Remember dinner theater? I can remember a time when guests would pay to eat a gourmet dinner while a theater troupe performed on stage. It was fun to go with a group of friends and support the local arts scene without breaking the bank.
What if you could enjoy dinner theater from your own home? I’m not talking about a virtual experience. This is much, much better and it’s right outside your window. Drum roll please . . . Welcome to Nature Dinner Theater! This performance comes from the natural rare habitat of The Oak Openings Region.
Its early summer and a bluebird family, who had been nesting in a bird bottle on our house over the Spring decided it was time to teach the kids how to fly. My husband and I were sitting at the table looking out a big picture window at the backyard. Suddenly, one of the two babies fled the nest on his (or her?) first flight. We spotted the little one during dinner. He was clinging low on a tree. Mama and Daddy were hovering nearby but didn’t interfere with Baby’s first taste of freedom. Would Baby be brave enough to leave his post on the tree and take flight again?
Suddenly a large red headed woodpecker threatened as he flew close to Baby to get to a birdfeeder nearby. While the woodpecker was still in flight, the bluebird parents swooped into action and dive bombed the woodpecker. Their little one kept hopping higher and higher on the tree trunk. Would he take flight? Could he reach safety on his own?
We watched and waited. The woodpecker settled on the birdfeeder to munch. All at once the little blue bird mustered his confidence and took flight. It was clunky and awkward, but he soared for a few seconds then landed on the ground, safely covered by the undergrowth.
“He did it!” I shouted as if he’d just won an award or something. My husband laughed.
The baby bluebird’s parents perched on the clothesline above him protectively. He was still on the ground as we finished dinner, but we saw his Dad feed him. After filling his belly, we watched Baby try to make his way to another tree. Baby hopped along the ground trying desperately to take flight, but clearly still in practice mode. His wings just weren’t lifting him into the air. We spotted his brother or sister perched on a nearby tree branch patiently waiting.
We lost track of the blue bird family after that, but each year we have a new group of blue birds nesting around our house. We hope the little guy and his sibling made it!
I’ll attend nature dinner theater any day! Such is the life of two nature nerds. Seriously though ... very cool to be able to witness firsthand baby birds learning to fly. Sometimes I have to take a moment and just “be” to really appreciate all the miracles around.
Give yourself permission to take time to notice all the natural beauty surrounding you. From flowers growing in the sidewalk to gardens to a walk in a park, nature is simply amazing and awe-inspiring.