I smiled. Bluebirds splashed in delight.

Among the trees and gardens of our two-acre homesite, nature provides daily lessons on the survival of the fittest, squatters’ rights, and how wildlife playWe have a Bluebird house in the back, but the Sparrows moved in and Mockingbirds harass both as intruders in their territory.

We occasionally see a few Bluebirds, but since they weren’t nesting in the bluebird boxes we assumed we served as a food stop on their way to another home. Until the day my son called excitedly, “Mom, you have to see this!”

A flock of Bluebirds flitted in and around the small puddle left by the lawn sprinklers. In mid-September, with the heat still in the 90s, the Bluebirds had found a place to bathe, splash, and play.

I grabbed my camera, crawled in the grass, hiding behind bushes to catch them in the act. As soon as they sensed my presence, a whir of wings and warnings broke the spell.

I didn’t realize that there were more than the few birds in the water. We had an entire flock that called our trees home.

Since then, I hear them every morning singing to one another in the oak trees, welcoming the morning. They splash in any puddle they find offered by man or nature.

That’s when I wondered, what do you call a group of Bluebirds?

A flock. 

It is a happy talent to know how to play.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

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Photo: Bluebirds and Friend © Kathryn LeRoy