Monday, April 28, 2008

In the meadow

The phoebe has returned again to rebuild her nest at the same spot in the old cellar along the path. One by one she laid her eggs, one a day for five days. Now she sits. And I keep watch, hoping her nest stays hidden from cowbirds and boys with sticks.

Meanwhile, Bob Benson, the bluebird man, tends his boxes. Four boxes along the path have eggs. The blue birds do their best to put up with the harassments of the tree swallows. Who cannot love swallows? So sleek. So agile. And, this year, so tame. They sit on their squatted bluebird box and let me approach within a few feet. No zoom for this pic.

The bluebirds are more skittish. The naturalist John Burroughs heard the bluebird's song as "pur-i-ty, pur-i-ty." Some field guides transcribe the song as "tru-al-ly, tru-al-ly." I walk with Bob from box to box, as he counts, repairs, keeps watch. His heart is pure and true.