Those of you who have read some of my earlier posts will know that for me, sitting outside is something of a risky business. Being outdoors means being around birds and it seems that the older I get, the worse my phobia becomes, which is unfortunate, to say the least, when one of my favorite pastimes is nature photography. However, during the first visit to our daughter’s new house on Lake Dalecarlia in Indiana, I took a chance and made myself comfortable out on the deck, the only birds visible being a group of female mallards and a heron basking in the sun on the boat dock (strangely, larger birds don’t seem to bother me quite so much.)
I was just settling in for a restful afternoon when I began to hear a persistent shrieking and chattering. Whatever it was didn’t sound happy and, before too long, the source of this noise became apparent. A wren landed on the railing of the deck, hopped back and forth and took off again. The process was repeated several times and, although I was somewhat apprehensive, I found this performance mildly entertaining and, with camera always at the ready, managed to get a few shots.
Then things got a little more unsettling. The bird abandoned its stance on the railing and flew down onto the deck, making a quick tour around the table legs. And I stood up, preparatory to beating a hasty retreat, which is why the following image was rather blurred. It drives me crazy when people tell me, “Oh it’s much more afraid of you, than you are of it!” Not so, dear reader! When it comes to birds this is never the case and my screams have been known to be heard from one end of the street to the other when I’ve been caught by surprise by a sparrow or chickadee whilst out in the garden. And this particular, pesky little ball of feathers was not afraid of anything. This wren was a wren on a mission and I was torn between my fears and a desire to record what was happening.
I edged closer to the steps which gave me a clear escape to the garden below and followed the wren’s progress as it scuttled behind the chair that I had so recently vacated. Once again, it took off only to reappear a few minutes later on the roof. It edged closer and closer to where I had been sitting and finally flew down. And to where? I direct your attention back to the first picture and the planter hanging at the left of the image. The wren was greeted by much enthusiastic chirping as it disappeared into the greenery. I had been sitting just below its nest.
I informed the rest of our party what was going on and, while the others dined al fresco that evening, I watched from behind the window as the wren made several passes above their heads and perched on nearby fencing and furniture while generally making itself at home. It made me wonder just who was hosting whom. I hope to see the wren again, on future visits. At least next time I’ll know what to expect.