Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bluebirds

We are fortunate to have several pair of Eastern Bluebirds here on our farm.  John has made nest boxes for them and almost every year, they raise several gangs of babies. 

I was taking a break from hoeing the corn on Tuesday when I saw what seemed to be a bluebird family, introducing the young uns to the world. Bluebirds are voracious bug and worm eaters so I was happy to see the male poised above my winter squash.


Mama was there briefly but I didn't get her picture. Below is one of the babies -- or 'juvenals' as the bird book calls them -- also perched above the squash.
The term 'the bluebird of happiness' has a long history in many cultures. But for me, there's a more personal meaning.  Back in 1973, when we visited my old school friend V.O. here in the mountains and decided to look for a farm, V. O. told me how, when they had first seen their place, a bluebird had flown across their path and she had taken it as a sign that they'd found their home.


When V.O. came with me to inspect the farm John and I had fallen in love with,  she and I tramped up and down, admiring the views, the wild flowers, the flowing streams. And as we were leaving, driving down the dirt road that ran alongside one of the pastures, a bird flew up and crossed in front of the car.  The sun flashed on its red breast and blue wings.

"There's that silly bluebird," said my friend.  And I knew that I, too, was home

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26 comments:

Ms. A said...

I'm sure you were already sold on the property, but it was nice to get a little sign from the bluebird of happiness!

Witch of Stitches said...

Nice little story! XO

L. D. Burgus said...

Great sign from the bluebirds. You are so fortunate to see the young ones. We have bluebirds throughout our state, but not in my town. I see one maybe once ever four or five years. I live on the edge of town but the ground is cultivated.

Pat in east TN said...

I love the story Vicki.

We have several bluebird families who raise a couple of sets of babies each year ... always a treat the watch the entire process.

Brian Miller said...

smiles at the feeling of home and those that herald it...cute to see the fam out together...hope they keep your garden clean...smiles.

Desiree said...

What a delightful tale, Vicki!

Elora said...

Isn't it thrilling to receive those omen confirmations?! They are so reassuring, and keep us all "rooted" to the mysteries of chance!

Elora

Thérèse said...

Blue birds? I thought at first "another name for birds of paradise?"

But you were speaking of course of...

"...Life is sweet, tender and complete
When you find the bluebird of happiness.
You will find perfect peace of mind
When you find the bluebird of happiness.
Two hearts that beat as one,
'Neath a new found sun,
We are in a world that's just begun,
And you must sing his song, as you go along,
When you find the bluebird of happiness..."

Like in the old song.

Louise said...

What a lovely story! And, how wonderful to have several pair around you. To see them often must be a real thrill.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Great story and a definite sign!!

Martin H. said...

Nice story, Vicki. Seems as though those Bluebirds know a thing or two.

Tess Kincaid said...

We rarely see bluebirds here. In fact, I don't believe I've ever seen one at Willow Manor. Lovely post.

Anonymous said...

We had a similar sign, though after we bought our new house. The first spring I opened our bedroom blinds one morning to find a lilac in the yard outside our window. They don't do well in the Georgia heat, but there it was, telling us this was the right place for us to be. It has come back every spring for the last six years, skimpy compared to the lilacs of the midwest, but a sure sign of home to me.

Lynne in GA

Vicki Lane said...

A good sign for sure, Lynne. Coincidentally, just this morning I was pruning back the lilac planted by our front steps (in our dooryard, is how I think of it) -- the same lilac given to me by my friend V.O. when we built our house.

Jon Lee said...

I love your bluebirds. I don't have any bluebirds here, but I love your story of "the bluebird of happiness." I'm glad you found your perfect home.

Nicole@Rare Bird said...

Great pictures and a wonderful "confirmation" of peace and happiness!

Friko said...

I wish we had bluebirds. They don't exist in the UK. We have kingfishers though, whose metallic blue sheen flashes over streams and the edges of rivers.

Star said...

How lovely! It's always nice to look to the animal world for inspiration and/or solace.

Victoria said...

What a lovely story, with beautiful photos to match it. I believe in signs and omens. (But not in black cats being bad luck!)

NCmountainwoman said...

I don't think any bird family is more fun to watch than the bluebirds. Such caring parents and they teach their "teenagers" to help out with the little ones. Great photographs and great story.

Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks Vicki for another great story...I wish I'd lived where bluebirds do, for I never heard what fun watching them could be.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Vicki -- "Meant to be" as my mother or dad would say. The bluebird just cinched it! -- barbara

100 Thoughts of Love said...

lovely story, hope i find a bluebird in NC soon...;)

Elora said...

Thanks so much for the photos of the bluebirds!! I would never have known that the babies were spotted had it not been for your photos, Vicki. Now, with MM having built five houses this past spring, and having put them up, I know that the endeavor was successful. There must have been a housing crunch out here JOTOLR, because all were used. And today, there are little speckled bluebirds on the wire.

Thanks much!
Elora

Kath said...

When we moved into this home, blue birds flew in our yard. A greeting, i knew it meant we were starting a wonderful phase.

I've seen them again this year.

Question. How do i convince the silly cardinal that all she's going to get is one whopper of a headache if she keeps pecking at my bedroom window? I know she's being territorial. The window is two stories up and nearly covered by my beloved crepe myrtle, but not enough to reassure this bird that she has an enemy.

Vicki Lane said...

About bluebirds -- they like big open areas, like pastures and they like nest boxes on posts, out in those big open areas. Our population increased after John started placing nest boxes. (Their natural habitat wood be a hollow in a tree.)

Kath, about that cardinal. Try placing a picture of a face against the window glass. David Sedaris tells about doing this using old record albums. A close up of Alice Cooper or Mick Jagger might do the trick...