Monday, May 10, 2010

Stoic Little Robin

Home at last! I've missed my computer and checking in with all my blogger friends. I tried it on dial-up where I was staying, but that was impossible. So now it may take me a few evenings to catch up with you all. I can't wait to see what I've missed! Thank you for all your beautiful comments and support--it means so much to me.

The colonial style house where I've been petsitting has a beautiful door with a shock of corn hanging on it. Very New England. One morning on my way out I spotted some dried grass on the step. Looking up I found the beginnings of a bird's nest in the husks of the corn. I stopped using that door and the nest progressed over a couple of days. I looked every day but never saw the builder.  After a couple of weeks, I looked all around. No bird in sight. I reached my camera up and snapped this picture:

Look at that blue! So intense, that blue--she had to be a robin. We had a few hot days around that time and I still never saw her around. Then it started to get cool again. One evening as I came home she was sitting on the nest. She never moved. The glare of the headlights didn't faze her. I drove into the garage and moved slowly, so not to scare her.

The next morning there she was. I walked around the car, got my camera out and took some pictures. Shutting car doors and driving out of the garage didn't move her. Over the next week she was sitting on those eggs every time I looked. Stoic little robin!

The homeowner is awestruck--she considers it a true blessing. I'll be back there in a couple of weeks. Maybe there will be 3 little squeakers then! I'll let you know how it turns out.

I had Mom and her sister and my niece over for lunch on Mothers' Day. Fresh pea soup with goat yogurt, local asparagus, sauteed ginger shrimp and a nice green salad. A lovely light lunch for the ladies. Knowing that at least one brother would show up, I got a loaf of bread and some goat cheese (a few of us are lactose intolerant). I ended up with all 3 brothers and a nephew-8 people in all. We finished the meal with Trader Joe's Sweet 16, a dessert tray of 16 little treats topped with whipped organic heavy cream and lemon curd. (Yes, I did have some whipped cream!) A nice meal, good stories and gifts. A happy Mother's Day.

Driving Mom home later, we noticed that the ladyslippers were in bloom! They usually bloom on Memorial day or thereabouts--this year they are 3 weeks early--and it was cold that day!

Ladyslippers always remind me of Dad. In July of 2004 he passed away after many strokes and illnesses.  We had had to place him in a nursing home for his last 18 months. He had lost much of his speech and memory by the end. He and Mom had agreed that when he died, we would scatter his ashes in the ladyslippers.

The following year we had a Memorial Day service for Dad and his brother Jake who had passed away 6 months later.  That day we all went to Mom's and got the ashes and walked around the yard and into the woods to all the ladyslippers.  We told stories about Dad as we walked through the woods, each of us, including Dad's grandkids, taking handfuls of ashes and sprinkling them everywhere we saw the flowers. Richard finished by leaving a few ashes next door at the farm where Dad was born and grew up, and some in the brook that runs through the woods.

Ladyslippers are orchids and they require very specific growing conditions. I worried that all those ashes might upset the balance and damage the plants.  But Lo! The next year, there were more ladyslippers than ever.  It seems that every year there are more and more. Dad wasn't a great gardener in life, but now he's showing us!

This Spring everything has bloomed 3 weeks early. It was a remarkably beautiful, lush, blossomy Spring. All I can think of is "stoic little flowers!" We all got excited and planted flowers and seeds. Now we are having a cold snap with heavy winds. Who knows what next week will bring. I'm hoping for calm winds and warm days so I can get out in my kayak.  Dreaming on...


  1. What a lovely memory of your father and how wonderful that there are even more lady slippers. I love the sweet little next on the corn cobs. How sweet. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. Your luncheon sounds so wonderful too. Happy to have you back!

  2. Dear Sherry,
    Seems you had a very wonderfull pet sitter time, in this beautifull place,-what an idea to nest there, so cute, and the eggs are fantastic in their color.
    Your lunch meal with your family, sounds so good ,too.

  3. Your posts always contain such beautiful contemplations, visual in words and images.
    Loved the story about your dad and that orchid of the woods. The images here are always lovely; such as the nest and the lovely red door.

  4. Wow... a robin nesting on the door... Aren't birds amazing in what they will call home? It wouldn't be so unusual, but the little bunch of corn is hardly big enough to fit a nest, much less provide any cover! And those Lady Slippers are so beautiful! They must love your dad's spirit being there.

  5. Such a wonder-filled post, Sherry! The little robin's nest is magical. Your Mother's Day celebration sounds like is was delightful, and the lady slippers story really stole my heart.
    Wishing you a beautiful week,

  6. That Robin's nest is so sweet. I would consider that a blessing too, though a little inconvenient ; ) This post reminds me that I need to check on the Lady Slipper patch in the woods tonight. The rain and cold of the weekend kept me indoors, but I don't want to miss them. Unfortunately so much cutting has been done around the little colony in the last few years I don't know how much longer it will last (it's not my land, unfortunately).

  7. Hi Sherry,
    What a nice way to start my day,,reading your blog....I am enjoying it very much. Robins do find the oddest places to nest, they are very creative and trusting. They also eat the corn I plant, little stinkers. The eggs are an amazing color, how lucky that you were able to capture them.
    What a beautiful way to honor your father, I am sure he is smileing.
    PS thank you for your comment on my blog.

  8. I am sitting here reading your lovely story and I am holding back tears. Tears of joy and sorrow for you and your family and the loss of your precious Father. I cannot think of any better way to honor him than to sprinkle his ashes among the flowers.
    We have yet to spread my Mother's ashes. My sister cannot let go of her just yet and we are all waiting until she is ready to do so.

    The little bird eggs are the prettiest shade of blue and such a sweet little nest.

    hugs and thanks for such a lovely post.


  9. hi sherry,

    again, playing lots of blog catch-up today.

    your posts always make me hungry for good food! :)


  10. Hi Sherry!

    I tried finding your e-mail, but couldn't so I wanted to let you know I am delighted we have the same blog background. Shows what excellent taste we have! LOL

  11. Hi Sherry ~
    Those eggs are so pretty and I love the ladyslipper plants! Mom and I used to go for walks in the woods and look for them each year. I'm so glad you got to spend time with your mom this Mother's Day.

  12. Sherry-- I just love your posts. They are always so thoughtful and touching. It's almost like we're just sitting down together, sipping coffee and talking.

    I agree that the bird's nest is one huge sign of good luck... (I also wonder if there's going to be a pregnancy soon in that family? Just a thought...) What a front door, too! Beautiful- and totally New England-ish. How I miss New England!

    Love the story about ladyslippers-- I bet the good energy from your father has helped them grow! It sounds like your all had a wonderful visit for Mother's Day! (And what a yummy meal!!)

    Have a great weekend, friend! Sorry for the long comment!

  13. Mornin' Sherry!

    Promise me that you'll keep us posted on the sweet little Robin!!!! :)))

    And as for the lady slippers, I'll never look at one the same again without thinking of your Dad. This was a beautiful story Sherry :)

    Have a wonderful weekend~

  14. That photo of the robin's nest in the Indian corn is brilliant. The perserverance of nature is amazing isn't it?

  15. I came to your blog via m hearts, because I liked the comment on grief that you left her, and knew I would be glad I stopped...

  16. What a beautiful post and I love the door, and even better with the nest perched on it. Such a gorgeous blue --the eggs--thanks for sharing.


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