This picture isn’t super clear, but this little guy just never holds still. Often he’s on my front porch, sitting on the banister, but if I even try to slip out the door to get a picture, he’s gone before I get the door open. However, the other day, I was sitting on my porch with my camera ready, and he stopped a while in the yard. Even then, he did not hold completely still. This is the bird that inspired my poem “A Cardinal Sits With Me,” which I posted in February.
I wanted his picture, not only because he’s one of the most beautiful cardinals I’ve seen (my photo doesn’t do him justice), but also because I think he and his wife have built a nest in my huge blue spruce tree. The tree is so thick I can’t see for sure if the nest is there, but they go in and out of the branches and act like they are living there, so I’m pretty sure they are. A few years ago I had a mockingbird build a nest in that tree, and she returned a couple more years as well. But I haven’t seen any mockingbirds this spring yet.
This cardinal also reminds me of the novel A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg. I enjoy that book so much that I read it once a year — although not always at Christmas time. It is a lovely story and a happy read — just in case a few of you are interested.