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.