Nature’s way

1. I saw the bears the other day, but, alas, only two of the original four (mother and three cubs), about which I had written more than a year ago. These were probably siblings, possibly sisters from their wariness and their observant stroll. Where was the peevish brother who had tossed about and explored and one day come up to a window to peer inside mischievously? And the attentive and kind-eyed mother who would stuff seeds to maintain her lactation for the cubs, and who always kept an eye on the straying cubs as they climbed trees or explored too far from mother’s range and had to be called back with a stern grunt?
2. Sitting indoors with a full view of a bird feeder hanging from an eave, I recall an unusual little cardinal visiting regularly last year. My eye was drawn to him (it was a grayish-red, hence male) because he sat within the feeder trough rather than perch like his fellows. Was he so greedy and slothful as to occupy the feeder for himself in comfort? One day I realized the explanation. The bird was half-perched, a withered leg dangling from the feeder edge. He could not stand fully upright. He had managed valiantly so far, but he would not return when woodpeckers scared him off, and his feeeding sessions were labored and short. I wondered how he got on. I only saw him a few times more.