Thursday, March 29, 2012

Oy Vey . . .

Let me not spend March indoors again.  Carolina chickadees are already well into tending a nest in last year's bluebird house and I almost missed it for housecleaning! Oy vey! I don't know what got into me—some sort of manic preoccupation with organizing every room coupled with the ruthless throwing out of things. Let it not be an omen that something alarming is about to happen for which I need to have my house in order.  More likely, it's that things had come to such a state of neglect, something had to be done for the tranquility of my soul :-).  Even more likely, and as my psychology professor friend Steve believes, it was that I am on the verge of finishing my manuscript, a prospect so frightening I must take drastic measures to prevent it—measures as drastic as organizing my office, cleaning the basement and re-alphabetizing all the books in the house. For real. I did all of those things, but I swear I want to finish my book. Can't imagine why I would so sabotage myself. Steve says it happens all the time. Proving him wrong is enough motivation to goad me into finishing—as soon as I clean off my desk.  That's a project worth two days of prevention.

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. 

7 comments:

Pukeko G said...

Wow ! I am first this time :)) Your silk threads I had always considered to be floating spider webs .. your description more romantic. Do you have fragrant azalias ?

Niki said...

yay chickadees this year :) Gorgeous photo. I will take a photo of our driveway in the early morning with its autumn colours shining in the sun.

bibi said...

Debbie, I am hopeful that you have weeks of spring left to observe before summer comes charging in to Atlanta. In the meantime I am starting in the garage today to bring some order in my house of chaos!

Niki said...

Thanks Deb, you've motivated me into cleaning out my pantry this morning :)

Jane Robertson said...

So much to comment on!!

Reasonably frequently, back in the 1990s, I would smell furniture polish wafting across the corridor from my colleague's office (this was at the ChCh College of Education). This invariably meant that Shirley had marking to do...

The moment will come Deb and you will tie it up with a ribbon (or similar) and send it out into the world :-) Perhaps when the wee chickadees fly the nest...?

Here it is Autumn - the colours intensify, the nights are crisper, the last of the fruit is falling from the trees and the wood is stacked. I love the rhytmn of the seasons - nature's rhythm and the rhythms we work to.

That is a beautiful blossom behind the nest box :-)

Jane Robertson said...

Is it amalanchier and did we discuss this once before?

dkm said...

It's a white azalea bush---for which Atlanta is famous---comes in several shades of pinks, reds, and white. Atlanta bursts into bloom with them every spring. They are in every yard and garden. If you ever visit, come when the azaleas and dogwoods are in bloom--usually early April, but this year it was March.

I didn't know amalanchier---looked it up---in close-up view the flowers look similar, but azaleas are bushes, not trees, and thicker of bloom, looks like. No fragrance.