There Is A Time

There is a Time


Have you noticed how few bird nests are left in the bare trees?  In summertime it seems every tree and bush has two or three of the intricately woven mini-masterpieces; guarded by the shrill cry of a blue jay or the flash of a male cardinal.  Now, though you only see one occasionally.  The canopy of leaves that sheltered the nestlings until they fledged has fallen and autumn winds tear the fragile bits of twigs and grass.  Rain turns the robin’s nest to mud revealing the temporary nature of its construction, and the neighborhood is readied for next spring’s builders. 

Sometimes a wind storm in the summer dislodges the nest of a chipping sparrow.  Small enough to hold in the palm of your hand; it is a perfectly woven wisp of a thing, still holding the imprint of its occupant.  Legend has it that if you put a real bird nest on your Christmas tree, it will bring you luck in the year to come.  I’ve not really thought about whether that is true or not, but there have always been two or three of the chipper nests among the branches.

The tall, thick pines around our house offer more protection than the deciduous trees.  You will see sparrows and snowbirds perched on the branches now and then.  But the pines hide their tenants well and one must walk among them and push the branches apart to see what is hidden inside.  Some winters see a few robins and blue birds sheltering deep in the woods, and with so many folks putting ponds on their land, we have Canada geese flying back and forth overhead all winter. 

And, of course the crows have come back.  I remember seeing long lines of the big black birds flying to their roosts at twilight with lone sentinels on the tallest trees keeping watch over the flight path.  For several years there were no crows about.  Perhaps due to the DDT used to kill weeds.  Now, they are a familiar sight, pecking about on the ground or walking boldly down the sidewalk.

What was it Solomon said in Ecclesiastes?  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend…”  No matter how severe the winter or how hot and stormy the summer, they will always appear in their time.  Every sunset has a sunrise and every winter has a spring.  “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” – Gen. 8:22

And that is a good thing.



About dswan2

Poet, author, columnist, lyricist, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife of 50 years. Born and raised in America's Heartland
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2 Responses to There Is A Time

  1. internet elias says:

    What an absolutely ‘wonderful’ walk I just had looking at your trees and their nests. Thanks. I don’t dare cover my windows so I can look outside as I walk from room to room. LOVE…LOVE…the outdoors. Her in the southeast we’ve had unusual amounts of cold and snow. But I’ve zipped on a pair of my husband’s insulated coveralls and worked two days staight in the yard raking the millions of acorns from off the many oak trees. During a recent snow, I sat in the recliner sipping coffee and looked out the window across the room beside my husband’s chair. I saw a very unusual bird peeping around the trunk of the oak tree….as though he/she were looking into the window. The bird was so unusual that I immediately beckoned my husband, “Look, there…what is that?’ He was very excited and immediately said, ‘YOu have seen something very rare…something most never see…a wood hen.’ Say ‘whut’? He told me it was a female woodpecker…a wood hen. It was the first I had ever seen…only the second for him. The hen flew before we could retrieve the camera. But we felt like we had been given a gift with the rare glimpse of the beautifulbird.

    Best wishes to you as spring finds its way to us.


    • dswan2 says:

      Dear Carolyn,
      My sincerest thanks for your wonderful comments. I hope you will visit and enjoy Aechoes often. The posts here are those parts of my writing that are most reminiscent of America’s heartland. I can no longer walk outside as I used to, but I have a good memory! A young friend of mine took a fantastic picture of a pileated woodpecker this winter feasting on her suet feeder.
      Thanks again for your comments. God bless,

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