Thursday, May 26, 2011


The days are busy now.  There is much going on and even more waiting to be done!  I now have five baby Bluebirds that are 14 days old.  I don't open the door to the Bluebird house now - don't want them to come tumbling out! 

I have six baby Tree Swallows and five baby Purple Martins.  There are six more pair of Purple Martins that are nesting and should be laying eggs any day now. That will be a lot of babies!!!

Hannah, our wonderful English Bulldog, is at the Vets.  She has an eye ulceration that has to be treated eight times a day.  It takes three people to get the drops in her eye.  She will be having surgery tomorrow or Friday and then will be needing treatment for another week.  We miss her sooooo much!

We are having the trim and shutters on our house painted and hoping the painter gets finished sometime this summer! :-)  He is taking his good ol' time.  The expansion of our driveway should be finished by now, but the Contractor hasn't started yet...says he's been delayed by all the rain lately.  Our new sunroom should be about ready to get installed sometime early in June?  We'll see!

I wish things could always go smoothly and that time is something we could bend to our "will".  This isn't the reality, I know, but it doesn't hurt to dream!  I also wish people would do what they say they are going to do and "when" they say they're going to do it.  This, also, isn't reality.

Reality is waiting. 

Reality is being grateful that my plate is so full and that I have a plate to be full.

Reality is knowing that I love and am loved.  That I have food in my refrigerator and a comfortable bed in my bedroom - that I have protection from the heat and cold and the blessing of being able to make plans at all.

Reality hits me right in the face when I turn on the TV and see the devastation in Joplin, Missouri and other places, just in the last couple of days.

Reality can be harsh and it can be wonderful. 

What makes the difference? 


My attitude.

My acceptance of what "IS", rather than what I wish for.

My gratitude for what I have, rather than my sorrow at what I don't have.

My ability to affect, once in a great while, my own reality.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Catching Up

I have a pair of Bluebirds nesting in a brand new house I built just for them this Spring.  There are now five beautiful blue eggs just waiting to hatch.  Hatch date should be this Friday, 5/13/2011!  I check the eggs every day to make sure nothing has disturbed them.  The mama bluebird hears me coming.  If she doesn't hear me, I tap twice on the outside of the house and she comes flying out.  She flies up to the roof of my house and watches while I check her eggs. 

I can't actually see the eggs.  They are in a very deep bowl/cup that she has made in the top of the nest.  The only way I can check the eggs is by putting my little Dual Lens Kodak camera inside and taking pictures.  I work fast so mama bird won't get upset with me!

                      Bluebird House

These are Tree Swallow eggs.  There were four of them yesterday and I should find five today.  They are cream colored and smaller than the Bluebird eggs.  The Tree Swallows live in a gourd hanging on a Shepherd's Hook about 25 - 30' away from the Bluebirds and the Purple Martins. 
The Tree Swallows gave me many headaches when they first appeared in my backyard.  They wanted to nest in the gourds that I had prepared for Purple Martins.  They defended those gourds with their lives and chased away every bird that landed on the gourds.  Finally, I learned that if I made them a gourd of their own, 25-30' away from the gourd rack, they would nest in it, protect it, and also protect the Purple Martin gourd rack.  It worked!!  They still defend the gourd rack from other birds, not Purple Martins, and they fiercely defend their own precious gourd.  Another Purple Martin friend and enthusiast sent me entrance holes for the Tree Swallow gourd that are small enough for Tree Swallows but too small for Starlings and other predators.  I am so grateful to him!  Hatch date should be 5/20/2011

      Tree Swallow House

If you look carefully, you can see two Purple Martin eggs.  I think there is one more hidden underneath the two shown here because this is the third day of egg laying and there should be three eggs.  Today, I think I will find five eggs.  I didn't check this nest yesterday.  Didn't want to disturb the Purple Martin mama too much! Not sure what the hatch date should be yet.

     Purple Martin Gourd Rack.

I've been busy also planning two flower beds - one for my front yard and one for the back yard.  I love the planning and the results of a beautiful flower garden.  The work in between the "planning" and the "beautiful" is the hard part.  My old bones and joints aren't what they used to be!  When they are completed, and if I'm still 'young' enough to take pictures, I'll put them in my blog for all to enjoy.  (I suppose folks enjoy other peoples' flower gardens?)

When you get right down to it, it's always the planning and results we enjoy, huh?  Just as with the birds, planning for their comfort and well-being, and the flower beds, so with life! 

We plan, we work toward a goal or destination, and in the end, it's the in-between part that makes us who we are.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Baby Birds?

I lowered the Purple Martin pole today to check on all the nesting. 
Mama has been working hard to form a rich bowl
Of pine and hay and sticks and leaves.

Soon there will be little eggs, probably five or six.
But she doesn't rest, knowing that more work lies ahead.
She has to feed herself and sit on those eggs a while each day.

Just for them.

Do the baby birds feel her work and love?
Do they feel the careful attention to each turn
And curve of the protective bowl she makes?

Do they know how hard she's worked
To find just the right gourd on just the right pole
In just the right backyard with just the right protection?

Just for them.

When they hatch, there will be hungry mouths to feed,
Mouths that open as soon as she enters the nest
And don't close until she leaves.

Will they feel the love that it took to get them this far?
Will they trust her to keep them safe from harm?
Harm, that lies just outside that nest.

Just for them.

Yes, they trust her, for they know that mama's
Love and work and flight and food
Will make them strong inside the brood.

And when they leave, it's her they see,
Gently pushing them from the nest, the bowl,
Where her love used to be.

Just for them.