Nov 6, 2006

On bringing nature closer

A few years ago, Billy and I (actually my mom, my sister and I) planted a flowering crabapple tree outside our bedroom window. It's pretty small, and it's probably too close to the house, but it was my hope that it would encourage various birds to light there, enjoying the shelter and food. However, I find that I often forget about it, just seeing it as part of the landscape.

I was brushing my teeth this morning when a flutter of color caught my eye. I glanced out the window and saw one -- two -- three male cardinals in the branches of my little tree, snacking on the fruit and peacably coexisting. For the next few minutes, they flitted in and out of the branches, joined by their mates and a couple of sparrows, while a red-headed woodpecker rat-tat-tatted on the nearby elm. He even discouraged a bushy squirrel from descending the tree; he turned tail and hopped across the garage roof.

Billy brought Miranda to the window, where the red of the cardinals caught her eye and captivated her for a minute or two. Then she banged her miniature pumpkin against the glass, and our friends took flight.

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