Finch fantasia

fantasia
noun

Music.

1. a composition in fanciful or irregular form or style.
2. a potpourri of well-known airs arranged with interludes and florid embellishments.

—Dictionary.com

They’re still here,
the finches
with the nest
in the magnolia wreath
on my front door

four weeks after
their Easter-egg hatching
I feel certain
these babies can fly

yet they linger
every little singer
adding its glory
to each new day

how I wish
this gold
could stay

Short recording of the finch fantasia

More birdspiration

Finch eggs in a nest
on my front door wreath
captivated me
to such a degree
that I failed to see
what was happening
outside the back door:
a bright flash of blue
disappearing in
the little bird church
-bluebird occupants
brought Easter eggs, too.

On my back deck, Easter afternoon: a male bluebird is either bringing food to his mate or helping to feed babies. He entered and exited multiple times; once I was sure he was flying off with a bright blue piece of eggshell. These are the first-ever occupants of the little bird church, which has just been sitting on the deck as decor. I’ve seen the female as well. So hoping to get photos of bluebird babies soon (I need a better camera…this was taken with my phone through the kitchen window and screen).

My soul rejoices in this proliferation of feathered life, that songbirds have chosen my home for their own.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.

 Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.

Psalm 84: 1-3

Easter exultation

In honor of the day, an excerpt of “Jesus Makes Sin Forgivable” by Anne Graham Lotz in Just Give Me Jesus (2000):

The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him
but found they couldn’t stop Him
Satan tried to tempt Him
but found he couldn’t trip Him
Pilate examined Him on trial
but found he couldn’t fault Him
The Romans crucified Him
but found they couldn’t take His life
Death couldn’t handle Him
and the grave couldn’t hold Him.

*******

And a happy Easter haiku for you:

I have no more eggs.
As of this morning, new life.
Dawn exultation.

4×4 poem

Here is a variation of my previous post, Eggsultation, in the 4×4 poem form shared by Denise Krebs on Ethical ELA for VerseLove: Four stanzas of four lines, any topic. Note how the lead line moves in the stanzas.

Eggsultation

Exultation:
Finches return
to make a nest
atop the wreath

on my front door
Exultation:
grass artistry
made without hands.

Speckled blue eggs
—one, two, three, four.
Exultation:
tiny new life

incubating.
Morning birdsong
rises skyward:
Eggsultation.

House Finch PairBirdman of Beaverton. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Eggsultation

-The continuing saga of Little Blue Egg

Dear Little Blue Egg,

In all the generations of finches
hatched in wreaths on my front door
I have never known
a mother to lay just one egg
and leave

but that is what your mother did
last Sunday.

Here you’ve been ever since
resting in your nest,
forlorn in the freezing cold

day after day after day

one blue egg
one blue door
one long blue silence
one blue human
(that would be me, Franna,
sad self-appointed custodian
checking on you every morning)

until Friday

when, out of the blue,
there were TWO
of you!

On Saturday, three!

On Sunday, no more…
although I heard
the most beautiful singing
at my door

then on Monday… FOUR.

Little Blue Eggs galore.

I do not know
where your parents were
during those five days
of your cold blue lonesomeness
or how your mother could withhold
her charming clutch
for so long

but I know this thing:
your father and mother sing
every morning
like tiny angels
in eggsultation

and so
do I.

Little Blue Egg gets a sibling five days later

A quartet of Little Blue Eggs… joy!

A short clip of the parents’ music… it echoes throughout the house.
No wonder that finches symbolize joy or that their collective noun is a “charm.”

Some sources say only males sing; others say females sing in spring.
Listening to their bright morningsong, I am reminded
of these lyrics from O Come, All Ye Faithful:
Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation…

*******

with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge

note:
the letter to Little Blue Egg (alone no more!) is an epistolary poem
for Day Five of National Poetry Month


Dear Little Blue Egg

I still do not know where your parents are at present.

I am just your surrogate human grandmother figure who lives behind the blue door where you lie resting in your beautiful downy nest in the magnolia wreath.

Quite alone since your Sunday debut.

Three days now.

You ought to have had at least couple of sibling eggs, but…

Here is what I have learned, since learning is the only thing I can do in this situation of waiting to see how Nature acts on your behalf:

  1. Sometimes a mother bird’s egg-laying gets interrupted. Your mother may resume. I haven’t known this to happen before with our house finch families, but let’s not dwell on that right now.
  2. Sometimes a mother finch lays just one egg. Again, I haven’t known this to happen before, but… maybe you’re all she has. Which means you are very precious, indeed.
  3. Sometimes a mother finch will lay eggs and wait for some time before returning to incubate them, as a means of diverting attention from the nest. It’s a ploy to keep you safe. I could have sworn I heard your parents chatting at the nest late yesterday afternoon. I so expected another egg…
  4. Because a mother may wait a rather long time to return, overly interested humans (ahem) should wait a month (a MONTH!) before assuming a nest and egg are abandoned. There is hope for you yet, Little Blue Egg…

Meanwhile, I’ve done all I can for my front porch bird sanctuary… or should I say egg sanctuary? As always, I put up a sign warning visitors of your nest with instructions to use another door. My family knows to leave the front door bolted (just in case, I put a reminder sign inside: STOP! -birds-).

Meanwhile, with temperatures dipping into the twenties overnight, I cannot help thinking about your cold blue lonesomeness. I am making myself take heart that there can be a pretty good span of time before incubation begins…that you still have a window for survival…

Meanwhile, there are PLENTY of other things with which to concern myself. In the whole of the universe, you are but one little blue egg; yet your tiny solitary presence affects me. Maybe it has something to do with all the work your parents put into creating this beautiful nest and the expense of egg production is to your mother. Very costly, that. Should you, her current one and only, not hatch…it seems, in the scheme of things, a grievous loss.

Granted, grievous losses happen in the world every single day, and my species is not the best (by far) at fathoming (or preventing) them.

For the record: I love birds. Something about you gives wings to something in my soul. House finch songs are particularly joyful; indeed, you’re a bona fide omen of joy (I looked it up long ago). Early in the morning, doxology of joy; in the blue hour, evensong of joy.

This present silence, dear Little Blue Egg, feels immense.

Know that I am pulling for you while watching from a distance.

Your hopeful resident human-guardian-grandmother,
Franna

*******

with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March

Only one

Every March, house finches build a nest on top of my front door wreath.

The mother usually lays three or four pale blue eggs. The babies fledge and fly away all too soon.

In 2020, when COVID-19 struck the face of the Earth, the finches built their nest but laid no eggs. I don’t know why; it was one more thing to mourn.

Last year, the finches returned and laid five eggs—a record! Making up for the previous year? I wondered.

And so it is March again, and again there’s a finch nest on my front door. These seem to appear overnight, as magically as mushrooms in the lawn.

And on Sunday, there was an egg:

My soul rejoiced.

The birds are a marvel; their songs are a marvel. They lift my spirits immeasurably. Every nest is different; this one has lovely down and fiber running through it. So soft. Last year’s was very green. One nest in years past was trimmed in tiny flowers. Finch dads are mixed media artisans; they collect the materials. This papa seems especially considerate and nurturing.

So, as an annual bird Franna, I check on my grand-eggs daily until my tiny pink grand-finches appear. The eggs hatch one day at a time, for they are laid one day at a time, usually in the mornings between 7:00-9:00.

Here, Friends, is where the plot thickens…

As of today (I am writing this on Monday afternoon), there remains just the one little blue egg.

I am concerned.

I know, go ahead and tell me all the things about birds and Nature knowing how to manage perfectly well, but… it’s so cold and windy here… I think I’ve heard the finches, but I haven’t seen the mother on the nest incubating her egg yet. Or laying any more. Why? Will there even BE a baby bird, or…

I know, sometimes things happen. Sometimes we get to know the what and the why; sometimes we don’t.

Meanwhile… I keep thinking of you, Little Blue Egg, all cold and alone…which drives me to look things up; I have learned that an egg can be viable for maybe two weeks before a mother incubates it.

Blessed reassurance…

probably absurd
this obsession with a bird
—this one egg, really—

wish I could do more than wait
for Nature to rule its fate

—sigh

—Stay tuned, y’all.

*******



with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March

Tiny trembling life

One of my favorite things about spring is the return of the house finches, which build a nest and raise a little family on my front door wreath.

I am treated to a bird’s eye view of tiny life coming into the world.

As some of you know from previous posts, the finches built the nest last year but never laid any eggs. It was haunting, coinciding with the onset of the COVID-19 shutdown. Barrenness. Emptiness. Loss.

They are making up for it this year.

Mama Finch laid five eggs during Holy Week; usually there are only three or four.

They’ve all hatched now and more pictures will be forthcoming, but here are the first two babies.

For the record, the collective noun for finches is a charm or a trembling.

A trembling charm of tiny new life upon my house:

For Day Twenty of National Poetry Month, a haiku:

Nature has her charms
Gifts of fragile new songbirds
Trembling abundance

Bird sanctuary poem

A Golden Shovel poem in honor of the finches nesting on my front door, the miracle of new life, and faith. Reshared as a stand-alone from my April 1st Spiritual Journey post, in recognition of National Poetry Month. A Holy Week celebratory hymn based on the words of Christ: Behold, I am making all things new (Revelation 21:5, ESV).

I come to the sanctuary in the cool of the day to behold
these moments of Earth’s remembering, an altar call where I
respond, walking the greening aisle just as I am
to a fanfare of wingbeats and music-making.
Holy holy holy, I surrender all
in wordless doxology on the returning. Let all things
their Creator bless, with ancient morningsong, yet ever new
.

shared for Poetry Friday, with thanks to Mary Lee for hosting the Roundup