The Daily Grace
The Daily Grace

The Good. The Bad. And the Oh my.

Apr 28, 2014 | nature & awe | 10 comments

I am a wreck.

A wreck, I tell you.

There are some goings-on here at Bickley’s Pond that have set my nerves on edge, to say the least, recent developments that have left me so worked up I find myself pacing and fretting, fretting and pacing. I mean, I hardly know whether to look out the window or not, and never-you-mind the heart racing that commences at the mere thought of a walk around the back yard! It’s all too much, I tell you, too much for this ol’ girl to take. Why, just yesterday I had hardly settled in at the table there in the big bay window (the one with the perfect view of the bird feeders) when I noticed the slithering in the grass, and ….

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It started a couple of weeks ago when I first spotted this sweet little guy.



let’s call him foo foo


He is the most darlin’ little thing, don’t you agree? Not too shy, little foo foo, willing to patiently portrait-pose while I focus, then click click click and he is off, hop hop hopping back into the safety (!) of the shrubs right there by our side porch. I’ve seen him many times over the past two weeks, this sweet brown bunny who is clearly happy to be at home with us, here on Bickley’s Pond.

And then. Oh my.

My, my, my, my, my.




RIGHT THERE ON OUR DRIVEWAY THE MOST GIGANTIC SCARY SNAKE I’VE EVER SEEN. He was slithering here and there, clearly ecstatic about the warmth our sun-baked concrete provides his nasty ol’ snake belly.

(I have it on good authority from my friend, Jay Coles—a man who knows about such things—that this is a black snake and therefore a very good friend to us here on Bickley’s Pond, where there are other way more scary poisonous snakes. I keep reminding myself of that fact every time I see the slithering snake, which has been OFTEN. So often, in fact, we have named him. Onyx.)


It seems the black snake and the brown bunny are living in connected shrubbery beds, I kid you not. Onyx, I believe, has taken up residence in the Indian Hawthorne just beneath the bird feeders. (!!!!!!!!!!) Foo foo is just around the corner in a mass of Pittosporum. At any given moment, you may see one or the other of them crossing the yard to the white Azalea bed just at the edge of the driveway.

My heart cannot take it.

And then the bluebirds lay five perfect blue eggs in an unprotected nest not two feet from the ground—an ill-positioned birdhouse that is all my fault, if you want to know the truth of it—just where a hungry snake or an aggressive no-conscience red-shouldered hawk might easily find it. In fact the hawk, who is known around these parts let me tell you, swooped so close to our house yesterday that Tim and I both jumped. I looked out that big bay window and that ornery hawk landed BAM right on top of the shepherd’s crook that holds the bird feeders. He looked at me, and I looked at him, and I said YOU BEST LEAVE THAT BUNNY ALONE and I almost mentioned the snake just for good measure but he up and flew off before I could.


(same hawk, different day)

(same hawk, different day)


Then I thought of the bluebirds, and those perfect blue eggs, and I ran for the stairs and the studio porch door and with that, the Mama bluebird poked her head out of the birdhouse and then took flight, leaving me alone (no hawk in sight, thank heavens) with that little nest.

This is what I found.


so far, so good

so far, so good


And so you can see why I am at my wit’s end, constantly running to the window or the back yard with every disturbance unable to determine who to protect from whom, keeping my fingers crossed all the while that in no time at all there will be five little bluebirds (and one very alive bunny) spreading Springtime joy all around Bickley’s Pond.



  1. Elza Hayen

    This circle of life thing gives me heartburn! You can count me in for shift duty….heck, Amanda and I could shift together like the good ol’ days. will strategize with her over lunch on Friday. 🙂

    • Cathy

      I’m starting to think we need front yard, back yard and side yard teams! Thanks, Elza.

  2. Eddie

    I will take a shift if we make it a wine and cheese extended buffet!

    • Cathy


  3. Amanda Drinkall

    The kids and I had to pay a visit to Carolina Wildlife Care yesterday to take a tiny baby bird whose nest unfortunately fell to the ground. His 5 siblings didn’t survive. As we pulled out of CWC sweet Sidney asked if we just left heaven. We all have fretted over that little bird.

    • Cathy

      Amanda–I didn’t include this post in my 30 Days of Grace because it just seemed too ominous. But your sweet comment and that beautiful Sidney perspective just changed everything. Sydney + Carolina Wildlife Care + “heaven” = powerful stuff. Grace? Oh, yes. XXOO again!

  4. Stephanie

    Just so we are clear. You can keep that snake on your side of the property line;)

    • Cathy

      Haven’t seen him coming near your side. I’ll keep him unless that bunny (or those eggs) go missing. XXOO

  5. Kristin

    I’m freaking out. Do we need to schedule shifts to watch over everyone???

    • Cathy

      If only I knew what to do! Oh, the circle of life. I think shifts is a very good idea–especially since we need to cover the side yard AND the back yard. Who even knows what is going on up front???? XXOO


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Cathy Rigg Headshot

Hi. I’m Cathy.

This is a blog about writing, creative living, and grace in the everyday. It’s my hope this little spot on the internet will be for you a place of quiet and reflection, a source for inspiration, and a reminder there’s beauty all around—we simply need to keep our hearts open to see it. Thank you for being here with me.

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