Summer Magic

Young blue jay on our deck

It’s Friday evening. I have the house to myself. My partner Mick is out for a father-daughter date with our daughter Abby; they’re going to see Beethoven’s Fifth performed at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Suddenly, there’s a ruckus in the backyard. The many blue jays living in and around our yard are in an uproar. I go outside in time to catch the end of blue jays in hot pursuit of a hawk. As the hawk flies off to the north, the jays’ din fades.

It’s been a magical couple of weeks around here. Our wild backyard has had lots of visitors. For a house in an urban area, we have more creatures passing through than I would have imagined when we moved here 25 years ago. We never get tired of seeing who’s meandering through our flowers or resting beneath our trees or flying into the pot of roses on the deck. The young blue jays seem particularly interested in those roses. The wren who lives in the bird house beneath our deck dive-bombed the blue jay shown in the photo above this afternoon. He was way too close to the wren’s home to go unchallenged. Some days, that wren patrols the entire backyard. We can hear him no matter where in the house we are.

And we have a doe and her fawn who have been hanging around. The doe drops her fawn off some days, the fawn hunkers down in the wildflowers, and the doe returns hours later. She is an attentive mother, but not in the way humans are. Deer know when to let their young be, something I could be better at. I’m sure my kids would agree.

Now that August is here, the garden is full of bees.

And rabbits.

This rabbit has a lot of relatives hiding in the wildflower garden.

And my favorite albino squirrel.

This squirrel hung out in our birch tree one evening a few nights ago.

And, finally, I was able to grab a few pictures of the hummingbird that comes to visit our cardinal flowers and wild bergamot.

Summer is magical, there’s no doubt about it. Having so much activity in our own backyard is the best antidote to whatever stresses exist. These creatures don’t ponder whether to do what it is in their nature to do. They simply go forth.

It could be that simple for us sometimes, too.

Happy August.

All photos by kcmickelson, 2022.

Published by Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

Kathleen Cassen Mickelson is a Minnesota-based writer who has published work in journals in the US, UK, and Canada.

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