Good Morning


Sit with me awhile in our garden oasis, where sunshine is just now arriving on this side of the hill.

Filtered through the honeysuckle climbing the fence at my back, its rays are scattering shadows across the plot. Aside from bird talk, the hour is silent; in my chair, warming coffee in hand, I am satisfied to listen. And watch.

A house wren appears on the ground and quickly vanishes into the daisies that decorate both sides of the space, but not before its tousled appearance gives it away as a juvenile. No doubt an adult is collecting breakfast insects nearby.

A warbler also enters the daisies’ cover, next to a metal bucket that’s filled with Red Velvet lilies. The flowers began fading several days ago, but for the moment the sun is rejuvenating their spicy salsa hue. 

There’s a stir at the stone pedestal bird bath—a male dark-eyed junco makes a quick splash, then, seconds later, a male American goldfinch takes his place. 

At the back of the garden, a chipmunk has found something interesting inside a retired wheelbarrow that rests against the fence. Uh-oh . . . did it not know it was intruding into Wren Territory? And doesn’t it always seem there’s a wren handy to remind the various offenders? Lesson learned—for now.

I should mention that Anna’s hummingbirds are crisscrossing the garden, sampling the salvia ‘Amistad’ and ‘Hot Lips’, assorted fuchsias, and the sprawling honeysuckle. (Bee balm is yet to bloom.) Of special note were two males that paused together at a feeder, flashing their brilliant rose-pink throats and crowns in concert.

There’s a slight breeze . . . a bumblebee making the rounds . . . a squirrel silhouetted inside the shade of a fir beyond the garden boundary . . . the always pleasant and overriding sense of time suspended that’s common to quiet places.

And the chipmunk is back, climbing the fence to a large birdhouse; last year it was home to a family of six. He’s sitting on one of the perches. Remembering?

I hear the distant growl of a chain saw, the rush of traffic on the road, a child shouting, a small plane passing overhead. The spell is broken, for now, and when a wren chases the chipmunk down from its reveries I know it’s time to go inside.

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