Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cardinal Principle: Life Goes On

In the early morning hours of Easter Monday, a powerful springtime storm inflicted a lot of pain on South Carolinians. Communities from the Blue Ridge foothills to the Atlantic coast took hits from several major tornadoes. One of them struck about 30 miles north of Charleston, then headed up the coast, up our way. Fortunately, it veered slightly east when it reached our county, heading out into the ocean, and missing us by maybe 5 miles. These twisters killed at least nine people, and caused massive property damage, but we were spared. The weather radio crackled warnings for hours in the predawn darkness. I am saddened for the horrific losses so many suffered but grateful we were so fortunate this time.

We did receive wind gusts approaching tropical storm speed. So checking the backyard later in the day, I was amazed to find the nest I had been watching a female cardinal build twig by twig for a week had survived intact. It is wedged into a fork in one of our fig trees, and is so large you'd think this mama-to-be fancied a two-story house. When time comes, she will incubate her eggs for 11 to 14 days while the papa cardinal does some work finally by feeding her. When the chicks arrive, ma and pa cardinals will share the feeding duties. About 10 days after hatching, the redbird chicks start getting flying lessons. 

It has been a joy to watch this renewal of life unfold. The nest is only maybe 5 feet from my bedroom window, and it is adjacent to the backyard patio, so I can see a good bit of what's happening without being an intrusive human.

What a blessing it has been to follow this saga. For a while I forget about the virus and threats to public health and economic well-being. Here, in my now-peaceful backyard is reassurance that life goes on.

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