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Archive for July 14th, 2007

Learning the ropes

It has been a very busy day in the yard.   This morning as I was making my morning pot of coffee I heard quite a commotion going on out on the back porch.   The wren who has been feeding babies in the bird’s nest gourd that hangs out there was pitching a fit.  After I got the water on to boil, I went to the back door to take a look.  There were four very curious and innocent beaks poking out of the nest door.

wren-fledglings.jpg

 It wasn’t just the wren parents having conniptions that I was hearing.   The babies were chattering, all agog at what they were seeing.   Today was the first day they came to the door of the nest, and all was new, exciting and wonderful.   Well, they were also complaining because breakfast was late.  Little did they know, it wasn’t just that breakfast was late, it was being held out on them.  Nothing like an appetite to encourage a kid to leave the nest.

14july07-fledgling-wren.jpg

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In between these two pictures, there was quite a lot of excitement.  I took the first one,  laid the camera down for a moment, and started hanging up my laundry.   I had had my back turned for almost a whole minute when I heard the wren parent absolutely having a melt-down over on my compost bins.   I whirled around, and realized that the “pride” was on the hunt.  Mike was crawling his very black way into the tool shed behind where the little wren was perching, while Smokey was trotting post haste alongside the compost bins to join the hunt.  

 “Smokey!  Mike!!” I sharply admonished them.   “Bad cats!  What do you think you’re doing?”   (A superfluous question, as it was all too obvious what their idea was.  I’m pretty sure that the concept “hors d’oeuvres” was in there somewhere.)  Smokey immediately spun on his heels and headed back around the corner where he came from.   Mike guiltily slunk under the sauna building.  I checked to see that Smokey was still heading back to the carport, which he was, and got down to look for Mike under the sauna.   He was stationed neatly in the middle under the deck, giving me the “You can’t reach me, ha ha ha, what are you going to do about it?” look.   I walked around the building to the faucet, turned the hose on and proceeded to spray him as he squatted under the sauna.  

What a look he gave me as he sped out of range of the water stream to the other side of the sauna.  I simply followed him around the corner.   I have a very long hose, and after I sprayed him a couple of more times he gave up and galloped down into the vineyard.   I left the hose behind, and followed him there, too.   Finally, defeated, he headed back to the carport, where I rounded him up and incarcerated him in the house along with Smokey.  

The life of a fledgling bird is dicey enough without being amusement for my well-fed domesticated felines.   Later on in the afternoon while I was out in the garden planting my black beans, I noticed the brown thrasher, some grackles, a blue jay, and a squirrel all paying more than a passing bit of attention to the area around the pond where the wren was trying to teach her kids the ropes.  As the sun was going down, she still had three of the four following her around.   They still have the possums, raccoons, snakes, and bullfrogs of the night to survive.  I wish them luck, I need all the wrens I can get.

The boys are still “grounded,” and think I’m totally unreasonable.

The blackberry lily, which is actually a variety of iris, is blooming its heart out.

14july07-028-blackberry-lily.jpg

I had to play with the photo editor a bit.

14july07-tie-dye-lily.jpg

There is a rose blooming out by the butterfly bush as well.

14july07-039-rose-and-butterfly-bush.jpg

That’s all the news that’s fit to print from around here.

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