, a new class. Take a day trip. Start walking or going to the gym. Explore Broad Ripple Village (things do change): the Art Center for fantastic creative classes, The Vogue for great entertainment, and all the bars have drinks you have never tried before. Work in clay or glass, rent a kayak, buy a different kind of T-shirt, spoil your dog with a treat. Try Tai Chi, learning the Tango or change your hairdo. Indianapolis, and particularly Broad Ripple, has so many activities that can encourage you to try something different.
My new activity is to return to oil painting. I shelved my talent for nearly thirty years and now I am back painting portraits of people's dogs and cats to raise money for my service dog program I support, Canine Companions for Independence. I just retired from the work world and did not skip a beat keeping busy. I will show my work at Graeter's Ice Cream at 56th and Illinois the whole month of January. I invite you to come to Graeter's for your place for ice cream and enjoy my first solo public art exhibit in 2019.

Broad Ripple Rainbow Bridge by Brandt Carter
Broad Ripple Rainbow Bridge by Brandt Carter
image courtesy of Brandt Carter

I hope one of your New Year's resolutions was to stretch and try something new. A report on the news the morning I am composing my column is that older people who go to at least one event (musical, cultural, or movie) a month in their community stave off depression. So trying something for the first time is good for your health, too. And, if you enjoy your experience, invite someone else along the next time. Happy 2019. It's amazing to believe next year will be 2020. It seemed so far away!

Brandt Carter, artist, herbalist, and naturalist, owns Backyard Birds at 2374 E. 54th Street. Visit her web site Email your bird questions to
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Brought to you by: Broad Ripple collector pins
Brought to you by: Broad Ripple collector pins