This evening, I approached the barn from the back to peek through the gap between the boards. Perhaps I'm not the only one who knows something big is likely to happen this week.
Right at my toes, this eastern box turtle sat, only a little bit shy. That slit on the left is my spot to view inside the section the VeeVees have occupied since March.
They reappeared at the barn door March 1st, allowing me to observe each phase of their spring rituals. First, their monitoring of the barn and surrounding area to make sure it was still a safe place to lay eggs.
I wondered if they might visit the lower deck before July when their young would emerge from the barn. This seems hilarious now, as the parents visit DAILY!
They have a pattern - one of many - which begins with a flyover from the barn to the roof directly over the window where I work. A few hops across the roof, then whooshing wing flaps to the lower deck. There, s/he may groom or sun itself.
More often than not, the silly bird will hop to the window and jump against it until the cats or I appear at the door. Then, it flies to the back deck, as if to play chase, gulps some water, and returns to the barn.
Every. Day. 😂😂
The first egg appeared March 28th and the second on the 30th. There's been one parent on those eggs nearly constantly ever since.
On Easter Sunday morning, a visitor happened by!
FLOWER!!! Last year's fledgling!
But how could I be sure?
One parent was on the deck with Flower as they groomed each other. The parent did their 'jump against the window' thing as if to say to me AND the cats, "Look who's here!"
I ran up to the barn in my pajamas and rain boots (what a sight!) and sure enough, a parent was on the eggs.
This bird is markedly more slender than the other two. And if I wasn't convinced by their behavior, my assumption seemed proven when some interlopers, or annoying family members, came by weeks later that the VeeVees chased off. That's a story for another day.
Flower has returned a couple of times since Easter for quick, mischievous visits. This one-year-old acts their age!
So the VeeVees keep taking care of those eggs. While the rest of us wait with anticipation...