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Curious and Amazed

Oakdale Mill bluebird box. Notice log truck and cranes in background.

My mantra:

  1. Stay Curious.
  2. Be Amazed.
  3. Share Remarkable Stories.

I work Mondays as a chaplain at Roy O Martin’s Mills. Today, as I entered the Oakdale mill, I stopped by the bluebird boxes. It’s not on my job description, but I always check the boxes.

I unhook the door for a closer look. One of the boxes has a fresh nest. Five beautiful sky blue eggs rest on a bed of twigs and straw. There are even two small redbird feathers woven into the nest.

One of five bluebird eggs. Note cardinal feather on right side of nest.

I’m sure I look a sight with all of my safety gear on, peering into a bird box. Hundreds of people daily walk by this bird box and I bet I’m the only one who stops to take a look. Call me a nerd or geek. I am the grandson of a birder. My maternal grandfather, Sid Plott, was an avid birdwatcher. I inherited his binoculars, field guides, and love of birds.

My curiosity leads me to peer into birdboxes and be interested in nature all around us, whether in the woods, a city, or a busy mill. Here in the middle of a loud, lighted, OSB (Oriented Stranded Board) Mill, new life is waiting to hatch. I’ll check this nest weekly as I’ve done for the past three Springs.

At 62, I’ve still got that curiosity. It has brought great joy into my life as well as got me in trouble. Sometimes my curious nature has led me to stick my nose where it didn’t belong and the result has been a buzzing wasp nest or a Federal Game Warden (“Now which of the three signs saying ‘Keep Out’ did you not read?”).

And I’m continually amazed at things like five baby blue eggs that even now each contain a bluebird. I hope to never lose that child-like amazement.

Yes, I’m curious and amazed and I simply wanted to share this remarkable story with you so that you’ll slow down and look around you at the wonders of life.

Wherever you live, in the woods or the busy sidewalks of a metropolis, bird heaven is all around you. Keep your eyes on the heavens, and in the trees and on the high lines. It’ll keep your feet on the ground and your heart alive.

Another Spring treat: Wild Azalea aka Honeysuckle.

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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