Turning the Corner

IMG_4118 Swallows

Swallows in the Mist

There are so many signs that our seasons, here in the Midwest, may be turning the corner from summer to fall. The weather has been rainy and drippy.  We have also been noticing the bird population is changing.

The hawks seem to be plentiful and braver in the fall…or maybe they are trying to prepare for the coming winter when hunting seems to become scarce. We had a bird hawk decide our bird bath was a great opportunity to get a  drink and clean up a bit.

He stayed until he noticed us peering at him through the window. It was hard to stand still and yet get a picture, while he was watching us watch him!

I am not really so happy to see the hawk on our bird bath. I have seen one like him pluck a robin right off the ground as the robin was searching for worms! I like the songbirds we have around here and they are definitely not safe when there are hawks around.

For a couple weeks now, we have not seen the robins. The Orioles no longer inhabit the grove and sing in the trees.  The cliff swallows have arrived in a large group while on their way  through, to wherever it is they migrate to for the winter. We have had large flocks of blackbirds rest in our trees on their way to their destination.

In the misty mornings, the swallows fill the electric wires behind the house. They are quiet while they sit there waiting for the sun to burn off the fog. The entire world is hushed and still in the fog and the birds seem to sense this and not want to be the first to break the silence.

I love the misty mornings. The world is small and focus is narrowed to what is essential. The quiet morning lends itself to good conversation while sitting on the porch drinking that first coffee/tea of the day. It also lends itself to just sitting there quietly listening to the dew drip from the trees and the eaves of the house.

I really wonder how many of the world’s problems could be solved if more people would sit with cup in hand, on their porch and talk things out.  Or maybe if they just sat silently enjoying what God had set before them? I have a feeling it would be a much more peaceful place.

The quietness of the fog seems to take the harsh edges off the coming day. It seems to wrap us in a blanket of peace and blessing.

May you have time in your busy week to sit and enjoy the silence of the morning and may you be blessed by the little things in life……..like a quiet foggy morning.

 

“When you arise in the morning,
think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive
– to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
 Marcus Aurelius quotes 

 “a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak”
Ecclesiastes 3:7

The Wonder of Birds

IMG_3722 (2) Kestrel

Baby Kestrel

 

This morning brought a rare treat for me. For some reason, unknown even to me, I really like kestrels. I have no idea why I find these little hawks fascinating but I do.

My husband was outside for a bit, this morning, and suddenly came back to the house. He told me to follow him and bring my camera. He would not tell me why, he only assured me that I would not be sorry.

I found my shoes, grabbed my camera, and headed out the door after him. After being married to this man for nearly 37 years I have learned to trust him when he tells me to follow.

We went down to what used to be the hog house/lambing shed. Once we got there my husband looked really disappointed. He showed me a cinder block that a baby kestrel had been perched on just a few minutes before.

We stood there a bit and started to look around to see if the little bird had hopped somewhere else. (We weren’t sure if he even knew how to fly.) We found the little kestrel hiding under a roll of woven wire that stood next to the building.

I moved in to take a few pictures, which did not make the little kestrel happy at all!  It was pretty sunny and that also made it hard to get a good photo.

We disturbed him enough that he did fly to another outbuilding, which answered the question of his flying ability.  We stood and watched a bit, and heard him calling to his parents who were flying overhead.

I went back to work in the house and it didn’t take long before my husband came to the door again with the same request…..follow him and bring the camera. This time he had spotted a pair of Baltimore Orioles bringing food to their babies in the nest.

IMG_3735 (2) Papa Oriole

Baltimore Orioles

 

It is always amazing to me how they build those sac-like nests. It is also amazing to me that those baby birds don’t get motion sickness when those branches are swinging during the windstorms that we have.

Those nests are so hard to see when the leaves are full on the trees. My husband said the only way he spotted it was by watching to see where mom and dad Oriole landed each time. (If you look closely the nest is the brownish blob beneath the male Oriole.) You could also plainly hear the baby birds begging for food every time a parent landed with lunch.

It was an amazing way to break up the chores of the morning. To stand in the sun and watch the birds. It really was a treat to be so close to a small kestrel. I loved knowing that the kestrel pair had successfully hatched and raised at least this one baby.

I am so blessed to be married to a man who loves the outdoors and loves to share it with me. I have seen so many beautiful things because of him. It is a wonderful thing to be able to stand with him and just watch the birds…..and the next time he comes to the door and tells me to bring the camera and follow him….I will!

“Everywhere we look….
the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.”
Van Gogh