We’ve been blessed this year — three families of birds have chosen our porches to build their nests. The first, Carolina Wrens, had 3 babies in a pot on our back table. I moved it safely away from dogs and up against the window and it was like National Geographic on our back patio. I actually got watch them leave the nest – hopping tentatively and teetering around for about an hour before they finally flew off. After watching all of the nest building and fledgling activity for weeks, I truly understood the term, “empty nest!” Then the cliff swallows came to our front porch (where they pooped an unbelievable amount! We watched those 3 babies leave, and they actually all came back and forth and used the nest with their parents for several weeks. Now, we have our second set of swallow fledglings in the nest – 4, I think. They are close to taking the big plunge. In spite of our porch becoming a bathroom, we have all enjoyed watching nature up close and personal. Part of the joy of gardening is building habitat for the creatures with which we share this planet.