Tag Archive: bird nest


Letting Go

So the “Robin Family”  was created, the babies  raised, then pushed from their home, and now successfully on their own.  I really enjoyed being a part of this…on so many levels.  While this Saga developed, pictures and updates from my Cousin Mary came often, and I couldn’t wait to write all about it and share the wonderful photography with the world.

When the “kids” were all gone, Mary sent me one last  picture… of the Empty Nest.  Oh, the melancholy began to set in!  The “Empty Nest”….something I was facing in my own life after 40 years.   I ‘swore’ I was going to get a print of this photo and frame it and hang it where I would look at it often!

The VERY empty nest...

How fitting…and poignant.

My grandson has been living with me since he was 8 years old.  He is 21 years now, in school (college) full time, and in love.  He is also slowly moving out of my home.  “Oh, woe is me!  All alone….after dedicating my life to kids for 40 years.  Whatever shall I do?”

Well, I am home by myself most of the time, now…..and, I LIKE IT!   And I like that he has grown into a strong young man with values I admire, and a simply wonderful girlfriend.  Their visits are often, and the conversations are fun.  My own “Empty Nest” is growing to be a comfortable place to be.  Maybe I don’t need to make a shrine out of the Empty Nest picture!

As a matter of fact, I have spent some time actually examining that photo…there is more there than I first noticed.  It is becoming even more appropriate as a symbol of my own life than I first thought it was.  Take a closer look.  It is empty of ‘kids’, but is it truly empty?

As my kids grew up and left home to start their own lives, I:   Cleaned carpets of stains (candle wax, crayons, ink, spilled soda, mystery filth (Ew!)).  I patched the holes in the walls, screens, furniture, whatever ( however it got there???). I peeled the tape off the walls from where the posters used to hang (which I discovered were hung to cover the holes made from the darts being thrown and missing the target…among other causes). I moved, then moved again to smaller and smaller homes.  And as my living space got more limited, I packed into boxes of all sizes whatever they left behind, marked them with the various names as best I could without kids here to fight over who originally owned what, and put them into whatever storage I had to use.  Phew!

Now, look at the “Empty Nest” photo again….there are ‘remnants’ of ‘stuff’ left in the bottom (Ew!), the surrounding leaves (Walls?) are discolored (from posters, maybe), the edges of the nest are showing wear and tear (from darts and fights?), and it is a bit dirty in general.  The parents are going to have to work hard to undo what has been done to their home.  And, while they are busy ‘removing the stuff on the bottom’, I will be in my own space re-sorting and re-packing boxes.  Mom and Dad Robin  are readying their home for a new brood.  I am preparing to ship “4 Lives to their Rightful Owners.”  Both intense, and loving, and spirit-worthy jobs.

I have my own little pieces of several childhoods….they can each have them after I have passed.  Meantime, they are my own precious memories, and they are over there –  in my newly cleared out closet by the “Empty Nest” photo…with the Smilie Face sticker in the corner of the frame!.

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Even though it has been only a few short weeks, I have grown to love the Robin clan.  The parents seem to be very “Pro-Family”….a Character Trait that a lot of us  two-legged critters appear to be lacking lately.  We  could use more of that Now than ever before.  Even though Robin Hood is brave, and teetering on the edge of a glorious new life, I get the feeling his siblings will be close on his trail-blazing butt!

Mary:  A couple hours ago took a look and only saw 3 babies. They are all grown up and leaving home this week. What a sad grandma! Will keep you up on the count as this week progresses.

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Mary:  Well they all did what big brother did… about 8 this morning there were still 3 babies in nest. An hour later all gone    11:06 AM
Me: Can’t you just ‘hear’ the typical “Mother Response” to that:  “So, just because your big brother does it that makes it all right for you to do it too???!!”

Me:  And, they kind of scoot right out of photo-taking range very quickly, don’t they?

Mary:  They have all flown the coop! Did get a pic on one chick hopping around the yard. Will send it later.

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Mary:  This is Peep-a-Boo, the last to leave home.  he/she just sat there and posed for me.       11:09 AM

So Tiny, and So Ready to Take on Life photo by Mary

Me:  Wow!  Blends in well with her surroundings, huh?  It looks like she is looking up at you!

Me:  Omg…I am SO smiling! She just sat there and said “Good bye”, didn’t she? No fear, just “Laters, Gramma.”

Mary: …or:  “I am a big girl now.”   I saw Robin Momma nearby, but she was not worried in the least about me taking pictures.  Like:  “I know you wanted a photo or two, so you Go, Girl.”   11:17 AM

Almost ready to leave... photo by Mary

Me:  I see Peep a Boo…on the handle of the hose reel!  Beautiful!

Mary:  And then there is the ever-patient Angel…getting one last look at What She Can Never Have!

"If I could only get outside for a second..."

Me:  lol….can almost feel her tension!

Mary:  This has been so much fun!    11:18 AM
Mary:  I have the  ivy already trimmed some what and will see if parents come to raise any more.  For now, I have This to look at:

SO empty....and sad... Photo by John

Me:    Oh, oh….getting a little teary eyed…    11:18 AM.
Mary:  I am sorry hon!  I have had a few more years with that than you have, but it is still teary for me when my kids visit and leave again.  That never goes away. We just adjust.    11:23 AM
Mary:  AND, as I have gotten older I want them back again… or at least closer to us.  Full circle!  11:24 AM
Me:  I’ve just decided to get an actual Print of that nest and frame it and hang it where I can see it at all times, as a reminder that All Life is basically running on the same path!
Mary:  God is Good.. all things come back around hon.    11:25 AM
Mary:  I’ve seen families re-united after years and years of separation.    11:26 AM
Me:  omg…We are writing my last post about what the Robin Family Saga was preparing me for….
btw…you and John have just played a major role in one of my more difficult learning experiences. ..Letting Go…THANK YOU!
Mary: Very good!  Omg… again our “Father” has provided…    11:27 AM

Mary:  Maybe you need a little Happiness….

A little bit of Heaven... photo by Mary

Me:  Ah, that worked.  Thank you!
Me:  Mary, I feel as if I am leaving something huge behind …but it is ok…    11:32 AM

Mary:  Each and every day another miracle or Blessing is going on in our lives    11:32 AM

Me:  Well, that was not only a very pleasant Miracle, but a fun one!  Mary, and John, thank you for making me a part of all this!  xoxox

Mary:  I just took my first peek today at our babies.  omg they are getting huge!   I got right up close and was able to look eye to eye with three of them.  Our little Peep a Boo sleeps alot but that one is the youngest.  lol

This whole story is unfolding ‘way too fast!  Next thing I will hear from Mary  is that the babies’  feathers are in, and they are teetering on the edge of the nest contemplating “The Dive.”   I really hope John catches a lot of really good photos when they are fuzzy, and speckled, and ready to leave home.

Mary:  Ready for another picture?  How about this:

Growing, and very hungry! photo by John

Me:  Adorable!   I can see some speckles, Mary!  Tell John Thank You, and to keep that camera focused!

You just Know that involving yourself with any kind of wildlife can be fun and exciting, but it can also be very nerve-wracking.  That being the case, I was not surprised to get the following message.

Mary:  Panic, panic a while ago.  I looked out window and momma/papa was acting funny. flapping wings like mad but not going to nest. my first thoughts one of our babes fell from nest. so when parents flew off i did a head count and 4 are still in nest.
Then it dawned on me… do you think they were trying to coax babies from nest?  I have a hand rail across from lattice where nest is and that’s where momma was flapping and flapping. she also had food in her mouth.
seems a little too soon to be coaxing them away from nest.
Just “grandma” worrying about her kids. lol lol
Stay tuned. xoxoxoxoxo

Ok, if you have been following my blog posts for any length of time you Know that I am, by nature, a Rescuer.  How the heck am I going to rescue baby robins in another state?  I don’t know, but all it took was that message.   I was sure going to try something!  The message had come in a couple of hours earlier, so I needed details.  Geesh, Allie….

Me:  Were the two birds fighting?  Was one of them a stranger, perhaps, and the other one a parent protecting her/his babies?  Did you see a rodent near the nest?  Did you see a strange bird nearby?

Mary:  that’s just it, didn’t see anything else around.  hasn’t happened since and have seen a parent going to nest feeding babes a little bit ago. really strange whatever was going on.   there was no fight. so guess at this time all is okay with our family.
Could have been something down on ground between rail and where porch starts.  After parent flew away and I checked on babies, looked on ground and didn’t see anything, but whatever could have taken off by that time.  so u dont think parent was trying to get babe to go to her for food?

Me:  I really have no idea (just a lot of frustration, even though I wouldn’t have been able to do anything anyway if I Could “magically appear 1000 miles from here in a flash”….which I dearly wanted to do!). Did you put him back in? Are his eyes open? Maybe parents bitching him out for being such a pig? Oh, ya…..Hi, Mary!    7:36 PM
Me:  Maybe the parents were yelling at the other kids to be more aggressive about getting some food?    7:38 PM
Me:  Or, maybe he was in trouble for breaking curfew?    7:38 PM

Mary: He never fell out, just almost. boy I came close to reaching out for him tho. lol lol but cant do that. momma would then abandon him.     7:48 PM
pic on its way!    7:52 PM

Phew!  Another Crisis successfully averted.  Oh, don’t ask!  Just go along with me on this.

Another message from Mary:  Check your e-mail….picture coming!

Four Beautiful Robins...all Hungry photo by John

Mary:  Chick to far left of pic is Robin Hood,  chick to the very far right (can barely see that one) has got to be peep-a-boo.  enjoy!   lol

Omg…their eyes are open, they look healthy, and this photo has got to be one of the very best I have ever seen.  Excellent work,  John!  I  am SO looking forward to the fuzzy-chicks photos!  This is almost as good as being there!

Now Mary, how did you decide “Who was Who” in this photo?

Went back and counted:  This is the 14th Post about the Robin Family.  Wow!  Got kinda caught up in all of this.  And, again I’ve Been waiting for any word about the baby robins.  I am expecting some pictures very soon.  John has done a great job of catching rare photos of the most-of-the-time-hidden chicks.  So, if there is any activity not totally guarded by both the Robin parents he will undoubtedly be witness to it, and capture some excellent pictures.  Meantime, I wait.  Then, a message from Mary…

Mary:   I caught Angel {Mary’s cat} looking out the kitchen window this afternoon…she was down and running before I thought about my camera!  lol

Oh, oh….Angel must be watching for signs of activity just as much as John and Mary are.  I can almost hear her excited ‘chatter’  (Human translation:  Let me at ’em! Let me at ’em!)

Next message from Mary:  What do you think about names for these kids?  Any more suggestions?

Mary and I have spent many nights laughing and passing names back and forth.  The pictures these names conjured were priceless.  We came up with a whole lot of really cute ideas, but they were lacking one thing:  The individual personality that matched it.  We had enough choices,  but getting to ‘know’ the new family members and matching one of the names to the chick that ‘earned’ it would have to be left in Mary and John’s hands.

Being so new, most of the babies were keeping low in the nest……all except for the one that John snapped a photo of and sent to this blog.

Me:  So, Mary, has This chick earned one of the names, yet?

Mary:  He looks like a “Robin Hood” to me…The Hero (the first to assert himself), and very Brave.

Me:  Sounds like you have a match!

Mary:  And then there’s the little chick I can barely see looking over the edge of the nest….I think her name is Tweety Pie!  She is all Sweetness and charm…but definitely looking for her mouthful.

Me:  I am so glad this part of the “Saga” is in YOUR lap, Mary!

Mary:  John will be getting pictures, and it will be easier to see why I think these names are so fitting!  Oh, yes…then there is Chicken Little, totally trying to hide like maybe the “Sky Really IS Falling!”

Me:  You are doing fine, Mary!  Just let me know when  you see the fourth chick….and if you think it has earned one of the names on the list, go for it!

Mary:  Will do!  Pictures as soon as possible.
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Mary:  update: 10:55am May 19th, took a head count and there really Are 4 babies… picture to follow.

Four sleepy robin babies photo by John

Me:  Oooooooooo, they are so precious! Love it! John take this one?    9:23 PM

Mary:  yup. mainly cause he can do it without using the flash.     9:24 PM

Me:  Oh, yes…definitely.  Nothing to perturb parents…..    9:24 PM

Mary:  Those babes are really laid back. never hear a sound out of them. Momma robin a good momma. 9:24 PM
Me: Omg…..Mary,  I just realized what this last baby’s name should be!  How about Peep-a-Boo….as in: ‘Surprise, Here I Am!’

Mary:  Love it!        Happy Birthday!  our kids are 1 week old today.

And, they have their names:  Robin Hood, Chicken Little, Tweety Pie, and Peep-a-Boo!  Any takers on which one will be climbing out of the nest first?  Well, we shall see….

It’s been very quiet for a couple of days.  No news from Mary about the babies, but I can be patient when circumstances call for it.  Mary and John are trying to respect Robin Momma’s privacy.  They do, however, watch from a distance…waiting for that magic moment when a spectacular photo is their’s for the taking.  Then, a message from Mary:

Mary:  hey,
just got in  from a fun day running around .  i took a peek at our babies while mom/dad were off someplace(making more babies?) lol and kids were sound asleep, beaks wide open waiting for food. they are soooooooooooo much fun to watch.  hope to get a good pic in next few days.

Great message….all seems to be well with the Robin Clan.

Then, a little while later this message from Mary:

Mary:  here is a cutie!   love this one.  stay tuned! John said he will probably give it a few days now before taking anymore pics.

Ready, and Waiting photo by John

Mary, my Sweet Cousin, this is too wonderful for words!  Does John have any idea how Good he is at capturing the perfect picture?  Probably not.  I just hope he keeps this up….especially when they begin to feather-out and hop around the edge of the nest.  What fun this all is!

So, will the baby in the picture be the biggest, strongest, or just the Loudest?   And, will Mary name this one, and it’s brothers and sisters…..?

As Mary said:  Stay Tuned….I will so let you know!  lol

Is this what Robin Momma's children will look like? photo S. Bryan

Mary:  isn’t that just the cutest?

Me:  Beyond sweet, Cuz!

Mary:  this is really sooooooooooooo much fun. what we are really looking forward to is when all those chicks are big enough to be stretching their necks our of nest and yelling “feed me” “feed me” lol
going to get a good pic then    5:05 PM

Mary:  love to know how many folks may be following the story    5:07 PM

Me:  I don’t know for sure how many are visiting for the updates on the robins, and how many are just surfing.  I DO know some people who are anticipating cute little baby birds as much as we are.   I think we just need a little relief from all the bad and depressing stuff in the news, so…..

Mary:  hey we need to put names to these kids!    5:26 PM
eeny, meeny minny moe.take your pick. lol lol later coz    5:30 PM

Me:  Maybe I should ask our readers to volunteer some names?   It would be something to do while they are waiting.

This is such a hoot!!  ( Oops, wrong bird!)

Ok, folks, feel free to leave any suggestions…..we could use your help!

And, just when you felt it was safe to go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich….

Mary:   John  got a pic of one parent feeding chicks so stay tuned for further pics sometime.  11am

Mary:  Here is the first of a few new pics.  have a blast.  xoxoxoo    John does a good job.  you can see   one  baby is grabbing the food. lol lol  cant wait to see them on the blog.  love it!

Hey! Hey! Where's the food already? photo by John

Such a wonderful parent! photo by John

"Ooooooooooooooo, Hi, Dad....." photo by John

Seems John has been very busy…..

So.o.o, lunch is over and time for a very short break? photo by John

This is either a well-earned ‘break’, or someone is giving everyone ‘the Look.”  You are on your own, Momma….we are here to take photos, write about it,  and generally cheer your on, Only!

I know this whole ‘show’ is going to go ‘faster than the blink of an eye’, now….so I can almost feel more photos coming….

And, for the readers who Thought they would have to wait…..SURPRISE!

And, there are more on the way….

It is raining, and I was just thinking  “I could use something uplifting….”, so I opened my e-mail, and voila:

Mary:  here ya go.  yeah. cant tell if 4th egg has hatched.  may have or chicks are laying on it.  will probably wait now for anymore pics until their little heads are popped up and yelling to be fed!  lol lol.
just have had some nice rains overnite, nothing bad.

Tiny, and already getting fuzzy. Photo: by John

Omg, how ‘brand new’ can you get?!  Mary, you did it again.  Nice photo, and beautiful little ones.  Thank John for the wonderful photography, and thank you so much for a job very well done!  I’ll just bet you that Mom is chuckling as we go back and forth, all excited and smiling and happy!  Let me know about the 4th egg also, please!  Have fun, and keep sending pictures.

Now, one last egg to go……

Message from Mary:  our babies are in that nest wiggling around now. still one egg in nest and havent come across any empty shells. john wants to wait till they are a little bigger and then get a pic. told him he has just a 2 week window. lol

I can SO picture what Mary is seeing!  Unfortunately, they are facing another round of terrible weather tonight.  I only hope the tornadoes miss them again, as they did a couple of days ago.

Mary:  hope to catch ya later. most weather right now is in western okla heading into kansas.     6:28 PM

Mary:  momma robin sure seems busy. flying back and forth. earlier there was still one more unhatched egg    9:06 PM

Mary:  the other chicks look soooooooooooo cute with that little fluff of feathers.  They were wiggling around some this afternoon. 10:26 PM
Me:     Do the babies have some feathers already?    10:29 PM
Mary:    just what you would call fluffy stuff                10:29 PM

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My Mom passed a couple of years ago.  In her final years she had become very close to Mary….a surrogate mother if you will. I know Mary misses her as much as I do.  When I first got Mary to share the experience of watching the robins, taking pictures, and sending messages to update their progress,  she very quietly shared something with me.  She told me that she  can ‘feel’ my Mom’s presence around her when she is sitting on her porch, and watching the Robin Family work. What a comforting thought.

Maybe Mom had something to do with the protection they received from the  previous deadly storms…?  I would like to think so.  And I would also like to think that she is smiling as she watches the ‘unfolding events’ with Mary…enjoying it every bit as much as we are.  Three ‘fuzzy chicks’, and one last egg….check back with us tomorrow!