Thursday, June 30, 2011
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.