Hello fellow readers,
As I share this week’s dilemma, delight, or discovery in the garden of life, I can’t help but reflect on the significance of Memorial Day. A holiday set aside in memory of those that served. It’s heartwarming to see folks setting up the American flag in their front lawns, our symbol for the United States of America, especially given the divided state our country seems to have become.
If I may share a story of an American robin and a little brown bird, maybe a song sparrow per Mom’s bird book. She always had one on hand to identify her feathered friends. Mr. and Mrs. Robin was setting up residence for nesting in the viburnum right outside of the kitchen window. They were fun to watch, each bringing their collection of yard debris to build the nest. During the rainy spell, I saw Mrs. Robin sitting in the nest. In the smoke bush next door, there was a cute little brown bird, maybe two, coming and going. Then, in the next day or so, Mrs. Robin was nowhere to be found. I noticed two feet from the robin’s nest, a smaller, tidier abode that was new to the scene. The tightly organized nest mirrored the compact body of the little bird, which turns out to be the visiting brown bird from the smoke bush. It seems they may have bullied their way into the viburnum, kicking Mr. and Mrs. Robin out. I didn’t witness the invasion, though. Maybe they didn’t argue. Perhaps the robins just moved on.
It seems to me there is plenty of room in the viburnum to share. Though the birds look different, they are very much the same. They need the same nourishment and water and have the same instincts to build a nest to raise their families. They have the same challenges of Mother Nature; weather and invaders that may steal their eggs or their young.
I reached out to my birder buddy Dennis of Blairstown. He shared that he’s not sure if a song sparrow would have driven the robin away as they are a lot smaller. But if it did, the robin will find another spot. Comforting to know, but how joyful it would be to see them living in harmony in the same viburnum. United in one neighborhood, one country, one world. Garden Dilemmas? firstname.lastname@example.org
This column is featured in Episode 16 – One World / Robins of Renewal of the Garden Dilemma’s Podcast available on Podcast Apps and on the Podcast Page