As we all decorate our homes in these final days before Christmas, I was amused today to observe the wildlife decorating, too, when I saw our own real tree topper for our outdoor permanent Christmas tree, a huge fir named Albert.
While walking back from the mail box after lunch, I noticed a mockingbird perched on the top spire of Albert, perfectly balanced and silhouetted against the blue Shenandoah Valley sky. He looked like the topper for a Christmas tree.
I stood and watched, expecting him to fly away any minute, but he just looked down at me as he balanced in the breeze. Albert, planted fifteen years ago when he was about five feet tall, is now a towering 20-foot evergreen that lords over the yard.
Thinking the mockingbird would never stay in place long enough to retrieve my camera from the house, I came inside for it anyway and walked back outside. He was still there. Surely he will fly away when I approach the tree, I thought. I walked to where there was a clear shot, and he remained. Aiming my camera, I began taking photos and spent several minutes getting several angles, and all the while he remained posed and watching me. Hmm.
I finished and walked back in the house to upload the photos. He was still in his spot as I glanced out the window. Several thoughts came to mind. Crazy bird, Show-off. Regal. But my main thought was tree topper. He was adorning Albert, the tree that we used to decorate but who has now grown too big to festoon with garland and lights. Nature came to help.
Thanks, Mr. Mockingbird. And Merry Christmas!
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
Augusta County, Virginia
December 19, 2012