Oh, the damage I could do these days if I had a real camera! With all the activity in my garden, you might think I'd get some great shots even with the digital. But the hawk, who keeps perching in the walnut tree just off my porch, will not sit still while I get close enough to take its picture.
This is (or soon will be) my second spring here, and I know for sure the hawks did not get that close to the house last year. This morning I was out by the road, under their nest, and I saw one of them with a twig in its mouth, apparently reinforcing the home front security. Little ones cannot be far behind. All day long, I'm distracted from my work by these swooping, soaring birds. I'm up and looking out the window every time a shadow goes by.
All the birds are coming back now. The doves (hawks and doves! If I were a real writer, that would be a metaphor for ... something!) seem to be coming closer this year, too. Several times lately when I've opened the front door I've heard their call and the ruffle of their wings as they take off from the garden floor for the high branches of the old oak. Sometimes I'll see one or two on fence posts, or on the roof, and I feel protected. Somehow their mournful cry is comforting.
The sparrows never leave, and I've been keeping them fed all winter. The tiny bushtits that come in packs and dart from one bush to another are making their presence known, too, chattering like excited children. And just today I saw two northern flickers (male and female, of course) chasing each other from the walnut to the birch and back again. It's almost enough to give me hope that spring will arrive on schedule after all.