A lot has been written here and on other blogs about the peace and tranquility of gardening. But let me tell you, there’s some stress growing out there. Am I watering too much or not enough? Too much sun? Just how dappled should dappled shade be? Who will water while I’m away?
And if that weren’t enough worries to cloud my sunny day, now it’s this. There is a bird’s nest in one of the white pines that line the back of my property. Very early in my gardening life, I realized that I was creating my own ecosystem. As soon as everything bloomed, it seemed my yard became a resort for butterflies and bees and even a praying mantis.
But now there is a bird’s nest. Blue Jays to be exact. What’s surprising is that the nest is only about 7 feet off the ground, so Joe and I can get a pretty clear look at the goings on. And if we can, so too can the local varmints. Now, I’m on guard for any intruders. I am like a mother hen, although I haven’t quite perfected the whole regurgitation of food thing. But when Mom and Dad are away gathering food for the youngins, I feel obligated to bird sit.
I happen to like birds. I especially like hearing them when I spend some time in the yard in the early morning hours. But if truth be told, I’m also a little bit edgy around them. I wouldn’t call it a fear of birds — it’s more like a fear of getting hit in the head with one. I can hear you saying, “Kevin, how common can that be?” In my world, it’s pretty common. My head has been a bird target — not a bird poop target, but an actual bird target — three times!
The first time, it was a Blue Jay, hitting my head talons first. Then there was the smack of a Pigeon’s wings across my face as it flew past my head — and wings, by the way, are not as light as a feather. They sting! And the third time was yet another Blue Jay. Joe believes my head has its own gravitational pull; I wonder if the magnetic poles of my head wreak havoc on a bird’s navigational system.
Surprisingly, I am not averse to avian antics. But when I stood on a chair to snap a few photos of the nest, and I saw Momma Jay returning, I flinched. You might even say I ducked.
Joe tells me that it’s almost time for the hatchlings to be tossed from the nest. Now I’m worried that their wings won’t be ready and if they’re ground-bound, well . . . I’ve seen enough Animal Planet to know that a flightless bird is finger-lickin’ good for a squirrel or a feral cat or an even bigger bird. We have red tail hawks circling around here. (My head hurts just thinking about them!)
Nevertheless, I’m hoping that all of the Blue Jays will be okay — even though odds are that at least one of them will use my head as a perch.