Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Northern Cardinals

Baby birds

Baby birds
Wrenched by snakes
From precarious nests
Flutter to the ground
Dead and dying

My first memory of daily life
On this lush planet
Teeming with death by
a thousand lashes of
whipping swords and
razor-sharp tongues
small and large –

Have mercy on us.

Lord, is it I?
The question haunts me

Silence and apathy pile on
Proliferating odds
Of global violence perpetrated
By ourselves against ourselves
Despite Your image
Carried within our fragile human
Bodies and aching souls

Have mercy on us.

It was the early 1950s. I’ll never forget the evening we heard a racket outside a window in the dining room. I was about 8 or 9 years old. A pair of cardinals had built a nest in a shrub outside and just below a dining room window. A first-class seat for the whole  family, as bird eggs hatched and little peeps began their regular cries for food! More food!

On this evening, however, the racket was huge. Way more than babies screaming for food. We looked out and saw a small yard snake attacking the nest. The cardinal mom and dad were raising a ruckus, going at the snake. Too late. Babies were already falling out of the nest.

By the time Dad got there, all 3 or 4 babies were on the ground. Still very young, and unable to make their way back to the nest. Dad got a shoebox, lined it with a towel, put on his gloves, and went out to see if he could help. Just before depositing them in the nest, he let us take a look from a safe distance.

That night we went to bed hoping all would be well in the morning. It was not. The babies were gone.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 May 2019
Photo of baby cardinals found at

spring in the air

Red-faced Lovebird


spring in the air

birds aflutter with hope

rehearse the dance


cardinal clears voice

struts around lady friend

it takes a while

* * *

Sorry folks,

no backyard photos.

Just a few observations from

my kitchen window.

The male cardinal’s weak song

needed more practice and warmer air.

The female cardinal

was diffident yet didn’t fly away.

Bored, maybe?

Not sure what to do next?

This photo captures

the tentative, slightly awkward, sweet spirit of the season.

* * *

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 February 2015
Photo credit:
Red-faced Lovebird Pair, Erongo Mountains, Namibia, December

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