I have a tiny yard. It’s so tiny and dull that even racoons aren’t interested in visiting it. The only plant, which helps liven up my yard, is the English Ivy pot hanging on the wall.
I didn’t pay much attention to my yard until the Coronavirus loomed large in March this year.
March 16, 2020, six Bay Area counties announced shelter-at-home order beginning on March 17 for three weeks. My husband started to work from home, and I stopped going out. All of a sudden, all the fun disappeared.
However, something happened.
“ I just see a bird flying into your English Ivy.” My husband said.
“ A bird? I’ve never seen any bird in our yard before. Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m sure. Look!” My husband responded affirmatively.
He was right. There was something inside my English Ivy plant. We held our breath and leaned on our window, watching, just like two photographers waiting to shoot the best Discovery Channel Animal pictures.
“It flew away. Let’s go outside and check the plant.” My husband beckoned.
My husband swiftly took a small ladder chair and tiptoed quietly toward the hanging plant.
“Anything inside?” I asked.
“Yes! Yes! There is an intricate nest inside the plant.” My husband answered cheerfully.
“Nest? Get off and let me see.” I urged.
Thus, our COVID-19 diary turns into a junco diary.
March 28, 2020. An intricate nest was found inside my hanging English Ivy.
April 4, 2020. A dark-eyed junco laid four beautiful eggs inside the nest.
April 15, 2020. The baby birds cracked the eggs, one by one.
April 18, 2020. The male junco (Papa) appeared, busy with feeding the hatchlings.
April 28, 2020. Baby birds left the nest and landed on the ground, learning to fly high. The visit of the junco brings so much joy into our lives. Their companion is even more precious during the pandemic. After the visit of the first junco family, I started to grow more plants and put the bird feeder on the ground, hoping that they can visit us from time to time. Miraculously, they do come back to my yard for food and water. So far, my yard has accommodated two junco families. I’m so happy that my yard has turned into Juncoland (Junco’s Disneyland).
Dark-eyed Juncos are one of the most common birds in California, but I’ve never heard of it before the quarantine – I was always rushing and never paid attention to these beautiful creatures. Nowadays, whenever I’m strolling outside, I’d like to slow down and watch birds.
COVID-19 changed our lives, but it also reshaped the way I see the world.
Submitted by Tweety C. W. Hsiao, San Mateo County – San Mateo.