In the Treetops
Long ,bare grey branches
Swaying in the breeze
Gently rocking, soothing, calmly reassuring
Against a pale sky, performing the ballet
Dance of the Sugar Plums, slowly bending.
My classroom is a happy place to be. The atmosphere is bright and cheerful, with one full wall a bank of windows looking out onto grass and a long, narrow grove of trees separating the school yard from neighboring homes. We have had so many exciting things to watch out this wall of picture frames. Just the way the windows are framed into blocks of four large squares it creates a frame for a view of nature at her finest. We see the deer regularly, but we always stop to see who is there, how many, are the fawns growing. Just a few days ago we watched some crazy fancy chickens come trotting out, strutting their stuff! What a sight we all had to laugh, they looked so silly dancing around on the small area of black top on the side of the school. The last two years we had black capped chickadee roosting in the eaves just above our windows. The one spring the babies were so loud it was a little too noisy.
After awhile one of the children asked, “Is that mama ever coming back with the worms?!” The finale was unfortunately after the children had left for the summer. The next day working in the classroom packing up for the summer, our friendly vent cleaning fellow (that’s all he does) had pulled off the vent cover and started to chuckle. I turned and looked, and as I saw what he held in his hands, he asked me why I didn’t call him to get the chicks out of the register! He had pulled out two nests made of straw and grasses. No wonder they were so loud; we kept saying they sounded like they were right in the room with us… they were!
Apparently the fresh air return is not sealed close to the ground and over the years we’ve had field mice, wasps, a mole, and a few too many crickets. I always believed the crickets were a sign of good luck, so I didn’t mind them. It drove the kids nuts because they wanted to find those illusive little critters.
Now that our grounds crew was made aware of our many visitors they brought a load of dirt in and screened in the edges of the building. Well, we will still watch for the deer, and the chickadee keep making new holes in the eaves. I think the custodian has lost that battle, they show up every spring. Who knows, we may see those crazy, fancy colored chickens again some day!