By Connie Denney
Live performances are ever so much more entertaining than television—be it Broadway plays or baseball (oh, how we’ve missed baseball). COVID-19 may still hold some of life’s activities at bay, but Mother Nature did not get that memo.
The following true story is a case in point. It involves two characters: Robin and Human. The time: nesting time. The stage: Human’s front porch.
Having learned from previous experience that robins can be tenacious once a nesting spot has been selected, Human paid attention when he noticed Robin’s repeated flights to the light fixture beside the front door under the roof’s overhang. On closer inspection, he saw that Robin had delivered some nest-construction materials. Human, sensitive to and caring deeply about birds, but remembering the really awful mess from a previous season, removed bits and pieces of a potential nest. Robin was back right away with more materials. This delivery – removal thing went on for some time. At one point Robin perched on window ledge where she was eye-to-eye with Human sitting in his favorite chair just on the other side of the glass. A bird stare! It was knowing and not friendly.
Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that. Human fashioned a covering for the outside light fixture from two plastic containers of different sizes from the recyclable bin. The smaller of the two did not hold fast to its purpose. A bit of re-engineering and the larger one did the job just fine.
Settled back in his chair, he waited—but not long. Robin was back with grass-like vegetation sticking out both sides of her beak. Headed straight for the porch light, she stopped in midair and hovered, as a hummingbird might. There was no place to land. She did not give up quickly; but repeated attempts at landing yielded no better results. It was not possible. Finally, with nesting time passing, she moved on to a less desirable but adequate homesite.
Human, 1; Robin, 0—for now.
However, I understand there has been a sighting. A much smaller bird was seen inspecting the slight space between the still milk-jug-covered light fixture and the house’s brick exterior.
One more story, a work in progress. To set the stage, I will tell you that Cousin Pat is not to be taken lightly. She has survived life’s setbacks and journeys on. A servant of her Creator, she appreciates earth’s natural beauty. She especially loves flowers, even the sheer hard work required for growing and nurturing them. She takes pride in her home and plants and flowers of many varieties. She loves to share the beauty and talk about plants with others of similar interests. You get the picture.
Rest assured groundhogs are not welcome in this setting. In a recent text she said she had run four from her backyard. “They are multiplying astronomically! The mother comes out with her babies and preens them right out in the open.” Later she said more than one family was coming to her yard.
She has been asking folks for advice. Last I heard, someone at a farm and garden supply near her suggested calling Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Till next time, be safe, stay safe.