Before we left for Ireland, I discovered a finch had built her nest in one of the hanging baskets on the front porch. I cautiously watered the plant from the one side, dribbling the water down the side so the nest would be okay.

Two days before our trip, I peeked and found four beautiful eggs. I watched the mama bird flutter in and out, leaving the nest any time people went in or out the front door.

The week in Ireland disappeared in a flurry of activities. Our friend and neighbor, Kate, sent us a photo of two baby birds that had hatched and all we could see were their yellow beaks stretched open as wide as a big yawn!

When we came home, the plant was fairly gone. I caught glimpses of the feathery hatchlings and the mama bird making trips to feed them. There seemed to be only two.

Yesterday one fledgling remained in the nest. I used a pair of binoculars to see him through the livingroom window. I don’t think his mama came, although I had seen her just the day before.

This evening before we left for Longwood Gardens, I spied the fledgling in the sunburst locust near the porch. He flew to the hanging basket and perched on the plastic hook for a long time, waiting and watching. I know he was watching for his mama. After a small eternity (I think I was holding my breath), he decided to fly away. I swallowed hard and fought back hot tears. As my vision blurred, I thought about how much I was missing my own mother. After all these years, it still hurts.






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