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The Birds and the Bees

I'm totally into birds all of a sudden. Honestly, I never used to give birds a second thought. If anything, I was anti-bird having been traumatized by that Alfred Hitchcock movie in second grade. But then James bought a hummingbird feeder. Whether he would have purchased one in the (drink) absence of Corona is debatable. But if he had, chances are, we would have forgotten to put it up in the midst of our busy schedules and on the off chance we had put it up, we probably wouldn't have even noticed any activity as we went about our hectic routine.

Our first visitor arrived a few weeks ago and it was a momentous event at our house. After all, it was a visitor. We all scrambled for cameras, but hummingbirds are fast little suckers and we missed our opportunity. It didn't matter though - word got out in the hummingbird community, and now, a good dozen a day enjoy a sugar water cocktail outside our kitchen window. We've even started recognizing the regulars - there's Red Neck, Booger (he has a green head), the greedy one we call Lester (I have no idea why), and Paranoid Guy (PG) because he looks up every two seconds to check his surroundings.

The hummingbirds sparked an interest in our family which likely would never have even crossed our minds when we were so absorbed in the frantic schedules that once consumed us. We wouldn't have spotted the chickadee nest in our backyard or learned to identify all the different species right (drink) in our own backyard. Now I can be like, "oh look, an Oriole!" and feel oddly intelligent.

And it's not just the birds. It seems our interest in all sorts of nature has been piqued. We've coaxed a possum out of our garage, rescued (drink) a frog from the pool, played host to a family of turkeys, and accidentally invaded a bunny nest.

I'll be the first to admit I can't wait for summer so we can retire as teachers, but if there's one subject, I'm kind of on board with, it's science. There's a lot of emphasis on outdoor observation and I've watched a few videos that have taught me an interesting thing or two (did you know that in Oregon, there's an annual boat race using hollowed out pumpkins?!). The other day, we (drink) learned about the decline of certain bee species and Kaleb made his own commercial encouraging people to save them. It's really compelling.

Did he mention lemons?

Anyway....there are countless things I miss about real life, but there are many things I hope don't disappear when normalcy returns. Noticing and appreciating our surroundings is one of them. Painfully making commercials reflecting our newfound knowledge is not.

Seriously, though, it's fascinating that the entire world can turn completely upside down in a matter of weeks, yet nature carries on, oblivious to the turmoil. In fact, the birds are probably flourishing now that people have time to fill their feeders and clean out their bird houses. I have proof that I'm not alone in my newfound interest in nature. As I was (drink) typing this, I got a call from our neighbor to tell me he has been observing our kids riding by on their scooters the last few weeks. I braced myself thinking he was going to advise me to put pants or a muzzle on the little hellions. But instead, he said how much he enjoys the life they bring to the neighborhood and that they are MORE ENTERTAINING THAN THE HUMMINGBIRDS! I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that my kids, who (drink) sometimes seem reckless to me, are bringing joy to others. Much like nature, kids are mildly aware of what is going on, but innocently carrying on doing what kids do.

Maybe it is the innocence in which I'm constantly surrounded, or maybe it's the hummingbirds, persevering through it all, impervious to whatever troubles exist beyond the safety of their natural habitats. There's something, though, that brings me comfort and optimism through all this. I just hope that I'll remain present enough to appreciate it on the other side.

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