Archive for March 2011

Bird Real Estate – SOLD

March 5, 2011

The wind arrived on schedule today, blowing in about ten. By the time I got back from my run the ceiling light in my bedroom was flickering and the fan vents clacking. The rain was delayed somewhere and a hazy sunlight forced its way through the charging clouds spreading across the sky.    It hadn’t rained in a few days so it was the driest the yard has been in months.

I checked out the optimistic list of tasks I hoped to get done in the garden this month and headed out the back door. To the accompaniment of garbage scans and recycling bins sliding down the alley, I pulled grass and weeds from one of the beds. The dog tossed her kong and wriggled on her back in the grass like an ex-con who had been released after a decade behind bars trying to get all the life he had missed lived in one day.

After about an  hour my hands got too cold for any more digging in the dirt so I got the ladder and planted it precariously next to the maple tree. Up two steps I could tap in the bird house to see if I scared any inhabitant into motion. No squeak or angry buzz came in reply so I hauled myself up another step hanging onto a tree branch with one arm and reached up to pull the house down.

When I turned the house eastward last spring, I had planned to watch it carefully to see if the move had coaxed another pair of birds to give the place a try. I hadn’t considered that when the maple leafed out the place would be mostly hidden from view.  While I thought I saw activity a few times through the spring, I was never sure if anyone had taken up residence.

Today I discovered that they surely had. The lower two thirds of the little wooden house was packed with tufts of grass, moss, sticks and various bits of fuzz and cloth of indeterminate origin. I cleaned the place out, preparing it for a new season. The sloping tin roof had kept the wood relatively protected and the it showed little signs of wear. I hung it back up careful to position it so the wind wouldn’t spin it to face the south. The deluge arrived just as I was putting the ladder away and the dog came flying in shaking.

Many years ago, I slept in a place with a tin roof during the same kind of storm. Despite the volume, I found the sound oddly comforting. I wonder if the birds did when they were tucked into the nest on a windy spring night?