Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gifts from the Hydrangea

I write often about the old hydrangea in my back yard because it is what I see from the window
Neighbor Antoine Helps
Clean Up After the Storm
Hydrangea 6-23-15
where I eat my breakfast, because it is old and persistent, and because it keeps offering me gifts. Early last winter a heavy snow storm weighed it down and brought it to the ground. I mourned because I thought I had lost it. Then this spring little green nubbins turned into
leaves, and it was back. It had lost some branches, but clearly it had survived the winter once again.

Yesterday I heard the familiar cheep of the cardinal, and as I walked around, I determined that it was coming from the hydrangea. A ruffle of leaves led me to look on the side near the driveway. I walked as close as I could, trying not to scare it off, and sure enough, there was a female cardinal hiding under the leaves. I was particularly glad to see it was a female, not because I don't love the bright color of her male counterpart, but because of her subtlety, I don't see her as often, and I like her muted colors.

Then this morning from my peripheral vision, I could see a commotion in the yard. I turned to see two squirrels chasing each other up the tulip tree and down, over the fence and back, and into the hydrangea. One went off out of my vision, but the other stayed on the ground below checking out what goodies had been left there--seeds from the tulip tree, I suspect.

At other times the hydrangea has offered me chickadees who made a home in a hole in the old branch, sparrows hiding from the blue jays, and, most amazingly, monarch butterflies whose life began hundreds of miles away. Before long the blossoms will come with their wonderful scent, and the bees will be busy again.

So this morning I am just stopping for a moment to be thankful for my old friend and all the gifts it has shared with me. 

1 comment:

  1. Not only yours, but our little offerings in a small city garden shelter birds and squirrels alike. Cardinal family always with us and now towhees, along with plenty of finches and sparrows. Bird feeder needs tending. Even in the summer. Thanks for this posting, Jane.