Bio Note: Yes, I love birds. Joining our usual songbirds today are two kinds of orioles, several fully-molted goldfinches, and a pair of grosbeaks. As our feeders are right outside our patio door and suspended over the deck, our cat will no longer be allowed to sun herself out there. Don't worry, I also love cats. Cherie has access to the back patio.
At the base of the stump where I daily dump corn for the blue jays and squirrels, is a familiar mallard. I know her by her limp. One year ago, under a bare-branched hydrangea, she laid nine eggs. I’d counted them later. When first I’d noticed the nest, I put a pail of water near and dumped extra corn so she could brood with ease, although she sometimes flew off. I got it. Every mother needs a break. Besides, no limp when flying. But then, a late winter storm. She sat on the eggs while freezing rain fell. But after eight inches of snow blew in, she was gone. Does she know the squirrels soon made off with the eggs and buried them out in the yard? Singly. Like corpses. Or treasures. I found several later as I spaded the gardens and gently re-interred them. Now she’s back. Perhaps she knows.
©2022 Irene Voth
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