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.
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:
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?