In our vegetable garden we have two poles which suspend several hollowed out gourds. These gourds hang about ten feet off the ground and starting in January (for the last twenty years) they become home to migratory purple martins. It is believed that these birds travel all the way from Brazil to nest in our garden. Their stay coincides with the seasonal increase in central Florida’s flying insect population. By the time the martin eggs have hatched the weather has warmed and there are plenty of nourishing insects in the air. These birds are rarely seen on the ground so there are no worms on the menu for these babies. Their aeronautical acrobatics as they pluck food from the sky provide a daily airshow for our gardeners. By the beginning of May you can see little beaks crowding the openings in the gourds and hear the constant chattering of attentive parents. All too soon though, these hanging apartments grow eerily silent. By the end of May, just like the hallways in our school buildings, the nests will be empty and the newly feathered brood will fly off to new horizons. Every year there is another kind of brood that leaves the “nest”. This week our eighth graders will wear the OJA uniform for the last time and then it will be off to new experiences. These students have been nourished in many ways and are well prepared for the path that lies ahead. Best of luck and safe travels to our purple martins and to our new alumni and may God bless them in their new adventures.