You can tell a wren from the rest of the backyard birds. Their songs are not just the loudest but there's a distinct clarity to the sound. You know it's a wren on the first few notes.
Much like the piercing clarity of the great voices; Tebaldi, Corelli, Price, Freni, Pavarotti...
Off and on for the past few years, a male wren returns to a planter we have hanging on a facing wall visible from our glass door. I like to think it's the same spry guy, working so hard to weave a future home for his future bride under and around the asparagus fern.
Painstakingly, he brings twigs, ducking under the fern to arrange them unseen, emerging a minute later before flying off for more. He takes breaks, perching on the highest wire around, belting out an aria, hoping to entice a female to come and inspect his work.
Sometimes he's successful and sometimes he's not. One year he built this beautiful nest with a side entrance; a rustic villa for his lady to lay future tenors and sopranos.
Sadly, they abandoned it a before the eggs hatched.
If he shows up, our wren will arrive during the last two weeks of July. Spoke spotted him the other morning, having landed like he does, on a patio chair. Every so often he would tilt his head sideways, one eye focused on the planter, seemingly confused because this year there's ivy in place of a fern. Off he flew and hasn't returned.
I wish he'd come back. The others too, who in this intense heat come out of those shady, hidden places they call home, only to eat, drink and bathe. We've the whole month of August to go and already I'm longing for days and nights with wide open windows and singing birds.
I made my peace with nature last night, resigning myself to this long, hot summer. Still, I left the bed to open the window and stand, willing to settle for a few minutes of rhythmic cicadas.