Tuesday, May 27, 2014


There's a new baby robin on my deck.

How do I know it's a baby? I watched as the mom fluttered around this guy last week. He's bigger than his mom, but much less focused and organized. At about this time of day, the mom comes and bathes in a shallow bowl of water I put on the back deck to replace the bird bath that rusted and left the water a strange color that the birds avoided. The mother robin is efficient and throws that water around like a pro.

The baby came to take a bath the other day and he just sat in the water. It was like I was serving him for dinner, his wings spread over the edges and tufts of fluff floating around him. Kids can spend an inordinate amount of time in the bathtub, can't they? He was no exception. He sat there for a good fifteen minutes while I watched. His mouth opened. And then it closed. He tilted his head. And then he tilted it the other direction. He fluffed up the water. And then he sat still. I just loved the dorky look on his face as he looked at my cat watching him through the glass.


It was adorable.

And no, I do not let my cat out to stalk the birds on the deck. Seth is strictly an indoor guy, primarily because we live right along the highway. When a cat goes up against a highway, the highway always wins. This way, the birds win too. The cat and I have watched at least eight fledglings stand on our deck and look back at us as if we're as normal a part of the scenery as the Western red cedar they nested in. We've hosted Stellar's jays, robins, thrushes, and hummingbirds. Apparently the hummingbirds are in love with my fuchsia this year. In past years, I'd cut back my salmon berry and I'd lose them. The robins like the salmon berries too. And to think I didn't even plant that thing. I just let the weeds go wild and there they were. At least the fuchsia will bloom all summer. Hummingbirds all summer would be nice.

And that baby robin?

Even when he becomes sleek like his mother, I'll know him by his sense of ownership of my deck. When I sit on my deck, he'll fly in for a bath, forgetting that the big predators sometimes use it, but never as often as he does. Really, he will say as he flies away in a huff over my presence, "This really is my spot. I've been coming here my whole life."

And, if I'm nearly done with my book or I'm tired of squinting at it in the bright sunshine, I'll gather my tea and my book and lumber back inside the house so the baby can take his bath in peace.

Thank you for listening, jb

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