Bluebirds outside my window

I was making monthly visits to see my mother last year when I noticed that one of her bluebird boxes was occupied. She was in and out of hospitals for a while, and I was in and out of state. But I managed few peeks at them now and then.

Dad or a sibling seemed always to be on the lookout. Whether they were looking for danger, or searching for bugs, I wasn’t sure. But they usually saw me and my camera, and weren’t afraid to let me know it.

daddy lookout
Dad watching from the power line.
bluebird helper
‘I see you,’ big brother seemed to say to me.
big bros gotcha
Nearly every time I walked outside, I saw bright eyes looking at me.

Aside from all the people watching the bluebird family engaged in, they were just as busy catching bugs. Crawling bugs, flying bugs – I’m not sure how they found them all.

have a worm
This older sibling checked for predators before offering the babies a tasty worm.
pesky bug
But some bugs proved easier to handle than others.
double trouble
‘You go first.’ ‘No, YOU go first.’
lucky bug
This little wasp didn’t know how lucky he was.
suppers ready
Daddy stayed busy, but I never saw Mama.
bugs yum
Once you catch it, you gotta eat it.
daddys home
Checkin’ on the babies.
head in
‘You OK in there?’
whered those babies go
An older sibling, careful to keep an eye on me.

I wanted to see the fledglings, but I had to leave, and when I got back a week later, the family had moved on.

I did manage a tiny glimpse at one of them, though.

hungry baby
Waiting impatiently.

 

 

 

 

Alice’s green thumb

Mom has loved flowers for as long as I can remember.

Every spring when we were young, she would take us to little flower shops up the road from the hill we lived on. We would pass by rows and rows of blooming plants, inhaling the rich scent of flowers and dark brown soil. After we brought her favorites to the house, she would dig some holes in some of her existing flowerbeds and introduce each plant to its new home, where it would thrive.

After we grew up and left, Mom’s love affair with flowers continued. She and Dad put up a chain-link fence, and she planted bushes of hibiscus all down one side. There were more flowers surrounding Dad’s free-standing shop, and her front flowerbed was always full. Last spring and summer, after giving the plot a good weeding, I camped out near the flowerbed and took pictures of hummingbirds, who were drawn to the sugar-water feeders we hung.

female hummer
Mom had a yard full of ruby-throated hummingbirds last summer.

We brought Mom to live with us in North Carolina last August (under protest, she will tell you). But before we left, I took pictures of some of the flowers she had to leave. This way, she can always remember what they looked like.

mom flowerbed overview
There are all kinds of plants hiding in here!
moon flower
These moonflowers were some of Mom’s favorites.
alium
Alium. Or an ornamental onion, as I like to call them.
purple iris
Purple is Mom’s favorite color.
shamrock
Beautiful shamrocks are part of the under story of Mom’s garden.
hibiscus shrub
One of Mom’s many hibiscus blooms.
black eyed sue
A random flower in Mom’s backyard.
hibiscus bud
A wisteria bloom on Mom’s deck.
tiger in wisteria
Mom’s cat Tiger trying to stalk birds on her back deck. I’m sure he misses the old house, too!