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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inspired by . . . natural love

Being that St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated this Saturday, I have a love story to to tell you. It’s a bit unconventional, but I think you will enjoy it.

One day, last July, while I was sitting on my front porch, I noticed a pair of cardinals building a nest in a nearby cedar tree. I had already enjoyed watching the scissor-tail flycatcher family grow and fledge, and looked forward to meeting the cardinal family littles.










Within a day or two the nest was complete and momma cardinal was soon sitting on the nest full-time, which alerted me that eggs had been laid. Then, my husband and I went out of town for a few days and when we returned I was disappointed to see that the nest had been abandoned. I wondered why, but really didn’t give it much thought.

Time rocked along until one late afternoon when my husband set up the sprinkler to water the lawn. I’m always on high alert when we’re watering, because the water attracts the birds and animals.  Today was no exception. The sprinkler was hitting one of the trees in our front yard and a pair of cardinals had come to bathe.

I took about a million shots! But it wasn’t until I downloaded the images onto my computer that I realized, to my horror, that the female cardinal had a terrible wound on the back of her head. I marveled that she was even alive. Birds are not hardy creatures and I was saddened to think that she would likely soon die.










I began thinking a lot about the wounded cardinal and her mate. I greatly hoped to see her again, to know that she survived. I watched for the pair, and listened for their call {one of the few bird calls I know} whenever I was outside.

A couple of weeks later I spotted the pair at my bird feeders. The female seemed to be healing, but what really surprised me was the male! I hadn’t noticed earlier when I photographed them bathing, but he looked like he’d been in a battle too!








I began to wonder if it was this cardinal pair that had built that abandoned nest in the cedar tree in early July. Perhaps the nest had been attacked and the female had been hurt defending her eggs. Male cardinals are very attentive to their mates and their young. It is not uncommon to see males feeding their mates, and caring for their newborn chicks. Many experts even believe that cardinals mate for life.

I could only imagine how this male cardinal fought to defend his mate and unborn chicks!




Instinct? Sure, you can argue that, but it’s been my experience that most non-dominant animals flee from attack, they don’t engage their attacker. Song birds are some of the most innocent, and docile creatures on our planet. It may be a purely romantic notion, but I believe these two are a love-match!





is a fruit in season

at all times,

and within reach of

every hand.

~Mother Teresa


Happy St. Valentine’s Day!





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  1. What a treat for you to have witnessed these gorgeous & loyal creatures in their (your) habitat. What a marvelous tale! How long has it been since you've seen them? I do hope they continue to heal and conquer <3

  2. Ouch ... sore birdies. In love. Fighting to protect their family.
    Sweet story this evening ... and as ever, you are a WHIZ with that lens, girl!
    Rest deep!

  3. Pretty series on the Cardinals. I am glad they survived, even if they have battle wounds.. Have a happy day!

  4. Fabulous cardinal images! A favorite bird of mine!!


  5. Your pictures and the love story you've shared . . . oh my, June. Just beautiful. I agree with Linda, you are a whiz with that lens. I wish you lived near San Diego. I need a photographer!! Much love to you. You've very much be in my thoughts and prayers. xoxo

  6. Great love story! Perfect for Valentine's Day.

  7. I was actually trying to figure that out, lol! I have some pics of a pair bathing in the tree the last time we ran the lawn sprinkler, back in October, but I can't be 100% sure that it is this pair. This female has a few orange feathers over each eye, and the female in the October photos does not. But I suppose they could have been replaced with new feathers? I like to think it's them :) I'm a real hermit in the winter months, just can't take the cold, so I haven't been out much. Now that it's warming up, I need to start looking for them again. Thanks for always taking the time to comment, friend! Have a blessed day!

  8. You are such a wonderful encourager, Linda! and yes, I have been resting more lately. It's amazing how tired you become during a time like this...sleep, not as an escape, but for sweet rest and rejuvenation is just what I crave! Thank you, friend!

  9. Thanks, Eileen! Looking forward to linking up with you on Saturday! Always such a fun party!

  10. Yup, I've been holding on to this one, thought it would be special for St Valentine's Day :) Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I hope the pair is more lucky next time

  12. Beautiful birds photos. How lovely that you can spot so many varieties!

  13. What a 'natural' story, I love watching birds and free animals to learn their habits ... I wonder what has happened to the family of the lovely cardinals last July made the nest you saw ... and the quote from Mother Theresa is so lovely, how much she taught us !

    Happy St.Valentine Day to you too, my dearet June, sending blessings


  14. June, Bird watchers hold a special place in my heart (my husband and several friends share this passion). The compassion in your post - so tender and genuinely concerned - brings me a quiet sense of gratitude that there are people like you in this world. Your story is truly a love story . . . and your photos bring that story to me. Thank you!

  15. Cute post and story. I love the photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post.. Have a happy Valentine's Day weekend!

  16. That is the BEST love story I have heard today. A bit sad but they are still alive and together. Please keep watching out for them. Have a great St Valentine's Day and a happy weekend.

  17. Beautiful series of photography of the cardinal ~ What a delight to see and photograph!

    Happy Weekend to you,

    artmusedog and carol

  18. We could learn a thing or two from the cardinals, couldn't we. What fabulous photos. It makes me so sad to see a sweet creature like that get hurt. It is amazing and wonderful that they survived.

  19. Great story and set of pictures - thats some head wound!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  20. Love the "Love Story" And yes, I enjoyed reading it. Of course being that they are Cardinals...well, they're so beautiful.

    Once again, thanks for taking time to add your link to share your birding post at I'd Rather B Birdin'!!!


  21. Donna your comments here are always so grace-filled. I cannot express how much you encourage and bless me by visiting. Thank you, friend :)

  22. That's a very heartwarming story. Pure nature. Pictures of them are wonderful. They look great and I'm glad to hear the wound's healing.


If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June