I’d intended on writing a post about the opening days of Major League Baseball, then decided against it given how well my Literary Basketball post went over. Oops. Oh well.
The birds are chirping. That means something.
Do you see what I’m dealing with here, though? This snowbank is at the crossroads of our town. It’s a sludgy, hideously huge massive mound of wet, heavy backsplash encrusted snow. It blocks the entire view of Safeway (which isn’t the part that bothers me).
Typically, around this time of year, I take Luke outside and we scan the yard for the beginnings of daffodils and the pretty dancing of the snowdrops. Not this year. Not yet at least. The daffodils may still come to the party but I think the snowdrops aren’t going to get their days in the sun this year. 🙁
At least there is this.
It’s the first green grass I’ve seen in quite some time.
I love winter, I love the cozy fires, the whiffs of burning wood coming through chimneys at night. The skiing, jolly old St. Nicholas, sweaters, knitting.
But I also love when winter is over. And I’m so ready for it to be over this year. (Yet, two more feet are on the way this week. I know, I know...)
Let’s Talk About Birds, Then, Shall We?
In that vein, I thought maybe we could talk about birds. I’m not immensely knowledgeable about birds. A little bit. Generally, I know what birds live around these parts. I love birds. I love when they arrive with all their hootin’ and squabblin’ and chirpin’.
Last year in April and into May, two Steller’s Jays built their nest in the eaves of our house above a flood light. It was a perfect location – for me anyway – because during the day when I needed a break from work, I’d just lounge there on my window seat and instead of doing the usual (playing solitaire on my phone) I’d become mesmerized by these two birds building their nest.
This couple was so diligent, so tireless. They’d fly off, come back with sticks or grass or straw which half the time barely made it into the nest before just falling and falling there into a mound of sticks and hay and grass just beneath the nest. More of it fell than actually made it into the little cradle they were building. “Ooooh noooo,” I’d utter, as the piece fell to the mound. But the bird didn’t cry “Shit! God damn it anyhow!” – he/she just flew back off to find a new piece of grass or sticks or whatever. See, just sitting there like that rather than messing around on my phone reminded me to let go of the little annoyances and setbacks in life – a very powerful reminder from a bird.
They kept this up for a good month, and then mama bird nestled right into that safe little abode up there above the floodlight and waited. It seemed like she sat there for another month! And apparently her man brought her food, but I never actually saw that happen or saw her man come around ever again for that matter.
And yes, then (after what seemed like FOREVER) the babes were born, and one day they stood on the precipice of the cradle their parents had built them and one by one they flew right off into the world. (I’m assuming that is what happened because one day they were all just gone.) And I don’t know what became of them. But I’ve missed that family. That nest has sat there through howling winds and blizzards and what a strong little nest it is.
Anyway, we’re all loving the birds returning, even though the winter is being relentless with us. And I hope maybe my two Steller’s Jays will come back and renovate their nest. Looking at it though, it looks just fine to me! Move in ready!
On that note, let’s, of course, mention my favorite bird book for the kiddos. When my kids were wee ones we spent some time identifying birds in our neighborhoods. We had the binoculars. We had the guides. It was always exciting to spot the first robin, etc. But our very favorite book (probably because it was slightly interactive) was…
Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song – You can hear every bird call for every bird in the book. The kids loved it! I love it! Still!
And if you haven’t jumped on the Bird Bingo train yet, then it’s time to do so! Still, one of our favorite games to pull out and play on a rainy (er, snowy) day. Or when the power is out (see below). Quality, lovely construction, easy for even the youngest kids to play (it’s all visual so not necessary that the child can read) and includes a pamphlet that describes each bird on the board.
So, yes, the birds. They’re out there. They came back. Right on time. But the snow is still just ridiculously too high. This here is a six-foot fence, Maddie is only four-feet tall. (And that’s our goat, Clover. Not a random wild animal that Maddie is offering hay to. But there are plenty of the wild ones out there: we’ve had bears, bobcats, a mountain lion, and a wily coyote who jumps right into our back yard to goad the dogs. The bobcat killed all of our chickens by the way.;)) Just giving you an understanding of what’s going on here. Beneath where she’s standing are the daffodils, ready and waiting to bloom I presume.
Will keep you updated on all of this, as always. 🙂 xx