So after weathering the big storms last Monday, the nest that the female cardinal built has been unoccupied -- 'til this morning, when I see that sweet beak, very still, just peering over the top.
Evidently she's incubating her eggs and will be for the next 11 to 14 days. Time for the papa cardinal to feed mama breakfast (and lunch and dinner) in bed.
Can you imagine being confined to nest that long to hatch your chicks? Makes you think about what human mamas go through to bring precious new life into the world. In the words of the famous Johnny and June Carter Cash song, "May the circle be unbroken...."
Worries do not cease, though. A storm system is forecast to rip through this area tonight and Monday morning much like the one that spawned deadly tornadoes exactly one week ago. We escaped a tornado (though only by a few miles), but we did have 60 mph straight-line gusts and torrential, sideways rain. The cardinals' nest came through the ferocious storm unscathed, but can the mama cardinal and her eggs come through another one, if strong thunderstorms hit here as forecast?
If all goes well and the chicks are hatched, the next drama may come when mama and papa kick the chicks out of the nest. I have a part-Chesapeake Bay retriever that is a natural-born hunter, so while I am doing my best to be a non-interventionist human, I may have to stand guard in the backyard to keep Ellie from having home-hatched chicks-fil-A.
© Robert Gray Holland