The Sparrow and the Fuchsia


A few weeks ago, I purchased a fuchsia basket at Costco and put it on my back patio.  I needed to get something to hang it out there, so I hung the hook over the back of the patio fence. And then…

I forgot about it.

Today, I remembered that it was out there and I found a fuchsia basket that was devoid of much life.  It was not completely brown, but there were no blossoms; nor was there much green.  It was pretty sad.

I decided that the worst that could happen is that it is too late to save it, but that if I watered it, it may come back to life. I used the hose to saturate the basket.

After I watered it, there was a house sparrow sitting on the fence and was quite “vocal.” This is springtime, so I found it sweet that it was chattering to me. There are a lot of sparrows in the trees behind my townhouse. (Forgive the lack of quality of the photo.)


Once I turned off the water, I turned around and the bird was gone. I went over to the sickly looking plant and was going to remove some of the dead foliage and see how heavy it was, so that I knew what size nail I needed to get to hang the plant.  I was just getting ready to touch it, and I noticed a circular spot in the top of the soil.  As got curious (and closer), it made perfect sense why the bird was so interested in what I was doing with the plant.

I was surprised to find five little eggs.

Five little sparrow eggs
Five little sparrow eggs

I hoped that I had not disturbed the the nest too much, when I had drenched the pot.  It certainly was a bit soggy. Later, I noticed the mother bird was perched on the pot, likely assessing the situation.

The fact that she was still hanging around gave me hope that she would be back to sit on the eggs and keep them warm.  I did check back a couple of times. She was not on the nest, but when I would get nearer, she would perch on the fence and start chattering.

Checking her babies
Checking her babies

I was disappointed that I had neglected this beautiful plant that I spent good money to brighten up my back patio a bit. Twenty-five dollars down the drain because of my negligence or forgetfulness. But any guilt or shame I may have felt left rather quickly, once I realized there was a promise of life in this basket.

We are taught so many lessons in life through these simple moments.

Today was another reminder that something beautiful can be found amidst our failures, disappointments, and hardships of life.  We do not often notice it right away, because we are too busy beating ourselves up for our foolishness, frailties, and f***-ups.  Thankfully, I did not get too worked up about it, before my discovery of the nest.

I will take care to nurture this plant, as I can, in hopes that I can bring it back to life.  I must also be careful to not disturb the potential new life that has been introduced to, what I might have seen as, a “lost cause.” Hopefully, my watering the plant did not harm the eggs.

After dark, I stepped out on the back patio, turned on the light, and noticed that “Mommy” was on the nest.  I set the flash on my cell phone in hopes of capturing evidence that she has not given up hope.

Like her, I look forward to experiencing this miracle or birth. And, perhaps, there will be another miracle–a rebirth of a neglected fuchsia.

Time to sleep, little bird.
Time to sleep, little bird.

Copyright © 2016 Coral Levang

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  5 comments for “The Sparrow and the Fuchsia

  1. Meg
    May 3, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Nothing gets wasted n nature! Fuschia is pretty hardy, it forms wild hedges over here, so hopefully it will recover and the eggs will have noticed nothing more than a heavy rain shower!

  2. May 3, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I hope they will be ok. They do get rained on at times so hopefully it did not hurt them. Looking sparrows up it says the can hatch between 9 and 17 days. So you will know before the end of the month for sure.

  3. May 3, 2016 at 6:46 pm


  4. Barbara Radisavljevic
    May 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks you for sharing this story of life with us. I love your description of the mother’s watchfulness.

  5. May 6, 2016 at 8:02 am

    That is such a touching story. Mother Nature has the knack for making everything OK such as having that mother sparrow come back to her nest despite its drowning. Please let us know if and when the eggs hatch. You might have lost a fuschia but you have gained a family.

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