Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring and Birds

Audubon print closeup from the Maryland State Law Library.

In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin`s breast; In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnish`d dove; In the Spring a young man`s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

I don't know why Tennyson didn't say anything about Blue Jays and string in Spring.

As I washed dishes yesterday morning, I watched intently as a blue jay struggled to pull free a long piece of feed bag string that had wrapped around a crepe myrtle. The paper strip that had been stitched to the top of the feed bag with the string was still attached, adding an intriguing complexity to the quest. The jay pulled mightily, rearing back on the branch. Then it jumped to a different branch and worked from another angle. The bird really wanted that string, for nesting purposes I suppose.

I watched another minute, and then I thought I would just have to stop and get a picture. I dried my hands, grabbed my camera, carefully turned the front door knob, and slowly, slowly eased the door open.


The blue jay winged away, leaving the prized string and its gaily swinging paper strip.

That made two of us who didn't get what we came for.

Luckily, French Garden House's husband succeeded where I did not. He captured beautiful photos of a hummingbird mama and her nest of two eggs. It feels strange to see the little mother setting contentedly--no blurred motion of wings in the sweet scene, just the quiet expectancy of incubation.

Emma cleaned and sanitized her incubator yesterday and will spend the next two days stabilizing the temperature before filling it with Barred Rock eggs. She will begin her own quiet expectancy, waiting for the day when a single chirp becomes a choir of new life, all yellow and fluffy.

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