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Several days have passed since the gray squirrel attacked the cardinal in her nest, from which both tumbled and momentarily disappeared. After an interval, the cardinal circled the nest, then returned to its depths, unusual because such violation precipitates abandonment and search for a safer sight for building another nest.

A strange stillness settled over the area of the nest, hidden by thick foliage of the viburnum. Even the winds were still, disallowing a peak at the cardinal. And there was no sign of the protective mate, occasionally feeding her. Maybe both were gone.

Then, one evening the pair was back, frolicking around the nest like aging grandparents. Mesmerized, I sat back in my study chair and gaped until they flew off. Something was happening.  

Two more days passed. Again, more stillness shrouded the area of the nest and weighted my spirit. Perhaps the pair did settle elsewhere. To determine this eventuality, I asked a friend to photo the nest. The findings: in the empty nest were three ivory eggs speckled with brown and gray.

As I write this blog, a gentle breeze stirs and I see the mother’s dark tail feathers laying over the side of the nest. If all goes well, three hatchlings will screech for gnats and pre-digested seeds until developed sufficiently to leave the nest—in about one week. I’m in good company.

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