Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Time of Apple Blossoms and Bluebirds (SWF)

Apple Blossom Rain

Beyond the grass, a long, spindly branch, dotted with lichens, and heavy beneath a small cluster of blossoms at its tip,
reaches out from an old apple tree--
its gnarled trunk struggling now against a large ash, sprouted years ago beside it, and pinning it between its own younger and wider base and a fencepost, propped with stones.
Its purpose, long past, the aging apple.

A remnant from the time when this land and the surrounding acres were farmland.
When broad pastures and the land between them were home to Bluebirds—feeding from the short grass, raising broods of young within holes left by others in the woods’ plentiful dead and dying trees.

Perched from posts,
to glean below, and return.

Before the pastures were turned to home sites,
and the few dead trees left standing filled with more urban, invasive birds.

The nesting boxes on the hill, this year, again are empty—our attempts to be helpful, refused, it would seem. And though the Tree Swallows, soon to arrive, will delight me daily, fly-catching against an evening light, I wait for Bluebird blue—a shade like no other.
If I should name a color, fallen sky.

Bluebird pair on fence posts
(male left, female right)

Bluebird female in grass

Bluebird male on fence posts

Last week I watched,
back and forth,
from post to post,
to ground and back.

And again, days later, still, they stay.
Returning often, as they feed, and fly off.
To somewhere, beyond the grass.

Bluebird male on post

They rest in the busy branches of the ash overhead,
touch briefly the old, reaching apple--
whose few frail fingers, beckon to Bluebirds.

Bluebird male in Ash Tree

Yay--found the nest!
Female Bluebird on branch outside nest hole
in broken locust snag beside another old apple.
(approx. 10' above ground, 6" below top)

See more Skywatch here.

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jeannette stgermain said...

the apple blossoms are so beautiful and fresh looking. Like the bluebirds on the posts

giggles said...

Sorry to hear of teasing bluebirds.... Mine teased too, and will not be nesting in our boxes either.... But they are around at least, so i will take some pleasure in seeing them about....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

These apple blossoms look about like ours right now. I think ours would be open already if it had been warmer lately. I wish you luck in getting the bluebirds to nest in the nesting box.

Ginnymo said...

I just love the Bluebirds. But I've never seen one here of course. And have never photographed one. They are such a pretty bird. Love your photos Nina!!

Jain said...

Really lovely bluebird shots! I catch fleeting glimpses a few times a year but never with camera in hand.

Wanda said...

We have Bluebirds too which only scout after day I can spot them on the fence, in the trees, and flying through the field...but they are ignoring the houses I believe...houses they have used before.

Robin said...

"If I should name a color, fallen sky."


Kelly said...

...beautiful bluebird photos and prose. I hope they take up occupancy one of these days!

Sky said...

now you can keep us updated with the soon-to-be bluebird babies! they are so beautiful, and i have only seen one!

KatDoc said...

Wish I could share - my bluebird pair is incubating 5 eggs as we speak, and the tree swallow couple is trying to decide whether to live in the wooden nest box or the natural gourd this season. I offer them a choice every year, and they seem to alternate between the two spots. 11 Purple Martins as of yesterday. Oh, I love cavity-nesting time!


nina at Nature Remains. said...

As much as I'd hoped to have them in the boxes, I'm super excited that they're here at all. In all our years here, we've never had them nesting on our property--the old tree out back between the old apple trees must be their choice, over the boxes out front.
And, though I know boxes offer monitoring and baffles--all aids to successful broods, I'll watch mine as I'm able.

And hope they've found just what they need, all by themselves.
(I'm fortunate to not be seeing any House Sparrows. Starlings are in a sycamore hole.)

Wanda said...


Finally...just this morning I saw them use the box that stands near the entrance to the I guess there's still time to hope Nina!

Deborah Godin said...

Wonderful name for the color - "fallen sky"! I used to do nest box watch in the spring for mountain bluebirds, when I lived out west.

RuneE said...

In other words - spring has come.

Anne said...

Perfect pictures from the spring, the apple tree, and the birds!! So beautiful to see :-))

indicaspecies said...

What a refreshing post, and such beautiful photographs! Thank you for sharing.

bobbie said...

Apple blossoms and blue birds! It just doesn't get much better than that!

bowledover said...

The apple blossom is wonderful and the blue birds too.May you have many more visits from them soon.

Weeping Sore said...

Your meditation on the apple blossoms as a link to the past conveys an appreciation of nature you always manage to capture. Pairing the old with the new - bluebird housekeeping - gives a dimension to the seasonal rhythm of Nature's that your poetry perfectly captures. Thanks!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

I just love your apple blossom shots—especially the second from the last. And your bluebirds…how much prettier can birds get?

This is just a lovely, wonderful post.

PJ said...

Yes, it is sad that they won't nest in your box, but absolutely marvelous that they're nesting in the tree. I love our bluebirds, they're so interesting to watch. At least they're nearby.

Arija said...

Poor old apple heart bleeds for all the fertile land people have covered with concrete and roads pushing nature into an ever retreating corner...
Love your Bluebirds

Erin said...

i loved your commentary and the photos are lovely, each and every one.

i have a few bluebirds flying in...but not many.

have a wonderful weekend.

Carole said...

Great collection of photos!

Cynthia said...

Beautiful pictures. The apple blossom shots are so peaceful. I could just get lost in them. I'm happy to have found your blog as it is lovely.

Ilan said...

Excellent photos. Really nicely done
Thank you for sharing, great photoblog :)