Backyard Nature

Cardinal Eggs - Austin, Texas

Cardinal Eggs – Austin, Texas

My suburban backyard isn’t very extensive, but there is a fair bit of nature back there, especially for a city-boy who grew up in New York City. I’ve seen rabbits, squirrels, snakes, a deer once, evidence of armadillos, and several different birds. It’s more than enough for me.

I was pleased to find a perfectly formed nest with three pale blue eggs, while I was cleaning out the yard. It’s something that I wouldn’t have found if I didn’t have the extra time due to sheltering at home during this pandemic. I made sure not to disturb the area. Though I did spend a few minutes to take this photograph. I even used my ancient Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens with the Panasonic GM1 to create a shallow depth of field.

I watched with delight as a pair of cardinals traded off in their egg warming duties. With all that’s going around in the world, it was nice to see the honesty of nature unfolding in my backyard. I forgot about it for a week, and a quick peek revealed a nest full of sleeping hatchlings.

A few days later, the nest was completely empty. I had initially feared that a snake or another predator had gotten to them. But, research revealed that cardinals leave the nest in 11 days and fly by the 20th. Amazing. I have a 21-year-old son, and he is still in the process of leaving the nest.

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