I spend a good amount of time sitting on the steps outside our kitchen door. For most of the day, if the sun’s out, it’s a warm spot. I get a double whammy of heat from the sun as it shines on me from the sky above and radiates up from the steps below. I grab at least a few minutes a day out there in the spring, mostly just to convince myself that I’m not going to be cold forever.
So, there I was a few weeks ago, when I realized that in the tree directly in front me a bird was sitting on a nest. Considering how long I had been looking right at that spot and how often I sit and look right at that spot I had a few minutes of amazement at the fact that as here and now as I like to think I am, there must be lots of moments when I look and do not see.
That epiphany processed, I called everyone outside to see the bird.
We’ve all had time to feel like we’ve gotten to know her. She doesn’t seem to mind us being around. Dagny and I have worked directly underneath her nest, our heads not much more than a foot away from her, cleaning out Dagny’s garden. Rowan, Dagny, and I have watched as her partner shows up, sits on the branch next to her for a while, then hops quickly on the nest as she flies off.
The day before yesterday I noticed the male bird standing on the ground under the nest for a long time. It brought to mind cartoon dads who pace the waiting room smoking cigars while their babies are born. Sure enough, yesterday Dagny and Andrew noticed some extra feathers in the nest. There are two babies, one on each side of the mom. From the back it looks like a three-tailed bird is sitting up there.
Yesterday, on our way over to the new strawberry patch, Dagny and I stopped dead in our tracks. Dagny ran back inside for her camera while I leaned on the car and stared, barely blinking. By the time she got back the baby we had seen peeking out had ducked its head back under the mama’s chest. We stood. We stared. We worried that the wind was going to blow them right out of their nest. And every once in a while, we’d see little eyes. We stood and stared some more, and suddenly there it was.