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This morning I was approached by a bird. This happens. I was coming out of the woodland threshold, St Francis on my right, the Heptacodium on my left, when a round blue gray songbird with a come hither saunter began to bop near me. As I walked along, it fluttered about three feet ahead, darting playfully, and kept this up for about thirty paces before disappearing into the greenery.

Maybe I was ten when I first saw this. I recall my mother telling me, Watch this. We were walking along a farmer’s field, when she started pretending she was walking without a care, maybe humming and swaying her shoulders. A bird fluttered out from the high grass and landed just ten feet ahead of us on the road.

I started talking, and she sushed me. She said, It happens every time. As we walked, the bird traveled awkwardly ahead of us, dragging its wind on the dirt road. I wanted to help it, but she shushed me and said, Keep walking. This went on for a good distance and then the bird flew off and disappeared. I was blown away as she explained that this is how mother birds draw predators away from their nests.

The birds are out this morning. They sing their songs, feast at the feeders, and soar along the garden paths. They eat seeds and seedlings, berries and fruit. I am not sure if they are more of a help or hindrance, but I do what I can to make them happy. They love the plum, crab-apple, and dogwood as much as I do.

As I sat in the Persephone Garden this morning, the air was sweet with plum blossom. A songbird belted out a tune from a whited branch above me. It was a party in an aviary. ‘Behold the birds in the heavens. They do not sow, reap, or gather, yet the Lord feeds them. Are ye not much better than they?’ asks Matthew. Ah, faith, my closest friend. Reason will never defend you.

Songbird in plum blossoms

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