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Dads in My Neighborhood

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The sun descends in the western Florida sky casting long shadows on the ground. The sun’s rays lights the wispy clouds up in hues of purples and pinks. It is not dark yet and the birds of Arbor Lakes search for their last morsels of food before resting for the night. Clinging to side of a light pole twenty feet high, daddy red-bellied woodpecker drops a caterpillar down the throat of his young daughter. At my backyard bird feeder a father cardinal gives a seed to his daughter in the evening twilight.

These scenes remind me of a fond memory I have of my dad feeding me. I stopped by one day unannounced to say hi. It was lunch time and he offered me a fried steak and onion sandwich. It was the tastiest sandwich I ever had or maybe it wasn’t the food, but spending quality time with my father discussing life. He was just as dedicated to his family as the bird dads were to their families. Each father has nurtured their kids helping them into independence.

On father’s day morning, five tiny fledgling Carolina wrens huddle together against a fence while dad wren stands guard and takes turns with mom bringing food to the youngsters. It is Father’s day and we show appreciation to the dads and father figures who nurtured us into adulthood. The reward for the wren dad and other bird fathers is realized when the youngsters grow up and fly off to independence.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

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