The Azure In Spring

Sunrise, from the east deck

Friday, May 24, 2019

This beautiful morning has neither rain nor wind gusts. The lead photo, which I was outside early capturing, doesn’t show enough the beauty of those interesting clouds. It does reflect that rising of red in the east, which is what drew me outside and into the surprise of this really warm morning.

Even nearing the end of May we’re wearing sweaters, and sometimes winter jackets. Early this month, after a tiny bit of warm weather, a series of rains began with frequent high winds that created a downright-cold spring. This seems our wettest spring, for I recall annual rains that lasted a day, or two, or even three, but not weeks of daily rains ranging from sprinkles to downpours. Attesting to this onslaught, widespread grasses and about-to-flower plants have multiplied over my normally desert-like property.

What’s reassuringly typical is sharing my barn with a family of Mountain Bluebirds. As cavity-nesters they build in a rafter’s tiny crevice. Right now, this pair might have hatchlings making lots of demands. Or this little fellow with a mouthful to deliver is feeding his still-incubating mate. He’s unafraid and waiting for me to get out of his way.

Daddy bird, waiting for me to leave the barn

For years, I’ve enjoyed those little birds. They’re either a returning pair or a now-mated offspring wanting to nest at the old home site. Mountain Bluebirds are related closely to robins, and like them love fruit; they’re also good at diving while in flight to capture prey. They’re devoted family members, and a pair’s mature offspring may stick around and help to feed their parents’ newest babies. The male bird’s feathers are a gorgeous blue, and those of the females duller, almost tan, until a good light reveals their true azure.

I work regularly in the barn near where they’re nesting, for that’s where my horse hay is stored. A caretaker bird on seeing me waits nearby, until I accommodate its need to fly past closely and feed. Other times, one of these birds is guarding the nest and watching from high in a tree. On spotting me, it sounds little warnings.

Soon, each in this pair will start busily flying and feeding, and I’ll try to stay out of their way. Their annual presence makes for lovely springs, despite rains and winds.

Dear Friends, have a lovely day. Diana

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