Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Of All the Bird Brained...

Hello bloggy friends...I know I have been a bad girl as of late and haven't checked in with anything in quite some time...truth be told, the spring weather inspired me to try out something new...like actually getting a life. My expanding rump forced me to admit to myself that I was becoming something of a slacker. I was spending waaay more time than I can quite bring myself to admit simply surfing the internet, looking for something interesting to read. Meanwhile I was getting precious little accomplished other than eating too much and cleaning. So. I decided enough of that, and have been limiting myself to about 1 hour a day. And I have been walking with one of the dawgs every morning. For about 2 miles. Which feels good. And I am hoping will do more to curb my squishy tush than the simple act of counting calories has been doing. Aside from that I have been mowing the lawn and gardening and just trying to be active. Yeah for warmer temperatures!

Course spring has brought with it a new challenge...and I am reaching out to you - all 3 of you - (see I am giving ALL of you props now, instead of just mom) for some advice.

Our home has a lovely front porch. One which I have been dying to be able to sit out on and leisurely watch my kids from for the last nearly 2 years. Every spring and fall I have hung flower baskets and then promptly forgotten to do anything like water them...resulting in some luscious dead plants. At least monthly, I have obsessively searched for cost effective seating solutions. Every month I have found something more pressing to spend money on...

The hubster and I began discussing the summer and how this year would be a bit different with me home and all...I told him that I really wanted a comfortable place to sit and watch them...and so off we went and got some comfy seating. Yeah!!! I also went out and got some beautiful fuschias to hang...and I have been watering them...and life seems to be turning around finally for my front porch...

Until last week.

On one end of the porch we have some lattice, which is home to a lovely flowering vine of some sort or other...on Thursday, I noticed a Red Robin flying onto the porch, which seemed somewhat odd...so I peeked outside. And discovered that the Robin was building a nest on the porch railing, right up against the lattice. My first thought was "COOL!!!!! The kids will love this...they'll get to watch the lifecycle of baby birds!!!!". Then my inner worry wart came shoving to the surface and said "oh, NO! Absolutely NOT! That mama bird is going to get broody...and will start attacking us every time we come through the front door. She will fly at our faces and peck at our eyes."

Now, that may seem a bit extreme of a reaction to something as innocuous as a Robin, but let me explain...I have a rather deep seated fear of birds. As a small child my mother took me to the duck pond to feed the birds. Armed with small crusts of bread I approached the birds - a mixture of ducks and geese - with awe and excited anticipation. As the birds got closer my eyes opened wide and I drank in their beauty. As they moved ever closer and stretched out their necks to reach my offering I marveled at their beauty. As their beaks clamped down hard on my chubby baby fingers I cried and began running backwards, all the while clutching the bread. And so I ran, round the pond, with the geese and ducks chasing me, bread clutched desperately in my fingers, as my mother laughed hysterically, unable to advise me to just drop the bread. This started a lifelong panic attack any time I see ducks. Years later, this was exacerbated by a pet bird that my mother had, Molly.

Molly was a moluccan cockatoo. For those of you that don't know, moluccan cockatoos are BIG, PINK birds. When Molly came to us she was several years old and had a wing that had been badly broken and never set properly. She could flutter it enough to break her fall but could not fly. Molly was a smart bird, and very funny. She was also diabolical. She had little bits of comedy that she would entertain us with and she picked up speech pretty quickly...of course being the demon bird that she was, most of what she picked up was profanity and naughty limericks. One of Molly's favorite tricks was to call the dog over to her cage and then make a lunge at his nose once he got there. The thing was, she could mimic my mother's call so perfectly that the dog fell for it. Every. single.time. Countless hours were spent with Molly attempting to lure our poodle into becoming her snack. Apparently, after so many hours the poodle became boring quarry to her, and she moved on to larger game.

Molly had bonded rather strongly to my mother right from the day we brought her home... apparently, at some point, she decided that my mother was her mate. She also apparently determined that I was another suitor. So she began hunting me. Now you might think that a flightless bird is a fairly inadequate hunter, but you are wrongwrongwrong. Molly could walk silently along the ground, peeking around corners and ducking under tables and beds for cover. She could use her talons and beak to climb right up the side of a couch...and the next thing I would know, Molly would be right at my side, lunging, beak open, crest extended, prepared to maim and disfigure me so that I could no longer be a threat to her status as Mom's mate. I think mom initially thought it some odd fashion of "sibling rivalry" and she just sort of laughed it off. I would come home from school and go to my room, shutting my door so as to be safe from the demonic bird...mom would come home and Molly would cuddle up to her. No big deal. Until one day, Molly decided that she wasn't going to let a little thing like a door hold her back. So she ate the bottom corner of the door. When mom got home, I was waiting outside. Molly's reign of terror ended when she accidentally bit my mother in the face, while trying to get at me. Molly found a new home, I found a new peace and Mom found a new bird.

Anyway, back to the Robin...armed with so many years of bird fear, I decided that I needed to jump into action...so I went outside, and moved the nest to a lovely tree in our front yard. I really rather think that, if I were a bird, it is exactly the sort of place that I would like to build a nest.

Apparently I am no bird.

Anyway, the nest remained uninhabited and I figured that the bird had gone on to make a new nest., somewhere else.

Then came yesterday. I noticed the Robin flying in to the porch once again. Back and forth, in and out, to and fro. I looked at the railing. Nothing. So I kept on going. Later in the day, I was on the phone, and happened to look out the window. That's when I saw it. That danged Robin was up in my hanging flower basket, making a nest there! So I promptly went out and moved nest number 2 over to the tree. My efforts were rewarded with the bird just starting over. In the hanging flower basket. I consulted the hubster, and his helpful offering was that I wasn't going to win...that if I didn't want the Robin setting up house on the porch, the only way to stop it would be to shoot it. Thanks hon, I'll get right on that... I figured that if I staked out my porch, and sat there, the bird would give up and finally be forced to find a new location for it's nest.

By yesterday evening, there was no sign of the Robin, so I declared victory.

This morning, the nest is back. In my flower basket. On my porch. Right in front of one of my chairs.

What to do?


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Our Hinjew Family said...

Hey girl! Good to hear from you! Birds aside, how is everything?

Big hugs,

Our Hinjew Family said...

OK...I just had a chance to read your post and now I'm REALLY angry at your mother! Why in the world did you have that bird in your home? Where is the care and support you needed? LAUGHING at a toddler who was being bitten by wild geese and ducks???? What the ....????

Hope the robin finds a new home. Soon.

Julie said...

Hey, email me when you get a chance. I only have your old work one. I wanted to complain with you today, but I can't find you.