The wren and the window box
About a week ago I noticed leaf litter in the window box outside my dining room window. By the next day it had begun to take shape: a wren’s nest woven with sloppy precision in exactly the same place as last year – between the first and second impatiens.
It dawned on me then, it must be the same bird come back to build her nest amid the flowers!
These days, with extra time to spend in the garden, it’s easy to spot nature’s sensations … and they are everywhere.
In the past few weeks, as bluebirds and chickadees vie for the same nest boxes and wrens seek out nesting sites in upended buckets and flower pots, the color show has advanced from forsythia blooms—as richly golden as the sun’s spring rays– to peach blooms with their promise of succulent fruit, to bridal wreaths’ billowing white sprays. Azaleas, ever the South’s beloved drama queens, have bloomed and now faded, yielding the stage to patches of bluebonnets.
Even the old pear tree behind the vegetable garden managed, once again, to evoke spring’s enduring and endearing promise. Before its unfurling foliage turned it bright green, the tree resembled a massive white cloud held earthbound by a knarred trunk. Later, with the arrival of longer days and warmer temperatures, squirrels will turn it into a playground as they steal the unripe fruit.
But color isn’t spring’s only sensation. Fragrance, too, astounds.
Here, as in many of the old-fashioned gardens that dot nearby farms, paper whites bloomed first…the snow-like flowers almost too heady to bring indoors. Banana shrub bloomed next. Regrettably, the large shrub with its inconspicuous, but highly-scented blooms is planted closer to the driveway than to the house. In the front yard, wisteria is the star of the show. Groomed to resemble an open umbrella and as reliable as a worn out garden glove, it dangles its purple flowers in the breeze, attracting bees and releasing fragrance. And now, as satsuma’s white, pearl-like buds begin to open – hampered some by this weekend’s rain and cold nights –it’s come down to days, maybe hours, before the intoxicating scent greets me outside my breezeway.
It’s easy to linger these days…to take in the color and the fragrance…to marvel as a seed sprouts or as a wren returns to a window box to build a scrappy nest.
In a few weeks the eggs will hatch; a few weeks later the fledglings will test their wings.
It’s spring, and nature’s sensations abound!