Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Birds

It's the time of year when the interior of our house is alive with birds. Starlings, to be exact. They nest in the eaves and attic, all ridiculously easy places for birds to get into when you are mid-construction. Once a day, a bird takes a wrong turn and ends up flying through our house. You'll be sitting at the desk or maybe coming out of the shower, when you'll hear a sudden racket, like maybe a shelf has fallen down and hit a window. But you discover that what is actually hitting the window is a large, glossy blackbird. Feathers ruffled, he is flying into the window over and over, stopping only to look at you as if to say "This is somehow all your fault." So you open the back door wide, and then the front. You close off the bedroom door as bird intruders have a way of actually leaving, well, evidence of their visit. But the starling is still trying to fly into a glass window pane, so you grab the broom to help guide and motivate him towards an open door. But before you can even grab the broom, the bird has figured it out and is in flight to freedom. You exhale and hope that you won't have to go through this again for the rest of the day.

Considering how open our house can be, especially during the warmer "peak construction" months, we've been relatively fortunate not to have any intruders of the four-legged variety. It is my husband's mother's fear that we will get up in the middle of the night to greet a raccoon in the hall or come home to a possum in the kitchen. We've seen no sign of coons, have very few squirrels, and are just rather fortunate in this regard. But there have been some close calls. Once last summer I was seated at my desk in the spare room typing away on the computer, when a scratching sound emanated from the wall just inches from my foot. The scratching noise was on the outside of the house, yet there was a sizable hole in the wall (I don't remember why) where I could see the outside. All I could think was "Please don't climb through the hole!" Whatever it was, it didn't. And then there was the time that something kicked up such a ruckus outside one warm evening, it even sounded as if boards and tools on the ground were being moved. We were certain it was a two-legged trespasser, and I laid in bed and prayed while the Mister went to investigate. Thankfully, it was just something noisy, curious, and not at all threatening. So the next time you think that you might want to live a little closer to the natural world, a little closer to nature, think twice. Or buy a net.

In the Kitchen:
There is a marvelous recipe for a rhubarb upside down cake that I discovered here and here. I made the first one and we have been enjoying it very much. One of my own qualms with many rhubarb desserts are that they don't taste sweet enough to me. This one is just right.

In the Garden:
It's been raining non-stop, a soggy wet mess. So many things are ready to go in to the garden and will have to wait. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure the best way to stake the tomatoes this year. Last year we used tomato cages which I did not like at all, and vowed never to use again. They seem irrelevant anyway, since several of the heirloom varieties we're growing this year do better on stakes. When I'm not thinking about tomato cages I'm clipping flowers off of strawberries, which we need to do with our everbearing variety until early July. Then we will have a large, late harvest.


  1. I feel your pain! We had a small slit in our screen door and the neighbor's cat came in!! That was before we had the pups, but needless to say, walking into the family room and having a cat looking at you when you don't own a cat - very weird. And we've also had a bird get in somehow and I remember using a broom to try and shoo it out. Then there's the time we had mice - don't even get me started there! Too bad that wasn't when the cat got in - that would've been handy now that I think of it.

    My mom lived by a park and had a snake in her hallway once. Total freakout! Nature's beautiful - outside (or in a cage!).

  2. I dearly love hearing of your experiences Monica. LOL Thank goodness all you have seen are birds so far.

    I can't tell you how many times in my parents house, a squirrell came down the chimney and popped ouut the plate that covered the hole and came in, or how many times we had a bat in the old house fly in through a hole somewhere (we finally found the holes and fixed them), and I ran outside, leaving all the doors open and the lights on so that they would fly towards the darkness. LOL

    Thank goodness the only critter I have in the house now is Noah. LOL

    God's Blessings,
    Amy Jo

  3. I'm thinking of letting my tomatoes vine this year on a trellis like I do my cukes. Why not? I'll let you know how it goes...

  4. Stace',
    I've seen that work before and plan to do exactly that this year. I planted the tomatoes in one long row and plan on running a long trellis made of twine and stakes. This should make for an easier harvest!

  5. Thank you for the comment on my blog.


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