Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mating Rituals

Yesterday, as my husband and I sat enjoying an afternoon tea break on our terrace balcony, a sprightly dancer on the lawn drew my attention. Tail erect, white tummy flashing, grey wings flaring, he hopped up and down back and forth while courting a not-very-interested female who turned her back on him constantly. He kept working at it, occasionally popping toward her with subsequent in-air tussle. He worked his dance constantly for close to fifteen minutes and only gave up when several other mocking birds descended to join them. Such diligence, I thought to myself. He was so very earnest, so persistent, that I grew quite fond of him. Actually, I'm very fond of mocking birds which nest in some abundance around our condominium in Florida. Their presence could easily convince a snow-bird that the palms and shrubs host an entire conservatory of singing birds. They start their melodic serenading early in the morning, and sometimes even at night, needing only a bathroom light to trigger their rapid fire imitation of cardinals, warblers, jays, hawks, orioles, robins and keep adding to their repertoire throughout their lives.

In a few days, we'll be leaving our mockingbird friends behind and heading home to Lake Superior where they appear so rarely that their presence is a cause for celebration. As our home is still buried in snow, we're taking our time heading north and will travel through the south eastern states to enjoy the azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom. Perhaps we'll encounter a few mockingbirds along the way to bless our journey.

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