The Sunday Scribblings topic this week is wings.
Wings connect me to birds. Today I returned to mountain bluebirds. I grew up in Kellogg, Idaho and because of the Bunker Hill Smelter I was surrounded by toxic pollution. I don’t remember seeing many birds in our yard. Maybe robins were there in the spring, but other bird sightings were rare. As a child I would study colored pictures of bird species in the encyclopedia. I never observed any of these birds light on a lilac bush or peck a hole in our tree at our house.
The state bird of Idaho is the mountain bluebird. When we learned Idaho facts in school I loved seeing pictures of the mountain bluebird. I felt proud to have such a beautiful choice as a representative as our state bird. When we colored the mountain bluebird sheets I wanted to find just the right shade of crayon for that state bird as I outlined and filled in the blue wings.
During those childhood years I never saw a mountain bluebird. I would check the trees in the spring, hoping that year our state bird would appear. It never happened. When I moved to the home I live in now in Washington state I was able to birdwatch each day and see many species that were a part of those pages in the encyclopedia I remembered as a child. We set up birdhouses the second year of living in the house. That spring we were introduced to mountain bluebirds. In a birdhouse made for our wedding garden, the bluebirds took up residence and built a nest.
The part I love about mountain bluebirds is that they mate for life. When the bluebirds returned the next year to the wedding garden, we had to believe they were the same “couple”. How fitting that these mates returned to that garden to make a nest and have babies again. We had something in common. Like the bluebirds, my husband and I have mated for life.
The pictures in the encyclopedia were accurate. The crayon I used to color the state bird was right. Mountain bluebirds have the most spectacular color on their wings. What a joy to have a couple take up residence at your house.