This is what we've been spending most of our time watching lately.
It's a repeat performance by this robin family, which first nested in the rafters of our back porch several years ago, then came back this summer and built a second-floor nest on top of the old one. For weeks we've been watching Mrs. Robin sit in near-frozen stillness, waiting and waiting. Then suddenly on Sunday -- just afterthe chicks hatched at Auden's preschool and the falcons hatched atop Kodak Tower -- two babies! Babies are in the air, and it's endlessly fascinating.
From the ground, we mostly see their beaks, ALWAYS open, poking out of the nest like pointy flower buds. For several days I hardly saw them at all and never saw the mother. Then just when I was sure they were all dead, they poked out again (and just when I was sure they had been abandoned and were going to die, the mother appeared too. Overdramatic, me? I believe my husband was prompted to take these beautiful pictures in part by the need to prove to me that the mother was in fact around.:)
The kids love watching them. So do I. The babies seem to spend absolutely every waking moment with their beaks wide open, hoping food will magically drop in. I watched one fall asleep today. It was waiting with its beak open, pointing straight up toward the sky, then its neck drooped, beak slowly closing, head plopping over the side of the nest.
They are scrawny and strange-looking, but already much bigger than when we first saw them. There is ruffling of wings and jostling for position, soon they will be taking their first flights and then ... gone. And we'll hope for a return visit later in the summer, and next year, if we're lucky. I can't explain how heart-warming and moving I find it to have them back – to have another mother bringing up her babies in this house. We have a new baby oak tree in the front yard too, growing roots and growing up, and it all just makes this feel like home.
The part of me that still means where-I-grew-up when I say "my house"? This is the other part.