Introducing…This Spring’s New Arrivals

I went back to writing a year ago, inspired by the emergence of a round of baby chipmunks in the garden. This year, especially since adding a few more plantings and features and getting the garden certified as a wildlife habitat, it’s been a regular nursery. I thought it was a good time for a photo post.

Last year’s chipmunk mother (Spring) had another litter, and her den was again close enough to a window to get some nice close-ups without disturbing her family.

One of her children born last year (Tomato) had her first litter, too, and though her den was harder to photograph, we still enjoyed regular sightings of her new babies.

The garden was also noisy with starling fledglings. Although we have starlings visit our feeders every winter, we’ve never had them stay to breed. I don’t know where their actual nests were, but from sun-up to sun-down, they spent their days eating as much suet as they could, drinking as much water from the birdbath as they could, and creating a cacophony. Given their tireless insistence, we voted them most obnoxious baby birds…God bless their parents. But aren’t they pretty?

Less notable but still welcome, we also had sparrows…

…and finches…

…and cardinals…

…and doves…

…and squirrels…

and more??

Even making an effort to notice and photograph the creatures around me, I know there are so many more I miss. Sometimes because I don’t have my camera with me, or I’m looking in the wrong place…but mostly because I’m only human. My survival doesn’t depend on an awareness of my natural surroundings and it shows.

But something depends on it. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the past few months of pandemic if it weren’t for daily contact with nature. Especially against anxiety and overwhelm, I’m so grateful for its renewing, hopeful force.

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