Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Cardinal Builders, a Short and Sweet Bird Love Story

Sometime after the honeymoon, a pair of cardinals got to work building their nest right outside of the window of our own home where we eat all of our meals and spend much time hanging out in the kitchen. 

We were about to finally dig up this silly looking bush until I noticed the cardinals just began their building.

It looked like the female did all the building while her husband helped by bringing some twigs now and then.

Here's the lady builder.

She layed down a mat of twigs for the foundation.

And she eventually added some dried birch leaves to the twigs.

The nest gradually took on a nest shape as she weaved the twigs and scooted  herself in circles in the center of it.  It was really neat to watch the process.


...and scooting

The scooting was cute, watching her butt go back and forth as she went round and round.
The male was always nearby and the two of them would hang out together and eat the berry-like buds off of a nearby tree.

It was about a week until the nest was complete.  And then the lady cardinal stopped hanging around in it for a few days or so, but she and the male were back and forth across the yard nearby.  Then one day, there was finally an egg.

A couple of days later, there were two.

And the following day, a third.

A clutch of three.

It seemed like it took quite a while, but finally two baby cardinals hatched.

And a couple of days later, the third hatched too.

Dad was so helpful.  Every day he brought food to mom and their babies.

I think it was a big juicy inchworm.

Life was busy and the babies grew up so fast that I almost missed it.  Pretty soon mom was no longer in the nest with her little ones all the time.  They were too big!  And I just barely got the chance to take a photo of the last youngster to leave the nest. 

 Mom and dad made a great team.  They worked together daily to get things done and watch over their babies and provide for them throughout the short time it took for their kids to grow up and leave the nest.  And then they hung out together in the nearby woods.  I wonder if they bickered much throughout this time?  Building a home and raising kids can be stressful.  We did it too.  (We're still doing it!)  But they managed it all beautifully.

Thanks mom and dad, you're the best!

Friday, June 26, 2015

If You Ask, You Might Hear an Answer, If You Know How to Listen

This work of art (at the end of this post) reminds me of a dream I had some years ago, when my sons were just toddlers.  I was a stay at home mom taking care of kids, and forgetting to take care of myself. I couldn't seem to find the time at all to do anything creative that I used to enjoy. I remembered there was a time before kids, when I was wanting to understand what my purpose and my own unique talents were in this world.  And I wondered how I had forgotten about it, and how that period of self discovery got put on hold.  So I decided to put a question "out there" hoping to receive some inner wisdom about what I'd forgotten.  An answer didn't come immediately, but soon after in a dream, before I woke in the morning.

In my dream, I heard a most beautiful song, quiet and far away.  I turned to see that it was coming from between my hands which were held out in front of me, holding something enclosed between them.  I looked more closely and saw a tiny globe of golden light inside.  I bent my head toward my hands and heard the music more loudly now, and peered closely again.  This time I saw as if deep inside the globe myself.  There was a woman, she was petite with a  roundish figure, beautiful and smiling.  She appeared to be Indian and was dressed in flowing clothes of red and yellow.  She sang, (possibly in Hindi is my guess), as she danced.  It was the most beautiful song I'd ever heard and the music was clear bells.  She danced and leapt, in constant motion, she twirled with her colorful robes flowing and spiraling around her.  She was joy, and perfect harmony.  And I understood in my dream that she was me.  Her song was mine.  Who she is, is who I am.

When I awoke in the morning, I held onto the dream and that song for as long as I could, then wrote it all down.  I wondered how that beauty, joy and perfect harmony could possibly represent a very imperfect person like myself.

I call this blog "Listening" because being in nature can put us back in touch with ourselves if we can quiet ourselves enough to notice.  It can bring me to that quiet, still, and very alive, center of myself where I find peace, replenishment and inspiration.

Now, have a look at artist Daniel Wurtzel's very cool kinetic sculpture, and wonder...