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Most years, this nesting box is passed over; birds, we know, have their own likes and dislikes. While swallows have occasionally shown interest, it sits at the verge of the forest, near the top of our driveway, and limits their aerobatics.

But there are always surprises. A pair claimed the box several days ago, and as I walked down to get the paper this morning I met one of them, returning with breakfast. I was grateful for that instant, when the bird hesitated at the opening, the curve and symmetry of its wings highlighted by the sunlight, before it returned for seconds.

The Color Of The Sky

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Mountain Bluebird in aspens, Hart Mt., Oregon

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.
—Henry David Thoreau