Our Neighbors in the Grape Arbor

This is the Mama Robin who took up residence in our grape arbor.  Isn’t she pretty?  And she built a fine and sturdy nest, where the big grape leaves shaded her and her little ones from the heat of the noonday sun.
Here she is working on the nest.  I’m in awe of that haul of straw in her jaw.  Aren’t y’all?
And, of course, it wasn’t long until I found these perfect treasures safely sheltered in the nest:
So the robin finally got some well-deserved rest as she awaited the coming of her little chicks.  But not for long…
…because soon there were three hungry mouths to feed.  And that requires some big, juicy worms.  Yum.
 She was an attentive and watchful Mama, and the little birds grew and prospered. 

The day after I took this shot, I made my usual morning chick check and was dismayed to find the nest empty.  I began to cry, thinking that some predator had snatched them in the night.  They surely weren’t strong or big enough to leave the nest!   But, to our surprise, we found out that baby robins leave the nest two weeks after hatching!  And it had been almost exactly two weeks.  It was hard to believe that those wobbly-headed, pink-skinned little ones could survive out of the sanctuary of the nest, but later we were delighted to see what appeared to be the robin family in the pasture, high in the oak tree.

I miss seeing our robin neighbors every day.  It was a joyful thing to watch them grow.  In one of my favorite Andy Griffith episodes, Opie accidentally kills a Mama Robin with his new slingshot.  He is filled with remorse and assumes the role of the avian mama, keeping her babies in a cage and feeding them until they are ready to fly.  Then, Andy tells him that it is time to release them.  Opie is sad, having grown attached to the little birds.  But he knows what he must do and he sets them free, watching them fly away.  

He looks at the cage wistfully and says to his daddy, “That cage sure looks empty, don’t it, Paw?”

Andy smiles and says, “Yes, son, it sure does.”  Then he looks up into the trees where the little birds have flown and says, “But don’t the trees look nice and full?”  I’ve seen that episode at least a dozen times, but that line makes me cry every time.

Our grape arbor sure looks empty.  But our trees…

Don’t the trees look nice and full?


5 Responses to “Our Neighbors in the Grape Arbor”

  1. Judy Says:

    As usual, the pictures are just wonderful! I did not know that robins left the nest that early. Andy Griffith was one of my favorite shows. The babies are so cute!

  2. June Says:

    What wonderful pictures Beth! I wish I could see the little bluebird chicks when in our boxes. I remember that Andy Griffith episode…OK…I confess it’s not been that long ago that I saw it again: I’ve been known to watch TV Land 🙂 Anyway, it was a touching story. I like your last sentences…sort of a half full vs half empty frame of mind.

  3. colleen Says:

    Those shots are incredible! And don’t you just love the blue eggs. I just saw that Andrew Griffith episode, like yesterday, while flipping around.

  4. CountryDew Says:

    What a lovely post, and some great shots. Mother Nature is very kind to us, giving us these great things to look at and love.

  5. madison Says:

    I looked up”robin eggs” because I found one.

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