Posted by: highmountainmuse | March 16, 2009

The return of the birds

The blue bird box on the coyote fence (and note the new little foaling shed in the background)

The blue bird box on the coyote fence (and note the new little foaling shed in the background)

A pair of blue birds has just returned to the mountain.  They lit on the little blue bird house our friend, Gene, had made years ago, and hung on the coyote fence outside our kitchen window.  I can only suppose this was the pair that moved in there last year.  Then they flew off to explore their old stomping grounds:  the post of our deck that they sat on each late afternoon when teaching the fluffy little one to fly, the corner of our cabin where they had nested the year before, the blue spruce tree that they would stop to rest and look around every morning, right at the very top.


I think of how many of you may hear of these birds, and know how they feel.  Returning to your mountain, stepping out of your car, taking a deep breath (despite the thin air) and become filled with a sense of relief, a sense of belonging, a sense of being home. You put down your bags and before unpacking, walk around your cabin, making sure everything is just how you left it, just how you remember it… your summer home, your home away from home. I think I know how you feel. I see it in these birds.


The blue birds just beat you to it.  They are pleased to be back.  Everything is just right!


Except, perhaps, the snow.  Our mornings are still in the single digits; our pasture is still covered with a foot of snow.  But still, it must be spring.  (How I search for the simple and subtle signs!)


Are they early this year? I worry about my wildlife. I ask the same thing every year. Surely, this is not their “usual” time of returning to the mountain… they will be cold, they will be hungry… But nature is so predictable.  Once again, she knows.  Who am I to doubt her infinite wisdom?  I check my journals in which we have been recording temperatures, snow fall, birds and wildlife for the past 6 years.  They are right on time.  As usual.


Even here inside, I can here their song. They are out there now, flying around and singing with joy “we’re home, we’re home, we’re home!”  And I smile to know how you will feel when you return…


  1. Spring seems to come creeping so slowly up to your mountain. It happens with a burst down on the prairie, of course, from 732 ft. elevation it doesn’t have so far to go!

    Hope and spring are heading your way – goldfinch all left Texas 3 weeks ago, redbuds in full bloom, chickadees and eastern bluebirds are building nests. The screech owls that moved into the wood duck box have laid eggs. It’s coming!!!

  2. Gosh, how wonderful!! Spring in your neck of the woods must be breathtaking!

  3. Gordon wrote a post on his blog that I found at just the right time. It was just the reminder I needed right now… We remember to take responsibility for our actions and our life, and even our happiness.

  4. Saw a robin, yesterday. They used to be a harbinger of Spring, but now they seem to be around all winter. Wonder if we will ever see Cardinals in CO? We used to love them in Chicago and Pelham. Remember Soar?? And how his mate would come outside our screened porch and talk with him while he recovered? Bird songs are in the air even in downtown Denver.

  5. There was a bird singing outside the cabin this morning, 5 am, could not see, only hear, as it was still dark except the faint light of the just risen crescent moon… I didn’t recognize the song… wish you could have heard it, bet you’d know who it was!

  6. What would life be without birds?

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