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Speech with Earlybird

Everyday Nature: The Quiet of Morning


We've had some wonderful nature moments here this morning, and I wanted to share them in a post, not just in my nature notes on the sidebar. I took the picture above just minutes ago from our deck. The sun rises right behind our woods and I love how it glimmers through the greenery, gaining in strength as it climbs the morning sky ...

I also love how we begin our mornings. So quietly, so slowly. The light is just creeping through the woods, and my boys are still asleep. I like to raise their windows so that as they wake, they feel the gentle breeze and hear the wakening woods. I think it is a comforting and cozy way to start their day.

In the winter of course, I can only crack the windows (if at all) but our temperatures have been in the 80s lately, and so we are having a touch of summer here in mid-May. Today, as soon as the soft light worked its way through our house, I made the rounds from room to room lifting blinds and throwing windows open wide.

The day was dawning so beautifully. The woods were literally alive with all the bird song and yet, one call lifted clearly and loudly above the rest. Crackerjack and I had been listening to that song, wondering what bird could be making so piercing and distinctive a call. A few moments later, as I made Earlybird's bed, I heard the song even more clearly and called CJ to the window. There, sitting on the gate just outside EB's window, was a tiny Carolina wren, singing his dear little heart out!

We were so close we could see his beak moving, notice the way he tilted his head back as far as he could in order to belt out his call as boldly as possible. We watched him for several minutes, marveling at his tiny perfection. This impossibly small bird has such a large voice! In just another minute he was joined by a second wren, who could only be his true ladylove, and together they flew into our neighbor's shrubbery.

Amazingly, at the very same moment, a young cardinal pair met up on the fence post and followed suit, heading for the very same shrubbery!

"That must be their church," said Crackerjack. "It's marrying day!"

You know, he might be right, for they could not have picked a prettier day! :)

Before the breakfast routine began, I grabbed my camera and headed to the deck to snap a few pictures of the sunrise. Sure I was still in my pajamas, but our yard is fairly private, and really, who else is up at this time? Just as I chased off a neighbor's cat skulking around the potting shed, a flash of dark and white tail feathers in the cherry tree caught my eye. I was immediately reminded of the slate-colored junco, but of course they've been gone north for some time now. I tried to make out the shape and call of this mysterious bird, but with little success. I took a few more pictures before heading in, and here's what greeted me at the door:


Our three cats were keeping a close eye on me - and the birds as well! :)

A few moments later, the same bird I had glimpsed turned up at the feeders and CJ and I got a closer look. It was definitely an Eastern Towhee, a spring migrant who visited us this same time last year! A female, according the description in our trusty Birds of New England. Her song was a clear and charming cherreee! I took some pictures through the dining room windows, but they all came out quite blurry. Hopefully she'll stop by again - perhaps she's making a nest nearby?

How exciting to have so much activity here so early in the morning! It's just barely 7 a.m.! Now the boys are all up and we're sharing our stories with the sleepyheads who missed the excitement. I've just come from the front door where we waved Daddy off on his day. Up and down the street neighbors are hauling trash bins to the sidewalk and pulling cars out of their driveways. A school bus just trundled by. The quiet has been replaced by the bustle of the workaday unfolding. The Blue Jays are calling from the treetops and the squirrels have made it to the feeders. Our early morning time has passed.

Really, there's just no time like the earliest hours for observing the beautiful and sometimes surprising nature all around us! But let's keep our eyes peeled, because I am sure there will be more to see before this day is done.

I hope your day today is just lovely, perhaps filled with a nature moment or two!