The question.

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.

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

Happy Thanksgiving!

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13 Responses to The question.

  1. Will you still be seeing and enjoying the bluebirds? Might you occasionally mention them in future blogs? Well, then! RH

  2. Deb Platt says:

    I still like the moniker, “Bluebird Annie”, but I’m sure I’ll continue enjoying your blog even if you decide to change your pen name. I’m glad that your experience as a bluebird monitor was so rewarding even if a little bittersweet at the end.

  3. Bob says:

    Once a Bluebird, Annie, always a Bluebird-Annie. Will continue looking forward to your posts, wherever they take you!
    Birdman Bob

  4. You don’t get off that lightly! You will always be ‘Bluebird Annie’ in spirit, girl. And don’t you forget it!

  5. I’ve been gone for so long and I’ve missed perusing your posts. I am saddened that you are giving up your route. Now that grad school is almost over for me (two more weeks!), I plan to return to regular blogging and you always provided one of my favorite blogs! But wherever your path takes you, I hope you enjoy it! . . . and keep blogging!

    • When I began my bluebird route, I knew so little. After five years, I had become somewhat expert. On the route one day my little voice said, “This is beginning to become a chore and no longer delights. Move on and make room for someone else who will enjoy the thrill.”

      My new venture involves writing …. writing a lot! So, don’t worry, I’ll still be around and the bluebirds will know what to do. They’ll be fine.

      Happy Hanukkah, Cecelia!

  6. You will always be Bluebird Annie to me. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll have a quiet day, just us until this evening. Potato soup for dinner.

    • Just two here, also. Pumpkin pie in the oven now …. um-m-m-m-m-m! Smell it! Smoked Turkey breast with the usual trimmings.

      Thanks so much for your nice comment, Melanie! I’ll be tied up with other ventures, but will still be posting here. Just not so much. At least for a while.

      God bless!

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