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Day 1 of WP Photography 101: Home

The beginning of February brought a storm that countered the premature California Spring. Fresh magenta blossoms had already sprung ahead of new leaves on the thorny stark winter branches of the Bougainvillea. A pair of finches giddily trilled their love song, and spent their days flitting to and fro outside my front window.  I suspected to see signs of a nest soon. The storm had blown in unrelenting, ferocious and cold. The rise my house sits on left no defense against the battering wind and rain. The Bougainvillea ‘s branches whipped helplessly outside the window. I wondered at the little birds. Where would they have gone for shelter? Late in the afternoon a flurry of wings and chirps crisscrossed in an aerial doublet across the window. There they were!…then they were gone. Curious, I moved to the window and peered up into the overhanging metal awning, that keeps at bay the hot western summer sun. Each corner housed a small bird, crammed deeply into a folded seam, out of reach of the probing wind. The storm passed. Days later when evening fell, I peeked to see if the birds were still sheltering under the awning at night. It gave me a giddy pleasure to see them, yes!, tucked into their corners. * * * I bought a Seed Bell and hung it from the branches of the Bougainvillea. Every night I checked to see if the tiny finches had left their safe quarters; but no, they were still there. Perhaps, I thought, these are two males, and the females are nesting somewhere nearby, protecting their eggs throughout the night? Then I discovered a nest in a crook of the Bougainvillea’s branches. To my dismay, I had unwittingly hung the Seed Bell a foot from the nest, and now the nest appeared abandoned. The ‘food cart’ was too close; it would attract unwanted predators. I watched every day for about a week and although the birds still congregate on the Bougainvillaea and enjoy the Seed Ball, I see no signs they are going to use this nest.

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