I feel a kinship with the Native American tradition of naming a month after what becomes plentiful during the period of the moons’ phases. May at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary was the month of the Carolina Wrens, the Cardinals, wildflowers, dewberries, deer flies, dragonflies, mosquitoes, bees and much more. But the explosion of life that connected with me the most was the Carolina Wren. With the exit of our warblers that pass through in late winter and early spring these wrens took center stage under the canopy of the cypress. Their loud voice, “teakettle-teakettle-teakettle” struck a chord in me that encouraged me to sing out, stand proud, feel the beauty, and be grateful for the bounty!
I will never forget the “mobbing” of a juvenile red shouldered hawk as it lighted on a branch at eye level just a few feet off the ground next to a few wrens. As the alarm calls from the wrens sounded, it seemed as if most of the small birds of the Cypress Swamp came out and surrounded this hawk. Their noise level rose to a crescendo that forced the bird to fly off and try unsuccessfully to capture a small bird from the crowd. But these hawks succeed at hunting from above with the element of surprise as their advantage. Missing his prey, he flew to a higher branch where the wren’s behavior followed him. Eventually, he cried out and flew off, hopefully learning a valuable lesson. I also observed that this was a learning opportunity for the fledgling wrens to learn about their predator and how to sound an alarm or listen to the alarm calls of others.
Besides recognizing the number of a species, a moon’s days can also be about the lessons we learn with the ups and downs of blooming and dying. So today at the start of our hurricane season, I will keep my eyes, ears, heart, mind and soul open to the possibilities that the month of June has to offer and say goodbye to the singing moon of the Carolina Wren, forever in my heart.