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Mihaela Manova is “Covering Climate Now” in Loveland, Ohio as an editor for Loveland Magazine
Today’s article concentrates on the beauty of the nature around us; even if we are currently staying in isolation. In Stephen McClanahan’s article, he reveals an entry about a beautiful variety of bird species and their complexities.
By Stephen McClanahan on May 22, 2020
Have you ever seen a more beautiful creature than a blue bird? The blue is beyond blue; this one moved into one of the nesting boxes in the yard and has just emerged to take flight.
Or how about this guy…a red-headed woodpecker? He has visited us for the past few days, so we are hoping there is a nest not far. His hood is the deepest of reds you can imagine.
Or several other amazing creatures of flight?
The Mallards above are nick-named Charles and Verna by our children when they were younger, they have been coming to our little back yard pond for years.
I am thinking either a red-tailed or red-shouldered hawk. (If someone knows better, please educate me.)
These winged creatures and many, many more, are all in one small corner of the earth. Jays, wrens, nuthatches, sparrows, hairy and downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, house finches, ruby-throated hummingbirds, grackles to name a few.
A barn swallow was out front late afternoon a few days ago; his darting and jerking and hair-pinned turns in flight left me wanting to break the chains of gravity and join him in his celebration of life. Watch them closely, sincerely and you come away amazed.
As they go about their daily rounds, you will see a host of creatures spending their time eating, nesting and much more. Their singing and chirping are nothing less than a concert playing of Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. They will argue over something but settle it in minutes and move on (humans should be so fortunate). Up with the earliest rays of the sun, disappearing just before sunset, they move with the rhythm of the day.
How they manage to fly in, around, under, over, in-between leaves and branches and trees and each other is a feat of engineering to say the least. With the coming of spring, the gold finches morph from a dull to an almost fluorescent yellow – stunning! There is a cardinal nest just outside a window in one of bushes; these little creatures knew where and how to build a nest sheltered from the weather.
Nature has somehow encoded this knowledge into their brain.
Nature has somehow encoded this knowledge into their brain. The female patiently laid and sat on her eggs for about 12 days or so and as of yesterday, there are 3-4 new cardinals in our world. The male and female are trading off time to feed and guard and keep warm their brood. When you approach too close to try to snap a photograph, she looks at you and you can tell what she is thinking: a step closer and you are dead, mister. The force is strong with them.
These are just a few of the rewards granted when you give nature a bit of space and time and peace. Several years ago, we began the task of converting a portion of the manicured back yard to its original form: a little wild place. Trees, bushes, ground covers, flowers, weeds and more. As it grows, other critters move in as well. Squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, racoons, an occasional fox, deer, opossums. After an evening rain, the tree frogs serenade with such gusto, you laugh out loud which only eggs them on.
We are fortunate to live in Paxton Woods
We are fortunate to live in Paxton Woods; many neighboring homes have lots of mature trees. This provides more of a continuous suburban forest so essential to wildlife. Rather than being an island, our little patch of wild only adds to what is here.
Lessons learned from all this: nature will heal and rebound if given a fair chance. You must care enough to try. There is power in individual actions; there is greater power in the collective.
And while I was penning this short piece, the red-headed woodpecker visited again, as did a hawk, but the jays caused such a ruckus, it moved on to quieter hunting ground.