Third Day of Christmas

Three Robin Fledglings


I joining in for Diana’s 12 Days of Christmas theme at Elephant’s Eye.  Nothing could mean more to me than the Third Day of Christmas…as the song goes…

On the Third Day of Christmas my true love gave to me Three French Hens.

The interpretation of the song is that the Three French Hens represent the Three Theological Virtues:  FaithHope, and  Love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Isn’t that a lovely thought to get Faith, Hope and Love all on Christmas.  So in keeping with these sentiments, I am substituting robins for the hens.  Three beautiful little robins whose parents never gave up to give me a special present this spring and summer.  You can read the posts when they first came in April.  How proud they were of their nest, the new home.  Then four lovely eggs too soon lost by an unknown predator.  Would they try again…yes and in in two weeks they were back primping the nest in hopes of success this time.  And again 4 lovely blue eggs.  The parents more vigilant and hardly leaving the nest.  The babes soon emerged but the next day they were gone without a sign.  The parents were dazed and we were devestated.  How could this be…could we take another try…could they and would they try?

We decided the nest was just too vulnerable to attack from birds and snakes so we took it down.  Weeks went by and we lamented the loss.  No baby birds this year.  Then a miracle, the parents were back.  They had been staying in the garden and thought they would give it one more try.  They had faith in their abilities.  It was the hottest part of summer, but they toiled on and soon there were 3 blue perfect eggs of love.  Momma never left and poppa stood guard.  The eggs hatched and sweet babes with nary a feather emerged.  And each day we watched them grow until they hardly fit into the nest.  I knew any day they would fledge and be gone.  I was lucky to be home when they decided to leave.  I witnessed so much that day:  the pain and heartache of leaving the nest, of giving their little ones the love needed to be strong and successful. 

The lessons the robins taught us last spring are immeasurable.  I am so thankful and blessed to have had the opportunity to share their lives and their story.  You can read about their story, Gift and Leaving the Nest for more details.

On the Third Day of Christmas I leave you with this little poem I composed of faith, hope and love in their honor…

A Gift flew into my world one spring day
I wondered are they just looking or will they stay.
Is it a nest or just a mirage-
Formed from straw, leaves-a collage.
Now one, two, three miracles in blue
Soon to hatch and chicks to view.
Grow so quickly with nest bursting,
Babes seeking new vistas, thirsting.
To stretch small wings, testing, first flight-
Adventures await, their fledgling birthright.
So sing the song from tree tops high,
A hop, a wink, farewell-bye, bye!!

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    • Donna says:

      Karin how wonderfully sweet of you to say so…it means a lot to me…I wish you all the best in 2012 and lots of special garden gifts as well!!

  1. Elephant's Eye says:

    We have birds, but I’ve never seen the eggs. Just the empty shells carefully discarded far from the nest as a decoy. I see fluffy, slightly clumsy, young birds – but not fledglings. Thank you!

  2. Laura @ PatioPatch says:

    our robins eggs are light and speckly so rather stunned by that blue. Lovely to share the thrill of your fledgelings in their “leaves-a collage.” Beautiful poem and perfect for this Corinthian trilogy

    • Donna says:

      Oh Laura I am so glad you think the post and poem are beautiful…the blue eggs are stunning and I am glad I could share them again!!

  3. Lea's Menagerie says:

    How very beautiful!
    I had the joy of seeing a young bird’s attempt at flight early one morning in the summer. I was out early that morning checking the tomato plants for hornworms. As I peered through the tomato foilage, I saw it sitting on the tomato cage! Thankfully, the cat had just gone in the house for his breakfast. I ran to the house to get the camera. And yes, it was still there! I made several close-up photos. It just sat there looking back at me while Mama bird was going crazy, crying and fluttering along the ground! I didn’t actually see its flight as I thought it best to leave before Mama bird decided on a dive-bomb attack! I checked the garden about an hour later and it was gone. Okay now to let the cat back out.
    Maybe I should do a wildlife post on my blog. On a really cold day in January, I could do a Looking Forward to Spring post and include the baby bird.
    Best wishes for the New year!

    • Donna says:

      Oh my Christine how wonderful you think so…I could think of nothing better to bring out the meaning of the 3rd Day of Christmas than Prudence and family!!

  4. tina says:

    I never knew that was what the three French hens represented! How wonderful to get faith, hope and love and the little robins sure had all three when they made their home in your garden. Happy holidays to you!

  5. Donna says:

    Lovely little ones. The robins in my yard were not very lucky, so I am glad to see when some of them make it. It really touches me seeing them care and protect and like you so eloquently said, what we can learn from them…. It just reminds us all that nature continues to pull forward no matter the adversity. Even if it has to start all over again with a little group of nestlings.

    • Donna says:

      It is heartening to see the success through the trial over and over again…humans tend to give up too soon…perhaps we need to start paying better attention to nature for our signals…I know I have…

  6. thevioletfern says:

    You certainly can say three times a charm! Faith, hope and love are the charm. Just love those beautiful blue eggs! (Oh, yes tomato pie from Utica! My husband grew up in New Hartford).

    • Donna says:

      Carolyn, glad I could recap for you…the ultimate victory was a powerful moment in my life and in the garden…so glad you enjoyed the poem…HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  7. debsgarden says:

    I remember this story! I am so glad for finally a good outcome. Great poem! Your post is inspirational and a reminder that many important lessons are to be learned in a garden. Happy gardening, 2012!

  8. Aimee says:

    Hooray!!!! What a gift for you to have been able to witness such a wondrous, amazing, and incredible part of Nature and of life!

    Such strength and resiliency and determination for such tiny creatures…

    I love how you always find meaning in things and how you are open to being inspired by everything around you. You are inspiring! Thanks, as always, for your beautiful reminders. Faith, hope and love. That would make a pretty darn good morning mantra. 🙂 Happy New Year to you!

    • Donna says:

      Happy New Year Aimee…I wish you faith, hope and love in 2012…so glad you found the post inspiring and thx for your sweet words…

  9. Island Threads says:

    third time lucky as the saying goes, would have been interesting if you had a secret camera on the original nest to see who the thief was, I’ve read that birds often make their nest in pricky shrubs and trees for protection from preditors,
    the american robin surprised me when I saw one as it is much bigger than our robin redbreast, later I read that the earlier setllers named the bird robin due to a red flush on it’s breast and it reminding them of home (europe),
    I remember these posts well and thank you again for sharing this special adverture, hope they come back for you in 2012,

    Donna thank you for your lovely comments on my blog, wishing you a happy new year and all the best for 2012, Frances x

    • Donna says:

      Frances I so look forward to reading your blog…so glad you enjoyed the recap of the Robin story…yes I read the same thing that our early settlers named the robin for just that reason…I was hoping to have some video of the robin but wasn’t clever enough…Happy New Year Frances!!

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