Everything Belongs

       About two or three weeks ago Justin and I paid a visit to his parents house out in the country of Carencro, off of a properly titled road named Wilderness Trail.  His mom, Peggy, is a big inspiration to me for my gardening and natural endeavors.  She has a large vegetable garden, an herb garden, about 3-4 other grouped gardens, around 10-15 bird houses, a rabbit named Petey Pie (my 4 year old niece may have played a hand in naming her), a bird named Polly, several fish, and probably close to 100 potted plants.  While we were there, Mrs. Peggy showed me a mockingbird nest under the patio on her shelving unit of plants (pictured to the right) just a few feet away from where we, adults and children, were hanging out and relaxing.  Within the nest lay four eggs colored teal with brown spots.  My initial response was excitement, but then waned into concern.  I don't know a lot about birds but I've always heard mockingbirds were pretty aggressive and here we all were standing around the nest just asking for the mom to show us who's boss!  I voiced my concern to Mrs. Peggy and she simply said, "Oh no girl, that bird knows me.  She's always coming around and she lets me get close to the nest even when she is around."
    This past weekend Justin and I visited again and I was wondering how the little eggs were fairing.  To my excitement (I don't use that term lightly here- I was REALLY excited), the babies had hatched!  I wanted to see the birds, but again a little fear crept up inside of me.  I had seen the momma mockingbird bringing nesting material and food back to the nest several times while we sat outside so I knew she was around and watching.  Again, Mrs. Peggy laughed my anxiety away and we checked out the hungry birds.  They were really living the luxurious life if you ask me.  These birds are nestled between tons of potted plants in the shade where most predators wouldn't be brave enough to venture to with the amount of human activity occurring.

     I was really surprised by my reaction to the birds nest being so close.  Growing up we are taught this idea of taming nature.  Nature belongs in the city park or on a camping trip but not under the covered patio two feet away from the playing children and toddlers, right?  With my undoubted love for nature- which I've always fostered to varying degrees growing up- I was even ready to tame the processes of Mother Nature to where I saw fit.  I hope that with time I can foster the integration of my cultural and daily life with the natural world around me.  Maybe one day I'll see a bird and be able to tell Mrs. Peggy, "Don't worry, she knows me!"

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