This summer I have kept the bird feeders full. I have been rewarded with two families of cardinals, probably the same nesting pair. I have seen indigo buntings along with the gold finches and chickadees. Wrens are also nesting in the houses on the fence posts and in the silly metal watering can house which is simply stuck on the post for lack of a better place to put it. As you can see, the plant holder catches the wayward finds of nature hunts including a small deer rack. There were also bluebirds nesting in this house on the fence. They raised their brood together. Bluebirds seem quite devoted to one another. I haven't seen them in a month or so. The cardinal pair also seems to be dedicated. They work together raising their young. I had the pleasure of watching one of the chicks from the cardinal's nest struggle for first flight. Of course it happened on a day I was going to clean off the patio. That had to wait. The nest is located in a rose bush right by the back door. Not the quietest spot for raising a family but it is quite close to the feeders. I often startled the mother cardinal when I opened the door to let the dogs out. She got a bit used to that and towards the end of her nesting she would stick it out in the nest unless I got too close. Then she would fly to the lowest tree limb and chirp her displeasure. There were three brown and white eggs in the nest . The first nest was located in a Dutchman's Pipe vine growing on the fence. That one contained three eggs. It was only a week or so after that brood left that I noticed movement in the rose bush and found the nest there with three eggs as well. This one I could watch from inside the house. It really doesn't take much time from the gangly, hairless and gaping mouth stage of bird infancy to the awkwardness of adolescence. Is there a busier mother than a mother bird? All those wide opened mouths to feed must be nerve racking. According to this website, It takes just 12-13 days for the eggs to hatch and 9-11 days for the hatched chicks to leave the nest. This little mohawked chick poised on the edge of the nest for quite some time while both Mom and Dad whistled encouragement. It then made it over to the suet hanger and sat there looking a bit nervous before it attempted flight which ended in a scurry across the lawn to the border. Mother and Father stayed by its side all this while. I am hoping it made it up into the trees before anything untoward happened to it. It is a privilege to witness a wild creature in the garden. I wonder how many of us really notice what is happening right in our own backyards. What marvels have you seen lately?