Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I was sitting on my verandah yesterday reading a book, when a black bird and a robin came to the birdbath, just a few feet away.

This happens all the time. We’re used to the birds and in turn, they are used to us. However, as it turns out, the black bird was just a baby. After she splashed about in the cool water for a minute or two her mother flew onto the grass near the Austrian Pine Tree.

It was shady where she stood, waiting for the baby to swoop down and take the food from her beak. She squawked several times, each time gradually louder than the time before. She had to make herself heard over the splashing of the water.
Finally, the baby bird responded and flew quickly to her side.

It was the perfect opportunity for the robin to take a turn at the communal bathtub. She had waited patiently in the hot July sun, sitting on the grass at the base of the birdbath.
Her patience was rewarded.
As the baby black bird heeded her mother’s call, the robin hopped up to the birdbath and splashed about in the refreshing water.

It’s really a pleasure to watch the wildlife enjoying our yard- including the squirrels- Blackie and Bushy and their family, the morning doves, cardinals, finches and blue jays who populate the feeders on the north side of the house.

Sometimes, we seem to be able to understand what they say to each other…

A robust robin with bright red breast was sitting next to a navy blue-blackbird on the edge of a pretty birdbath, in a garden bursting with an ocean of colouful summer blooms.

“Doris, you really don’t mind watching Archie and Evelyn for a couple of hours do you?”- says the Robin.
“Oh no- of course not Verna.”- Doris- the black bird, chirped in quickly, “This is such a lovely garden. I could spend the entire day here and want for nothing more. Besides your kids never give me even the slightest nod of trouble. True angels, that’s what those two are. Why, just look at them splashing about in that lawn sprinkler over there!”

“Yes, they’re learning to love summer. I haven’t the heart to tell them how brutal the winters can be!”- adds Verna.

“Now Verna,”- says Doris, tapping the Robin’s wind left wing gently, with her own- “There’s plenty of time to tell them about snow and cold. Let them enjoy being young birds first of all. Summer will end soon enough.”

Verna looks longingly at her brood splashing about in the water sprinkler, just across the lawn from where they sit watching, tightly gripping the birdbath’s edge.
“Yes Doris, you are so right as usual.”
She turns from her children and looks at Doris in the beak-
“Well, if you’re sure you don’t mind.”
Doris nods assuredly.
“Now don’t let Archie stay in that sprinkler too long. His feathers get so waterlogged he can barely fly. And Evelyn- my goodness, she always forgets there could be cats lurking about.”

“In this garden? Haven’t seen any Verna. Funny though, she’s not afraid of the yellow dog over there?”.

Doris turns her head to look at the gentle lab laying in the shade of the verandah.
“What? You mean Kiki?- as the humans call her, Oh for pete’s sake that beautiful girl wouldn’t hurt a flea Doris. I heard the humans singing to her the other day. I gather it was her fourteenth birthday!”

“You don’t say Verna! Well, she looks marvellous!”

“Doesn’t she though!” chirped Verna in total agreement as she checks her reflection in the still waters of the birdbath, gently splashing some water onto her neck to smooth a ruffled feather.

“Well I must fly then.”

“By the way”- says Doris, “Just where are you off to?”

Verna throws her head back and laughs.- “Oh I’m joining a Robin friend for lunch along the shore of the lake, near the park.”

“Sounds lovely!”- says Doris smiling broadly.

“I am sure it will be.” Then, Verna quickly adds- “I also have to pick up some sticks, fly by the creek bed to see if the mud is still damp and then…”

“And then!”- screams Doris. “Are you…?”

“Pregnant? Again? Yes. I am!”- tweets Verna flapping her wings with glee!

Doris twitters uncontrollably!

“Now Doris hush you hear? Roger doesn’t know yet. I plan to tell him tonight during dinner near the Rose of Sharon.”
“Oh my! Fancy-smancy! The Rose of Sharon! I don’t know how you Robins do it. One nest a year is enough for this gal!”

They twitter again- excitedly!

“Well, I am off! Thanks again Doris. You’re a true friend.”

“Don’t mention it Hun. The kids and I will have a good time too. I might teach them how to do the Swan Dive.”

“Oh, you! Just be careful. I don’t want to come back and find a broken feather or two!”

“Everything will be just hunky dory. Now swoosh!”- Doris smiles, flapping her wings vigorously…and Be Safe!”

“I will! Thanks again!” shouts Verna as she flies across the yard in the late morning light, floating effortlessly to the top of the red maple and eventually- out of sight .