The question dawned on me this evening. May I still call myself Bluebird Annie? After all, I went out last Saturday to close up the nest boxes on my bluebird route for the winter and for the last time. I have given up the route and let the Forest Preserve District know I will not be continuing to monitor after five seasons “on the job” in order to pursue other interests.
It was my last goodbye to my bird route and boxes where I had learned so much, saw so much of the pain, sorrow, joy, happiness that nature’s life-cycle yields.
The day before, I found myself taking shelter at a highway rest stop along Interstate 57 while tornadoes swirled within a few miles. Tornadoes that leveled neighborhoods in Washington and Diamond, Illinois. But this box-closing day was cold, breezy, sunny and mostly silent in the woods. I didn’t spy one other soul on the trail.
This next box entry has a strip of duct tape applied to the inside cover to seal it for winter.
I found a couple of un-occupied mouse nests in two boxes. Swept them out. Taped the box entries shut.
I heard the sounds of red-bellied woodpeckers, chickadees, and from very high above, the calls of migrating sand cranes.
I hiked back to the car and pulled away — not quite in tears, but certainly sad.
I drove to my favorite place to contemplate …. the Morton Arboretum. Here’s their latest SEASONS Member Magazine. I thought you might like to take a look. On its cover is … an Eastern Bluebird.
If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one to hear, is there a sound?
If there are no more bluebird nest boxes being monitored, can there still be a Bluebird Annie?
No question about this …. have a