Start Seeing Miracles

A few weeks ago, my mom saw a fuchsia hanging basket and she had to have it.

In fact, she had to have two.

What’s not to like about fuchsia? They make lovely pink and purple flowers which cascade delicately over the side of a container.

Hanging fuchsia plant

Hanging fuchsia plant

The day we brought home our find, the “fun” started.

I applied Miracle Grow to both plants that morning, but by afternoon, Mom found a few twigs haphazardly scattered inside one basket.

And when I noticed a pair of mourning doves lurking about, I suggested they were probably trying to build a nest.

Mom reminded me something similar happened to another plant in a prior year — with disastrous effects on the plant.

She tossed the twigs to the ground, feeling sure the No Vacancy sign would be obvious even to the most determined of birds.

And she was wrong.

The very next day, a solitary white EGG showed up inside the basket!

So we went to Rural King, our local farm and home store, for advice.

One of the employees said she’d heard it was good luck to have a dove nesting at your house, so Mom decided the nest could stay.

It wasn’t long before the fuchsia started showing signs of distress — wilting, lack of blooms, failure to thrive.

We dared not water or fertilize for fear of disturbing the happy family-to-be.

Still, the doves didn’t seem to mind us. We planted other flowers, swept off the porch, casually passed by the nest in a nonthreatening manner, and checked on things from inside the house.

Spring weather in Illinois isn’t kind. We’ve had everything from frost to heat, strong winds, thunderstorms, and rain.

The doves have held their own.


Perhaps they know a swinging nest is safe from cats and other predators.

Finally, a few days ago, their vigil was rewarded:

"Daddy" with hatchlings

“Daddy” with hatchlings

The eggs hatched!

Two babies. Twins. Far too small for flying lessons, of course, but looking more alert every day.

As for good luck, well, you can see the fuchsia looks miserable. And by the time the babies fly off, I doubt even Miracle Grow can resuscitate it.

But we wouldn’t have missed this experience. The miracle of life, calm trust, tender parenting, perseverance — all point to how we should be living our own lives, don’t you think?

22 thoughts on “Start Seeing Miracles

    • You know, they make me smile, too, Suzi, but I find myself spending a LOT of time checking on the wee ones! Baby birds learning to fly are just ripe for a cat’s picking. I don’t think I could stand knowing one fell victim, especially since all the cats around here don’t need to eat helpless birds when they already have plenty of food indoors!

  1. Debbie I LOVED post!!! And as Suzicate shared, it totally made me smile and warmed my heart because there are so many incredible lessons in this story!

    “The miracle of life, calm trust, tender parenting, perseverance — all point to how we should be living our own lives, don’t you think?”

    Yes, absolutely! And other thing that dawned on me while reading this was the saying, “As one thing dies, another thing is born.” So in a way, the fuschsia offered its space so that the doves could be born in its place.

    And what a sweet photograph of the Daddy with hatchlings!

    Thank you for sharing this today, my friend!


    • “So in a way, the fuschsia offered its space so that the doves could be born in its place.”

      YES!! I love this, Ron. It’s very matter-of-fact, and it sounds just like something my late dad would have said.

      While I’ve been watching the nest, I Google’d mourning dove and learned that we just *think* it’s the mama bird who sits on the nest 24/7. Actually, with these birds, the daddy takes the daytime shift and the mama at night — they switch places somewhere around 5:30. Isn’t that fascinating? And because I’ve been watching them so closely, I can now see a difference between “Daddy bird” and “Mama.”

      Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts.

  2. I can resist adding my awe! I think this is a very good sign indeed and an interesting coincidence since your last post was about launching Dommer soar! As for the Fushia….I see another in your Fushia? (Its the Oompa Loompas influence)

    • Golly, I hadn’t considered Domer as a baby bird launching from my nest, but you’re absolutely right!! Now I’ll have to watch so the “cats” don’t get him, ha!

    • Me, too, Kim. They seem like such gentle souls. Because they spend so much time pecking seeds off the ground, they’re truly vulnerable to prowling cats. Dallas just sits and watches them through the window (but open the door and he’s off like a bullet, sending them scurrying for trees and wires, ha!)

    • I think they are, too, Monica, but my mom is starting to rue ever letting them build that nest in the first place, ha! I think she’d rather have the fuchsia live and growing and let the birds nest elsewhere. They were right outside our window, though, so we had a “bird’s eye view” of the proceedings!

  3. Oh this is so much sweeter – a new little family of doves! You and your mother have kind hearts and in this instance, much more beautiful signs of life. This so made me smile, Debbie.

    • Glad to hear you found it a touching story, Barb. Day by day, the wee ones are getting bigger — stretching their wings in preparation for lift-off! Part of me is going to be sad to see them go, but my mom already has a begonia to hang in the dead fuchsia’s place (and she’s going to stick one of those spinner-things inside it to deter other would-be families. Sigh.)

  4. That is so cool! I’d say the miracle gro did work – you just grew birds instead of the plant! Maybe you’ll be able to get another fuchsia with better results (no birds 🙂 )

    • That’s a great way to look at it, Janna — we “grew birds instead of the plant”!! Honestly, watching the antics of the doves has been a LOT more fascinating than watching the plant grow, too, ha!

  5. Just this week I found someone had left a hanging basket with one bedraggled bit of ivy by the dumpster. I looked inside, and there it was – a dove egg! Who knows what happened. Maybe one didn’t hatch. Maybe the people dumped the basket before Mom could hatch it. No telling. But the egg’s in my “nature’s treasures” basket now. I had an egret egg one year that had been dropped on a dock. Dixie Rose doesn’t care about them, but she wanted the paper the egg was nestled in. The egg rolled out of its “nest” and cracked, and that was the end of that.

    I have my own dove story that will come along, once I get my emotions sorted out about it. It’s a happy story, not sad, but it was so touching – the kind of thing that takes a while to write about.

    Love your great story. We’ll hope for all the best for the babies.

    • I find it a bit odd (synchronicity, maybe?) that I’ve been surrounded by doves this year. The bird feeder always has a “crop” beneath it, they hang onto our window sills and coo, and now that the trees have leaves, doves perch on branches and offer their mournful cries. Must have been something about the winter weather that produced so many — or perhaps our neighborhood cats are just well-fed inside?!

      I’ll be sure to read your dove story when it shows up. Sweet that you kept that singleton egg for your collection!

  6. Oh! I forgot. I watched that TED video of shoelace tying, gave it a try, and this will be day three that my laces haven’t budged. If I make a week, I’ll know it really worked, and I’ll leave a note over at my blog so people know you solved my problem — that I’d decided wasn’t a problem. Lesson? Maybe that, once we decide something’s not a problem, it solves itself!

    • I’m THRILLED at being able to help! Like I mentioned, I, too, was tying mine the wrong way (and I don’t need any more “excuses” to fall!!). Since I switched directions on the laces, I haven’t had a speck of trouble, even from rounded laces. I’d be interested in hearing if this works for boat shoes, which used to give me worlds of trouble!

  7. This touching story is a wonderful reminder to slow down and savor the miracles that happen all around us if we just take time to tune in to nature.

    • Thanks, Pat. The wee ones have finally flown away, and all is quiet. The plant, of course, had to be hauled off (full of bird poop and lice). Still, it’s a GOOD thing knowing the babies are “grown and flown”!!

  8. A sweet sweet story, Debbie–with a beginning, middle and end!!! Kind of like life in general–you have to let go of “perfection” sometimes to invite in a miracle. I can see you turning this story into a children’s book…

  9. Who cares what the house looks like, as long as there’s love inside! I agree!

    I’m seeing many photos from friends and family in a similar situation. Our feathered friends seem to find security in our hanging baskets and potted plants. The babies are adorable. Definitely worth the sacrifice, I think.

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