Thursday, 2 August 2007

Holidays, mothers and wrens


It's just past midnight and the Emancipation Day holiday is officially over. The visitors have departed, my mother is fast asleep, and I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, sitting alone at my computer and reflecting. It was a good day; the weather was cool and rainy, but the rain was not thunderous and torrential. My brother dropped off my niece and nephew; I slipped Cellular into the dvd player and they had a blast, watching it end to end twice. Then my sister turned up. My mother got busy in the kitchen; now that the cardiologist has assured her that there is nothing wrong with her heart she's getting back into form, much to our relief. I reminded her that I had given her the same diagnosis for free, but she wasn't impressed.

At one point during the morning I heard a familiar warble. I looked up at the open strip between the ceiling and the top of one wall of my bedroom and realized that the house wrens were back. It felt like a blessing. I hope they stick around.

These tiny birds, known locally as coco-rachelle, have shared this house ever since my mother moved in six years ago. They nested under the eaves and frequently came indoors, much to our delight. They are feisty, hyper little things, and their crisp chirps are pleasant, but they really come into their own vocally just before a rainshower when they burst into rich, bubbly, warbling song as they flit along under the eaves and on the exposed rafters of the bedrooms. They love the rain. I do too.

The last time I returned home from an eighteen month stint abroad, I realized that the wrens had disappeared. Then about two weeks ago five or six of them appeared one afternoon on a pawpaw tree near to the house. I was sitting at the computer, the front door was open, and the next thing I knew something had streaked through the air, hit me on the leg and disappeared under the table. It was a fledgling house wren. I picked it up and placed it outside close to the spot where its hysterical relatives had gathered, and hoped that they would get it before a cat did. I left them to it, and after awhile the chirping and fluttering faded. I forgot about them. Until today.

They're nesting somewhere nearby, and I hope they return and set up another little colony in our eaves. They're wonderful houseguests. I love this valley, and the rich bird life is one of the reasons that I feel that way.