Summer is close by. When I got up I awoke to this sight on my front porch. Just yesterday I told my husband that I had so been looking forward to seeing the baby robins looking down on me from their nest. Yesterday the nest was empty and I felt so bad thinking the babies had been taken by some predators. And then I was greeted by this sight through my screen door in the morning sun. Predators didn’t get the baby birds. They fledged!

Our little county house is home to so many birds it’s dizzying. Although I am no devoted bird watcher I have been watching long enough that I thought I had seen every variety around but yesterday I saw a new bird again and I had to go on line to identify it. It was a pine siskin, I had noticed a small flock of this tiny bird feeding on long tall black seed feeder. They are very common according to the information but somehow I went my whole life without ever noticing one before. The robin, on the other hand, is very common and a rather sassy bird. To me, robin says suburbs and mowed lawns. I was rather disdainful of this bird until I first spent time out at our bog and saw one living the wild life. Nature is harsh and this poor bird did not have a very successful nesting season. I can’t blame them for taking up residence in our suburbs where life is so much easier. This year I developed a brand new respect for the common robin. You see when my garden was tilled up I saw it was full of assorted grubs.

Worms are fine but I regard grubs with a deep suspicion bordering on hatred. Grubs include cut worms and potato beetles and all kinds of things I simply don’t care to share my garden with. The wonderful robin who built her nest in my hammock tree spent hours each day from dawn to dusk patrolling my garden along with her spouse. I would lie in my hammock and watch while this sharp eyed mom diligently cleaned my garden of all manner of grubs. Every few minutes she was carrying off a fat grub to her waiting brood. They would squeal with delight and the grubs would vanish. Every garden needs a robin with a brood of hungry babies. I even forgave her husband for being the first bird to start singing each morning at 4:30am at the first sign of dawn.

Robins also connect with me because when my children were very young we used to sing together. And one of our favourite songs was Rafi’s Robin in the Rain, I often found myself humming the tune while I worked in the yard and it brought back some pleasant memories of when I was a Mom with young children. I felt so bad when I thought the baby robins were dead that I laughed for pure joy to see that baby robin on my deck rail. Wow do they grow up fast! Then as I watched, Momma robin showed up with something good to eat and baby robin let out a demanding squawk. Momma obligingly fed her baby. Now I know what that strange squawk was that I have been hearing since yesterday. It’s not unlike the sound of the phone ringing followed by

“Mom can you loan me some money?”

My kids are well beyond that stage in their life. They are all self supporting, tax paying, solid citizen types and my littlest baby is not that far from 30. My don’t they grow up fast!


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