No Rest For The Weary

I spend a lot of time obsessing over the bluebirds that nest in a box in our back yard, something you know a bit about if you are a regular here at The Daily Grace. But this Spring I haven’t been around to keep as close an eye on this precious couple (and their offspring) as I’d like. 

We knew there were eggs, and we hoped there were healthy babies, and we believed some had fledged but we just didn’t know for sure.

Then a couple of weeks ago I spotted this cuteness at the new feeder I’ve placed just outside my studio window. It holds a magical cone of seed and dried worms all of birddom now fusses over.


hello baby blue!


This sweet little munchkin, who I figure is four…maybe five weeks old, is sitting an inch from a full-on mealworm feast. But he refuses to reach his little beak through the bars to grab one. Instead he sits and squawks and demands to be fed.

Mama’s having none of it.


You’ve got to be kidding me.


She flies in, eats in front of the youngster, then flies away.

(Which results in an even louder ruckus from the little one.)

Then in comes Papa who does his best to ignore but finally can’t take anymore and pops worm after worm in the mouth of the babe.






It captivated me, this bluebird drama, as I stood back and considered how much the scene resembles my own years-ago baby mothering and that of so many friends in the throes of such today. Parenting is hard. There are so many ways to get it wrong. And there are so few to get it right.



Love well, I’d think, and then I’d pace and worry. Love well, I still think now, and that will be enough.

Oh yes.

And yet the question remains. 



Does love fly off?

Or feed?




I’d love to send a note each time there’s a post on The Daily Grace. Just leave your email here.

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And so on.

There have been other happenings here on Bickley’s Pond, a fact that may surprise you as I have been so focused on those baby bluebirds and on all it has taken their Mama and Papa and me to keep them safe and well fed and properly photographed. For instance, my sweet neighbor and friend, Stephanie, discovered a nest of squakers right underneath their deck stairs, safe and dry and hungry. How thrilled I was when she sent me this photo.

next door babies
this nest is a work of art, right?

(I made my way over there the first moment I could and lo and behold the nest was empty—those babies had already flown the coop!)

I have kept my eyes on the ducks, as well. Do you remember the Rock ‘n Roll ducks with their crazy pouffy heads? You couldn’t have fit a 12″ ruler between those two, devoted as they were to each other. Well, several days passed and I saw no sign of the couple. And then I was sitting out on the down-by-the-water deck when I noticed a gaggle of assorted ducks swimming out from behind Rodney’s dock. Following just behind was one of the white crested ducks. It was obvious he was hesitant to get too far from the shore.


I’ll bet there are eggs I said out loud, my heart a little thrilled. I’ll bet she’s sitting on a nest.

The very next day I spotted the Canada Goose couple, the ones who spend nesting season here every year. Over the years we’ve raised several broods together, those geese and I, including clutches of seven, five and three.

our little family, circa 2010
our little family, circa 2010

They were way across the water so I pulled out the big zoom lens and hoped for the best. Sure enough I could make out one baby. I felt a little sad for the couple, knowing how precarious it is to try keep a family safe on this lake what with eagles and hawks and snakes and gigantic starving turtles there just below the surface of the water. How many have they already lost I wondered.



And the next time I saw them, there was no baby at all–just a big, empty space between them.


That’s when I realized I hadn’t seen either of the white crested ducks in over a week. Perhaps their nest was not successful. Perhaps they have packed up and moved on.

There has been good news. First, the baby bluebirds continue to thrive. Their devoted parents must be exhausted trying to get enough food to keep them full and happy.

hunt, hunt, hunt
hunt, hunt, hunt
Anybody hungry???
Anybody hungry???


And then there is this, the most wonderful of all.


I cannot believe she is 21!

My own sweet baby, home for college. We spent three days together on a little mini work/vacation in Key West.


It. Was. Glorious.