Close Call!

We have entered into the part of the year where plants are prolific. Overnight they seem to sprout limbs that grab you as you pass or hide windows from the sun. My husband is a diligent trimmer. For several weeks he battles the new growth to keep it in check. Then when it becomes unbearably hot the plants take a rest until we begin this process again in the fall.

He is not happy with a certain set of shrubs that are along the bedroom wall. When they are in bloom, he tolerates them. After the blooms are gone he eyes them with disdain. Fortunately, they are not on a side that he can see often. However, he wishes he’d never planted them. He has made the decision that this fall they will probably be removed. In the meantime he begins to cut them back hoping that will make them look better.

Anyone passing would wonder about this trimming job.

“We’ve got a problem,” he hollers into the house. I head outside to see what the problem is and immediately I notice the nest.

Mama squawked the whole time I was there trying to get a picture.

“Well you can’t cut any more until the babies leave,” I say looking at him. I peer into the nest, but don’t recognize the eggs.

“I was cutting away and all of a sudden I looked up and saw the nest,” he explains.

We have never had a nest in these shrubs before, so this was quite a surprise. We leave this side of the house so the mama can return to her nest. I feel bad that she has lost so much coverage. Later we look from inside the house. You can see the mother sitting on the nest. I determine this is a cardinal. Whenever I walk past the window, I take a quick peek to see if she is still there. Usually she is. I find it interesting that she faces the brick wall of the house. I would want to look the other way, then I would be able to spot any possible danger.

She doesn’t know what a close call she had to becoming homeless.

Taken from bedroom window with lots of zoom.

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19 thoughts on “Close Call!

  1. The nest, and the eggs and the HOME that keeps the cardinal from being homeless just makes those bushes have such a bigger purpose, doesn’t it all? Even makes it simple to see behind the trim-job! 🙂

  2. I love this, Elsie, & especially “Fortunately, they are not on a side that he can see often.” In spite of your husband’s dislike, at least he spotted the bird’s nest. Beautiful picture. I didn’t get to see anything quite so wondrous. Thanks!

  3. aruddteacher100 says:

    This is amazing! I am always impressed with the nature of Spring and the habits of life when it arrives…I am glad she didn’t end up homeless…

  4. Hooray for your husband’s last minute save! We’ve had cardinals in our backyard this week too (they are the Illinois state bird, so it is appropo). They are striking, even the female with that bright beak. Your pics are the perfect compliment to this story.

  5. I love the description at the beginning of plants growing so fast their limbs can grab you! You captured perfectly a feeling I had this week as I pulled weeds this week and cut grass. Cardinal calls are one of my favorite signs of spring.

  6. Your first picture really had me wondering why your husband cut them so unevenly after you just described how careful he was about “battling” the plants… the nest was a fun surprise! Discovering nests is definitely one of my favorite parts of spring — thanks for sharing this one with all of us!

  7. Awesome pictures…it is really strange when they make their nests low and close to the house. We had some in the Miss Kim lilacs and we had so much fun watching them. I’m so happy for that cardinal mommy that she still has her little family. xo nanc

  8. A homeless bird, what a thought. One day last weekend we had our garage open most of the day. Unbeknownst to us, a robin began making a nest in the garage door opener. Lucky for her we noticed soon enough and put a stop to it. She has now taken up residence on a window sill just outside the garage. Hope your birdies hatch soon and maybe your husband can even out his pruning job! 🙂

  9. I’m sure everything in my yard sprouted overnight. I sometimes wonder how they can grow so fast. I love that you left the shrub alone after finding the nest. Several years ago, we had a robin build a nest on top of our covered window air conditioner. We didn’t use the air until the babies were gone….

  10. Terje says:

    What a surprise your husband found. I am glad that he cut above and not below the nest. I hope that the birds will survive.

  11. Phillip says:

    Gardeners note: “The best time to trim shrubs that need a ruthless hand, is at twilight. As the darkness gathers, you can’t really see how deep you are going, you are enjoying the act of ‘cutting through the thicket’, and before you know it you have convinced yourself that what this area needs is a different kind of plant altogether.” The next morning it is too late to turn back.

  12. Lynn says:

    Wow! Great pictures…how fun this will be to see the transformation of those eggs! I hope you keep us posted.

  13. My students will be so excited by this post and your use of the word prolific. It’s one of our featured WOW (word of the week). This post reminded me of my father’s love/hate relationship with the mimosa trees in our back yard. He finally took them out and was so happy, but I missed their fun pink blossoms.

  14. I like the way you give a glipse of your husband and his motivations. I see him determined to get this job done and then stopped by his discovery of the nest. I love the ways of wildlife in our midst. Best wishes to Mama Bird.

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