Night Visitors

The other night we heard the busy twittering of house wrens in the front yard; not unusual given that a pair had raised two clutches of chicks in the bluebird house, and that three other pairs had each fledged their own broods three different times this summer. What caught my attention though, was a wren attempting to perch on the window muntins of the front door, as our (indoor) cat lashed her tail to and fro in anticipation of some very exciting action.

Our front porch offers a smorgasbord of insects even with the light turned off, but I thought it was rather late for the birds’ evening meal, it being nearly dark. As we spied on the pair through our window, they hopped around the posts and beams, sat for a few moments in the shelter of my summering house fern, perched atop the bonsai, and darted between the porch and nearby cedar trees. They first tried the chair and then the deacon’s bench, in between making forays back onto the beams. All the while, they chattered to one another in that conspiratorial tone so characteristic of house wrens.

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, first one, then the other, disappeared into a hanging basket of petunias for the night.

As we returned to our own comfortable perches in front of the TV, we talked about our delight in having created a satisfactory habitat for our wildlife friends. While I had hung the basket of petunias primarily for our own enjoyment, the enduring intention behind all of our gardening efforts has been to create habitat that sustains a diverse and healthy population of the other living beings with whom we share this space.

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