Coty heard the mama and papa bird making a racket and flying all around the nest box. Here they are perched on the net of the trampoline - sorry the picture's a little fuzzy.
With all the carrying on by mama and papa, we were worried that this brood of baby bluebirds might be suffering the same fate as the brood in the front nest box. They, sadly, were eaten by a rat snake. Fortunately, there was no snake in sight and what was really happening was that mama and papa were coaxing their nestlings out of the nest.
See the baby peeking out....do I really want to take the plunge?
We waited and watched and after a LOT of coaxing this little one fluttered out and landed rather ungracefully with a plop on the ground. He hopped around and then stopped to rest on the bricks.
I must say, they certainly get better looking with age! But aren't his feathers already a lovely shade of blue. This little fellow rested on the bricks for awhile til finally his mama and papa urged him to a safer resting place in the shelter of the nearby brush.
It was such a treat seeing these baby birds fledge. We watched wrens leave the safety of their nest before but never bluebirds.
We've seen some of our other wild neighbors lately. In the last three days we have had three different species of snakes in the pool! A little unsettling, I know. On Thursday while doing his pool workout, Coty noticed a snake in the corner of the deep end. Thomas and I came running and the three of us fished (snaked?) out a baby.....copperhead. Yikes! Yesterday, Matthew and I netted a baby northern red-bellied snake (not poisonous) from off the pool cover. And today, Coty went down to do his pool workout and found a three foot rat snake! (also not poisonous)
What is it with these snakes??!!! We've had as many snakes in the pool in the last three days as we've had in the last four years put together. What is going on? Why are all these snakes leaving the woods and coming for a swim? You can be sure we'll be checking the pool carefully now before we jump in!
Another snake that lives around here is the king snake. He burrows in the terrace garden and makes his appearance quite often. Thomas and I watched him weave in and out of the juniper and around the terrace stones when we were working in the garden on Friday. I don't mind him at all since he eats rodents and supposedly, copperheads. Guess he missed one.
I've been outside so much the last few days and have enjoyed seeing some of these creatures we share our yard with. While I'm not crazy about the snakes, I am glad to see such a variety, glad for the woods, and for a home in a place that has such a diversity of creatures to observe. I'm reminded of a this hymn...
All things bright and beautiful,God is great and his creatures a source of endless wonder. What will we see tomorrow!
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.