Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Fledglings

Our bluebird babies are getting ready to fledge. Last night a whole family of bluebirds flew into our backyard and perched themselves in a tree high above the bluebird  house. The fledglings  were poking their heads out, unsure of their next move. while our feral cat Grace was looking up at the scene, licking her lips. As a precaution, I locked her in our outdoor cat enclosure–aka the “catio”–until these little creatures can make it safely out of their nest.


The Peace of Wild Things

 Life in the Pandemic. It’s been a surreal month. We’ve run  the gamut of emotions here at our house.


As good medicine we’ve been trying to cultivate an atmosphere of fun and silliness, starting with a Christmas tree decorating party our first week at home.

Later we pulled out our giant inflatable Mickey Mouse. Last week it was chalk drawings on the side of our brick house.

Our backyard has become a campground. We started by setting up our tent on top of tthe hill overlooking the pond and invited Levi’s best friend R. over for a sleepover.



That afternoon we dug a dakota fire pit and I showed the boys how to build a fire from tiny little twigs. When the sun went down we made s’mores.

We’ve kept the tent up. Wonderfully enough, our tent-wi fi is excellent so I have  been able to spend some mornings sitting in the tent answering work e-mails and listening to the frogs. They don’t seem to be afraid of us as evidenced by one who crawled into the tent to hang out with us.

It’s been a beautiful spring and things are in bloom in the back yard: Solomon’s Seal, Star of Bethlehem, paw paw flowers. Pretty yellow irisies and purple comfrey flowers. We have a blueberry bush that has grown seven feet tall and is sagging with tiny budding berries. In the bog, the pitcher plants are having little babies.


Our yard is kind of sprawling and messy right now, though.  I suggested to Levi that if we worked just a little bit in the yard  every day, we could get some things accomplished.  He liked the idea and now his  favorite thing is to water the plants, whether they need it or not.

in addition to the backyard time, there have been frequent walks to the Beaver Marsh, one of Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association’s nature preserves (all of which are still open to the public.) A 34-acre urban oasis and a short walk from our house, it is teeming with life right now. We’ve seen herons, baby ducks, and hundreds of tiny little frogs jumping to and from the shore. Once we saw a beaver jumping from the lodge into the water. Most days we don’t see any other human beings in the marsh.  it’s just us and the birds and the beavers.


It has meant so much to connect with nature during the time of Covid-19.  As always, it brings great comfort and joy. I noticed the ECWA folks had Wendell Berry’s poem “The Peace of Wild Things” posted on their Facebook Page which hits home right now:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.