|Bluebird eggs May 1, 2011|
At the beginning of May, when Bill and I left for our weeklong strip South, mama bluebird had just laid five perfectly oval blue eggs in the bluebird box in our backyard. I was worried that the eggs wouldn't be there when we got back. Last year when we left for our trip South, we left four young bluebirds in the box but when we came back the baby bluebirds and the next were gone, pulled out by the bored eight year old son of the Hispanic man who mowed our neighbor's lawn. I vividly remember how angry, sad and disappointed I was that the stupid, mindless, thoughtless act of an unsupervised child destroyed a whole nest of baby bluebirds. Especially after all the difficulty I had with keeping the sparrows out of that bluebird house. The previous two years mama and papa bluebird had raised two sets of young bluebirds each season. Last year they never came back.
|Our Bluebird box in our backyard - home to generations of bluebirds|
Thus it was with some apprehension that I left for vacation this year. One thing, my neighbor no longer employed the Hispanic man to mow his lawn. That kid is probably off somewhere else destroying something because of his bored curiosity. I prefer not to think about it.
What was also ironic, that the bluebirds laid their eggs just as I was to begin a busy month of activity. I knew once I returned from our trip south I would be working full-time at the hotel, until the new front desk clerk was trained.
I was very relieved when we returned from our trip and I saw that the bluebird nest was unharmed. Mama and papa bluebird faithfully feed their young ones all day, every day. In the past their were only four eggs so I could open the bluebird box and observe and record their growth. This year, perhaps to make up for last year, mama and papa bluebird laid FIVE eggs in the tiny bluebird box. I was able to open the bluebird box a few week before they got too big then I had to observe from afar. I didn't want to take a chance of one of the baby bluebirds falling out of the box when I opened it.
|Freshly hatched baby bluebirds|
|Growing baby bluebirds - the last time I opened the box to observe|
Then yesterday, as I returned home from my last full-time shift at the hotel, I walked over to the bluebird box to see if I could still see a baby bluebird's mouth sticking out of the entrance to the bluebird box. Much to my surprise (and delight), the bluebird box was empty! The baby bluebirds were out.
|Empty nest yesterday - they're gone!|
Now wasn't that the perfect metaphor for my past month of hectic activity? I began the month with the freshly laid bluebird eggs and ending the month with the baby bluebirds now having their freedom. Just like me, I now have my freedom.
I love my job and hope to work at it as long as I can but I also want the freedom of enjoying and participating in my summertime activities. I can't do that stuck behind the front desk at the hotel six days a week (then recovering the seventh day). I am so happy to get back to my normal routine. I'm back!