Springtime in the Studio: Circle of Life

Well, I think this might be my very first sad blog story. But it’s not completely sad … it’s all mixed up, happy and sad. Like life.

It all started with this … the exciting new nest that was built in a planter right next to the walkway to our front door.

CathyHeckStudio_SpringtimeBirds1 Every time I headed out the door, the mom bird would zoom out of the nest and race to the driveway, chirping loudly, as if she was saying, “There isn’t anything over there in that planter right by your front door–all the good wildlife is over here near your car.”

I would smile and nod and pretend like I didn’t know about the nest that had FIVE whole eggs in it. Yes, I peeked inside. Every. Time. I. Walked. By.

Then, one day, I heard some tiny little cheeps, even though the mom bird was yelling at me from the garage. So I raced to get my camera, and there they were … five little birds. Clearly, they thought I was their mom coming back with some excellent worms.


This daily reminder of new life and new possibilities gave a little pep to my step each time I passed by.

But, then, one day, as I walked by, the mom didn’t race out, and she didn’t chirp me toward the garage, and the babies just stared at me. “We are pretty sure you are not our mother.”

And, I thought, “Uh oh.” When Jim came home, I said I hadn’t seen the mom all day. And he said that he was afraid of that. That morning, a bird, that Jim suspected was the mom, had miscalculated and thought our window was the sky, and, well … Jim had had to bury her in our little garden graveyard for birds who think our windows are the sky.

We thought about taking the nest, complete with baby birds, to the science department (with some worms from the bait stand, of course), but then we saw a grown-up bird who seemed to be feeding the orphans. So we decided to let nature do its thing. But, after a few days, there were no more peeps and no movement. Things were just looking … well, dead. It made me feel so sad every time I walked past. I don’t know why it affected me so … but it did.

So, it was decided that when Jim came home from work, he would pull out the whole nest, and bury it in the garden graveyard. We tried to make ourselves feel better by telling ourselves that it was just the circle of life. But we still felt gloomy.

Then, that very day, as I slowly shuffled down the walkway to pick up my mail, I heard a little flutter. What? No way! There were two little fluffy birds, who had pushed their way out of the nest. “Oh my gosh. Two are alive!” (Unfortunately, the others were not, R.I.P.) But, still, I felt so much better.

At first the two strong survivors just sat there. (I think they look a bit angry in this photo … and I can understand why they would. They had experienced a very rough childhood.)


As they sat there just huffing and puffing, I was worried, “Who is going to teach them to fly?” But they gathered their courage and the first one put her foot out to begin the first flight … and fell straight down to the ground. Hopped up. Began to flit and flitter, until she was flying. Her sibling followed suit and off they went into the wild blue yonder … well, really just into the tree next to our yard. Apparently they have to travel branch to branch for awhile before they can conquer the wild blue yonder.

So, as you can imagine, there were lots of ups and downs on the walkway to and from Cathy Heck Studio last week. But, the skies are looking blue, and we are busy making new art for Spring 2015 … some of it might even include a bird, or two! Happy springtime.



  1. Barb April 11, 2014

    That is the most poignant story I have read in awhile. It leaves me with hope that things will get better. I LOVE your blog. No matter what happens, you find the positive in it and I leave with a smile!

  2. muv April 18, 2014


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