During my travels for spring planting (for my balcony and my sister’s yard) to various gardening spots and pop-up nurseries, I discovered a lot of nurturing going on not exclusive to the plants. There was a considerable amount of fauna amongst the flora. And in some very weird places. At least they are weird to me but evidently not to the occupants of these new constructions.


While looking for herbs and ‘some kind of pink flower’ at Fleet Farm (I needed pink to share a pot with the really cool white-spotted purple petunias in the photo, which I ultimately decided should stand in her own space anyway) we ran into a robin mama sitting on her nest right there on the eye-level shelf of mixed marigold seedlings. Robin sat motionless on her the little nursery of grass and mud even though plant shoppers (apparently unaware of her) picked up the seedlings only inches from her. I suppose she knows what she is doing but it looked like a fairly questionable building sight, not to mention what is going to happen when the babies arrive.


While we were still hunting the pink flowers in the same store we rounded the corner and found a baby cottontail rabbit, still sporting the little white spot on his head, eating the profits near a flotilla of pallets loaded with various ‘greens’. Baby scooted under the pallet as soon as he stopped munching long enough to discover us, even though we had no intention of telling the staff they were losing product in aisle nine. I’m not sure if the plant section was actually ‘home’ but it was an enclosed space so Cottontail was using it as such, much to our delight.


Mama Mallard has determined that the flower bed directly adjacent to the apartment entryway was the best place to nest. She chose a lovely (albeit busy) strip of land five feet wide, between the sidewalk and the tenant parking spaces, under a nice peony plant. Again, not sure where they are off to once the babies hatch, but I’ll try to keep an eye on them.


Speaking of keeping an eye on things. Cooper mama is still on her nest in the crab tree keeping the eggs warm through torrents of rain and wind, while dad brings snacks for her. If Cooper dad isn’t timely with the snacks, Cooper mama sits and screams for him – and I do mean ‘scream’. She has a very distinctive voice. Now, sometimes he is not always lucky enough to find a meal in which case he brings her a stick. I guess as a peace offering of some kind. It must satisfy her though because she spent quite a bit of time placing it just so among the other twigs.


Then there are the Red Squirrels in my sister’s attic, but that’s a story for another day.


Every one of these nesting/nursery sights seems, to put it kindly, not too well thought out. It seems to me they could have chosen better (though I am not a Cooper Hawk or a Robin or a Mallard hen). In the long run, it doesn’t matter what I think of their new homes of course because they, like us, find nothing quite as nice as their own space.


 Proof once more that home is where the heart lives. Yes, I changed that quote. I think this is more accurate.