Saturday, April 4, 2009

CARDINAL CAPERS

My little cardinal family is back in the big round Luck Bush that covers the sitting-room windows. They've re-furbished that nest for three years now, threading in new string and bits and bobs, coming back from bird-Ikea with all sorts of new furniture and appliances. I was so afraid this week's intrusion of the window-washers into the edge of their territory would frighten them away---the first year they nested, they'd not been there long when house guests over-enjoyed the little show. They pulled up the blinds and threw back the sheers to press interested faces to the glass time and again, causing the little fellows to flit in alarm.

But these guys were a gentle presence, moving the limbs carefully, talking softly as they shined, inside and out. And the birds returned almost as soon as the men moved the ladder and themselves a couple of yards down the wall.

M'sieu et Madame Rouge have raised their family twice now in the widescreen view with no interruptions or harm, so they just return, do a bit of Vernage, and settle down to roost. I've loved their trusting propinquity, their gentle song, their firm devotion to nest and chicks. And their own joy in the day is quite contagious; just a quiet cup in the small blue chair, as the sun peeks through and they talk over their schedules---what a nice way to start the morning.

They have quite the sense of fun, as well. A couple of summers ago, they had become used to my presence, and would come quite close, especially if they saw the hose being reeled out. They do love a damp ground for worm-catching, and are quite fond of a bath, as well.

From my journal of July, 2007:

My cardinal family came to join me today, as I sat out in the arbor, watching the slow sweep and rain of the sprinkler on the thirsty plants. The guy bird perched atop the wire of a tomato cage, watching the slow patter approaching. He flew the couple of feet to the top of the cucumber fence, and sat, letting it rain upon him time after time. I could almost see the smile on his little face.

The lady bird, however, was a rowdier sort. She found a puddle and frolicked away, flinging the water, flapping her wings, shaking her head, and when the spray was due to come her way each time, she faced it joyously, her wet-draggled face feathers taking the onslaught. She played there for quite some time, each blast of the fountain across her face giving her the happy look of a goofy old dog in the window of a fast car.

I hope the Summer to come is as pleasant for them.

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