Whatever, I was vaguely aware of the possibility of chickadees in the birdhouse, because about two weeks ago, my grandchildren and I saw two of them entering and leaving repeatedly with bits of moss in their beaks. Oh the magic of witnessing such an event with young children—the whispering, the stillness, the rapt attention. When we were sure both chickadees had flown away, we opened and peeked inside the house, thrilling at the freshly built-up layers of pine straw and soft green moss we found there. But I feared we had chased them off because I didn't see them again until today, though I had only glanced briefly on my daily passes to and from the compost heap.
To be truthful I haven't been longsitting outside recently, in favor of watching this year's Spring through window of house and car. The beauty of spring bloom in Atlanta is so extreme it appears extravagant even through glass, until you sit outside and recognize you've only perceived a fraction of its intensity. Yesterday I sat out for two hours, unable to tear myself from the directness of the sensations. One can do nothing but gasp in astonishment at the cherry petals falling like snow on every warm breeze, the fluffy azalea color at every turn impossible to comprehend, the lacy white dogwood blossoms sprinkled across yards and woods, the inchworms and strands of oak pollen floating by on invisible filaments of silk, the occasional glints of sunlight traveling along the filaments, the aggressive territorial birdsong mingled with flirtatious chase and flutter of mating season, the rattle of woodpecker on the gutter, the cack-cack-cack-cack of nuthatch, the boastful variety of cardinal calls, and the pleasure of all pleasures—chickadees in and out of the copper-roofed bird house.
I think she's egg-sitting and he's tending her. As yet I hear no tiny chirps, but soon. Today begins Nestwatch 2012, this year of Carolina chickadees. May they see me through the finishing of the fabled "manuscript." dkm
|Madam Chickadee protecting her eggs from the respectful but unskilled photographer. Click once on the photo to enlarge and see her pretty white cheeks.|