Fine Feathered Friends

We had some temporary tenants in our Virginia creeper covered courtyard. (Try saying that ten times as fast as you can.)  I’ll call them the Robin Family.

My knowledge of their existence came about suddenly by a diving at my head, of a very aggressive fine feathered robin parent, announcing that I was an uninvited guest!  I was just carefully carrying my cup of tea, and a book, to my favorite chair in our garden retreat.

I noted the spot, amidst the vines, where a parent eventually returned to. My camera was in the house – so I waited until another time to play the part of Mamarazzi.  My kids think I take too many pictures.  It’s at the point where I practically have to sign a contract stating: ” I will not post it anywhere – not even to Grandma!”

But robins are sitting ducks for a camera happy Mama like me.  Well… sort of. First of all I could not quite reach up to take a shot of the nest.  I really tried. Meantime I got a good picture of one of the ducks – I mean robins.  He looked concerned!

But, at least, I wouldn’t have to sign a contract – so I was motivated enough to go get our ladder.  Bless my daughter, as she held it for me and I climbed higher and higher.  Isn’t risk taking a sign of an addiction?

Once I got as close to the top, as I was comfortable with, I knew this was as good as it was going to get and I snapped a final shot.  Upon closer inspection, I decided that perhaps they were ducklings after all – ugly ducklings!  Well, maybe they are kinda cute to their parents…

Did those parents ever love them!  All day, it seemed, they were rustling up vittles for those helpless little creatures.  For wee ones they sure could chirp a loud tune when mom or pop showed up with the worms!  I didn’t want to disturb them, too much, so I didn’t get a shot of feeding time. My concern for them grew… as they did.

A few days later, when Ian and I were strolling the back garden, we found an empty nest on the grass. ” Oh no!”  I thought to myself.  We ran to check.  And the robin family was okay.  The fallen nest was not theirs.

There’s a price for caring, even just for birds.  I knew we were being watched too.  Whenever it was tea or coffee time in the courtyard; the robin parents were not far off.  We were surrounded by eye bearing trees.

Some of the trees were cherry trees that served as both watch tower and fruit stand for our feathered friends.

Other trees harbored enemies who longed to prey on robin babes.  One morning I could hear a terrible squawking from the parents.  I ran outside and found some crows being chased off by Ma and Pa Robin.  It was time to check out the nest again.

They were just fine –  and feathered now, too!

It hurts to care.  I was beginning to long for an empty nest.  Not mine – but theirs!   Every time I found a feather on the ground, I thought of them.

But I also enjoyed their company at tea-time.

In the evening as the sun began to set their silhouette made a lovely sight.

Yes, there is joy in caring, too.  I found myself wondering why some parents don’t seem to care as intensely as others.  Am I a good parent?

Our heavenly Father is a good parent.  He is perfect.  His kids don’t always turn out too good.  The lost ones are always welcome home – but they don’t always return.

Well, the nest is empty now.  I had hoped to get pictures of the family doing a hunting lesson.  My daughter said she saw the robin family together in our trees.  She said it was sweet how the three young ones followed their parents.   Her observation about pictures, was that they would have been too hard to take of their hunts, since they flitted about so quickly.

Quickly, yes, so quickly time passes.  I need to fit in as many hugs and prayers as I can… before my nest is empty too!

He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.  Praise the Lord.  Psalm 113:9

Loving my full nest… while I can,