Being a bystander is harder than it looks: I have much of the interest in the activity that participants have, but little of the satisfaction that comes from being in the fray.
Being an amateur is harder than it looks: I have much of the love of the subject that professionals have, but little of the knowledge that would allay fears.
Being a grandparent is harder than it looks: I have much of the concern about outcomes that parents have, but little of the day-to-day input to address them.
Having a robin’s nest on the porch is harder than it looks. I play, simultaneously, all these roles: bystander, amateur, grandparent. OK, not that last one exactly, but I feel remarkably protective of this robin family that chose our porch this season. I’m watching closely for a glimpse of the babies, and hoping that the dagnabbed raccoons living in the neighbourhood don’t come back.
I don’t think I’m unique in reacting to a nearby nest with more interest and concern than the lives of a few birds seem to warrant in the grand scheme of things. And if I can feel this way about a robin family with no connection to me beyond their proximity, what can I feel about human families with no connection to me beyond their presence in my community?
If I saw every kid I meet as a baby robin, what wouldn’t I do?
To eliminate or minimize any disturbance to the birds
these photos were taken on a fixed tripod from behind our front-door window.