One thing I love about sitting on the porch is seeing my favorite tree, a miniature Japanese maple we inherited from the previous owners. It's a lovely, delicate tree that hasn't grown much in the last eleven years, but always blooms every spring with lots of little, pretty leaves. The leaves also start turning a blazing scarlet red in the fall before they fall and the tree goes to sleep for the winter. The other day I noticed something in the branches that on closer inspection turned out to be a tiny nest:
I thought it might be a hummingbird nest (we have a silvery blue variety in the neighborhood), but as I got closer I saw it was a little too big for that:
The nest was situated over my head, so I had my guy get the ladder so we could see what was inside:
The nest was quite skillfully made from oak twigs, spanish moss and some pine needles, and the eggs are really small:
I sat and waited to see who would come back to sit on them, and heard a very familiar cheeping when Mama arrived:
I got my confirmation that it was her nest when she settled down in it:
Then Papa arrived to scold me for being too close (and I have only been able to photograph him once before this):
So the nest belongs to the neighborhood's cardinals, who are regular visitors to our feeders, but have never nested near us before now. I love cardinals, and we all feel immensely flattered that they'd set up their nursery so close to the house. In about eleven to thirteen days I hope to show you what baby cardinals look like.