There are three picture windows facing the sloping green lawn flowing down to reeds and pussy willows guarding the edge of the lake. Below the centre window sits a dwarf Norway spruce splendid in chartreuse and fern, most special of the three in the garden. When one is still as a statue, patient as a heron, the residents of this shrub will reveal themselves. First, you’ll see a Song Sparrow alight on one branch, looking furtively up-down, left-right, then swiftly swoosh into the green cavernous centre. Nothing will happen then poof, another resident will arrive, entering with speed. Later on, this wee bird condo will seem like a small airport terminal.
On really special days, through the right window, one will be gifted with a performance or specular melody and emotion. The stage is a black wrought iron bannister upon which the tiny virtuoso performs — three short notes followed by a varied trill, “Madge-Madge-Madge, put-on-your-tea-kettle-ettle-ettle..” Without waiting for applause, off flits the impresario, back to their cozy home.
Later in the afternoon, when the swallow corp du ballet fills the sky with aerobatic mastery, a silent flotilla floats to the stage on the water’s edge. Four black and white geese, accompanied by twelve tawny goslings stop for a luncheon of delicious grasses. The babies are ably guarded by their adult caregivers, stationed on the four corners, enabling the fluffy tots to wander, eat, swim, eat, eat, eat, eat. Until, as inaudible gong announces it’s time to go — in a flash the water train departs, straight, smooth, serene.
The sun sets, The show is spent.
Author Notes: My inspiration was right outside my living room windows. Who knew?