“The Sparrow” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I love this little bird. It really seems like he likes to follow me around so I started to follow him and snap pics everywhere he hopped.  A special little friend for sure.

The Sparrow

A little bird, with plumage brown,
Beside my window flutters down,
A moment chirps its little strain,
Ten taps upon my window–pane,
And chirps again, and hops along,
To call my notice to its song;
But I work on, nor heed its lay,
Till, in neglect, it flies away.
So birds of peace and hope and love
Come fluttering earthward from above,
To settle on life’s window–sills,
And ease our load of earthly ills;
But we, in traffic’s rush and din
Too deep engaged to let them in,
With deadened heart and sense plod on,
Nor know our loss till they are gone.
Paul Laurence Dunbar – 1872-1906

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An evolution of blue

Since I’m pretty much a (willing) prisoner here at Casa de Enchanted Seashells just like we’re all enduring stay-at-home orders,  I decided to create a positive mindset and find the beauty inside and outside these four walls and my infinite garden.

Today, the sky is blueblueblue with occasional puffy clouds so I thought I’d focus on blue.

Cerulean, ultramarine, the shade of a Ceylon sapphire.More like a periwinkle blue, but still BLUE.

The blue of agapanthus, also known as Lily of the Nile, from bud to flower.

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After the caterpillar

May2020butterfly1The view from my kitchen window in the early morning light.

A perfectly symmetrical Monarch sunning herself on grape leaves.

Saturday.

 

(Taken with my Canon Rebel T3i)

Home Sweet Home

In quarantine? Isolation? Distancing?

Happy to have a home to go home to, no matter what it looks like, that’s the message I’m getting from this little bird, being grateful for what we have.

Every spring, for years and years, this dedicated vireo mom builds and rebuilds her home in my garden. If I count them all up, I’ve been grandma to approximately one hundred babies.

As you can see, her home looks a bit shabby. It really needs to be repainted and I attempted to fix the bottom with string because it was starting to fall apart. I’m not much of a handyman (woman) but it’s OK for now.

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Going home

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Checking out the view

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Breakfast is ready!

Three Little Birds

This is one of my absolute favorite Bob Marley tunes, check out the video below.

“Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

You know how sometimes you hear a song that’s the perfect song for how you’re feeling, and whether it’s a coincidence or a sign or a message, you feel its uplifting energy? That’s this one.

This is my mantra for today: “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cos every little thing’s gonna be all right.”

And then I took my camera outside to see what beauty nature could inspire me to feel gratitude and peace and this lovely little brown bird followed me around for a while.

“This is my message to you.”

Got it. Message received loud and clear. Breathe.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Rock Rose

I love roses of all kinds but this one has nothing to do with Rowdy Rosie; a nickname I acquired in another life during a brief stay in Steamboat Springs. (Read about it here: https://enchantedseashells.com/2013/07/02/the-story-of-rowdy-rosie/)

This one’s a hardy garden rose that does well in drought conditions.

Cistus is a genus of flowering plants in the rockrose family Cistaceae, of which there are about twenty varieties.
It’s a perennial shrub found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal through to the Middle East, and also on the Canary Islands; they do really well in my SoCal garden.

I’ve had really good success propagating them, too. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Snip 6-inch cuttings off stems that have not yet flowered.
  2. Remove lower pairs of leaves, keeping only the topmost one or two pairs at the crest.
  3. Dipping the cuttings in powdered rooting hormones spurs root growth.

Perfect for a hot summer garden with no rain in sight.

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Yummy Hummy Mummy Update: Abandonment

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What kind of mother abandons her babies?

This isn’t how I wanted the story to end.

I like stories that end in happiness and joy, and now I have no idea what went wrong, what happened.

Is there something I could have done? I would have helped her; I’m a fixer, I like to take care of animals. And people.

Mom built a great nest, laid one egg, and I kept waiting for the next one but it never came. For a while, all was good, she sat on the nest daily and I made sure that I didn’t bother her just in case she liked privacy.

Mom hasn’t been around for about three days. The one little egg is still in the nest. I’m sure it’s not viable at this point. I wonder why she disappeared. Did she get attacked by a predator? Did her instincts tell her that there was something wrong with the egg and it shouldn’t be born?

We’ll never know, but it triggered my own issues with abandonment and not having answers to painful experiences or not being able to render aid.

It’s not natural for mothers of any species to abandon their children. It goes against all the laws of nature and psychology and maternal bonding. Sadly, in humans, abandonment leaves the children to deal with “mother wounds”; significant emotional, mental and psychological aftereffects.

However, on the bright side (which is where I like to live), there’s a Vireo successfully nesting; she comes back every single year. So far, she’s had about one hundred babies born out of the same little seashell bird house nestled in the ficus tree.

Update: Yummy Hummy Mummy; an egg appears!

April 26, 2020

Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs; jellybean ovals of white porcelain perfection, and so far I see the first one!

To give you a size comparison, most hummingbird nests are 1.5 – 2 inches in diameter, roughly the size of a ping pong ball.

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My love’s like a red, red rose

Robert Burns, of course.

I’ve been posting a lot about the beautiful flowers in my garden because I know how short lived it al is and I want to enjoy it while I can…soon the hot sun and blistering Santa Ana winds will dry up all the lush blooms. We had so much rain this season that it really looks like a floral fairyland at Casa de Enchanted Seashells.

Another day, another rose, a very red one, not yet open.

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A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

O my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
O I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve,
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

 

And almost completely gone but still drunk with a dancer’s graceful elegance:IMG_9191

 

No more empty nest for me…mommy hummingbird is hard at work!

It’s been five long years since I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen by a hummingbird as a sanctuary site to build her nest on one of my windchimes.

The last time it was built on hummingbird chimes (very witty, mama hummy, very witty) and this time it’s butterfly chimes, but in the same exact location right outside the kitchen window.

Mama works pretty much around the clock bringing feathers and spider webs and other soft little bits and pieces glued together with her own birdy poop.

I’ll update as the nest grows and mom lays her two precious eggs:

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Hummingbird posts from 2015:

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/05/02/yummy-hummy-mummy/

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/05/08/its-raining-in-southern-california/

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/05/20/a-mothers-love-wordlesswednesday/

https://enchantedseashells.com/2015/06/01/empty-nest-disaster/