Three mocking birds are having another fiesta this morning in the elderberry bushes. One is a juvenile and the other two are adults. They eat, sing, and dive in faux aerial combat. Now I see the young one trying to get to the elderberries behind the property-line fence. The tall bushy plants are considered weeds, even though the berries may be used to make wine and for a natural remedy. When people ask if we ever harvest them, we tell them, no, we have plenty to eat, and a lot of remedies, but the birds love and need the berries for food.
A young Mockingbird goes for a clump of berries. Her beak darts and her wings flap. She darts and flaps again and again and misses every time. Finally she gives up. She will have to wait to see how her parents and the woodpeckers eat hanging upside down clinging to the berries.
I love to see baby animals learning from their parents and teaching themselves by trial and error. God made them to become exactly what He designed them to be.
Oh, wait –there’s a juvenile Cardinal. I’ve him before, learning to bathe, and to land of the bird-feeder just right. Because he’s male and in the process of turning into a red-bird, his feathers are a handsome blend of red and brown patches. He flies to the elderberry bush and starts to try for a berry when whoosh, an adult mockingbird skims over his head frightening him away.
I suppose the mockingbirds believe that the elderberry bush is their exclusive territory, and why not, they certainly do enough singing for their supper.
Though I love and appreciate the exuberant Mockingbird praise, I haven’t always done so. When we lived in an upstairs apartment in Inglewood, California I was a stay- at- home mom with our first child. With the windows open, we could hear all the sounds from outside. I have to admit I didn’t notice the birds until they started to whine like our little dog. I’m sure he whined because he needed to get out, but I never had to take my home dog for a walk because he was free to go anywhere in town and to follow us kids around all day. So Smoky suffered a lack of exercise and the Mockingbirds got a new sound, and I suffered frustration day after day and blamed the mockingbirds when I should have looked to myself for a solution.
Now, fifty years later I have learned to walk dogs and to appreciate Mockingbirds who praise the Lord all the day long. We’re especially charmed when a Mockingbird takes up a post at the tip-top of a tree or street lamp and sings so that his enthusiasm lifts him off the perch and gravity brings him back down. Now that’s the joy of the Lord!