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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bluebirds and the Children

Dear Barbara,

Here are some pictures from today, when I began by sitting three feet away from the mealworm dish. Grandsons Wyatt 5.5) and Finn (2.5) got to do that later today.(see bluebird staring at Wyatt in upper right hand corner) These birds are not bothered by my lens or shutter, squealing children and barking dogs who have assumed squirrel guard duty and expect to have their dummy thrown so they can retrieve. We even filled the bowl as it rained gently on us. Both boys like to go riding on the noisy tractor, also. Yet the bluebirds are not deterred. They need to eat.  I am surprised after today's perpetual gorging, they could get off their perches and become airborne!
 When I looked at the pictures tonight,  I suddenly realized that we had the new generation of males and females also coming, which explained the "sudden" shyness of what were actually  the new ones! (they have lighter breasts and more splotches). The word must have gotten out that we are serving round the clock mealworms even in the rain!  We saw a newly fledged baby hop up the bark of the tree in front of us and then sail to another tree twenty yards away and wait for his parents to feed him. The parents also fed each other, which we are hoping heralds the beginning of a mating ritual that courtship behavior kick started about a month ago. The male also chased a wren from "their" nesting box.
Our neighbors are all excited and we have shared in this joy in a way that seems mysterious and yet real.  The "godfather" who started it all has been pronounced all clear from two types of cancers--one was very rare.  His next door neighbor is recovering from breast cancer, as is her across the street neighbor and also  me.  I had taken two others living with cancer to the first back yard to sit and watch the bluebirds.  One is alive and well and the other is watching from a better vantage point now.  She knows.
We are all "wasting" time "just" watching and listening. We are the two year old squealing, bowed over double. Tomorrow our neighborhood is ordering l5,000 more mealworms.  This should last about two weeks at the rate we are going. Our Wormer Captain-Clanker and his Squealing Brother have returned to DC, but I don't mind sitting by, looking into those beady eyes and reminding them over and over how beautiful they are. I'm just not sure I can come up with more names like Big Blue and Butterfly Blue for the others.
I missed Pentecost at church.  Too much of it was happening off our back deck.

Pat Holden
Chesapeake, VA

(Sent to Barbara and forwarded to me to post.)


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