It’s been way too long since I’ve sat down and put together a blog post, so one of my goals
for today is to do just that. Now it’s time to catch back up with what’s happening here as spring is in full force once again.
And springtime means yard work and getting everything that we dismantled (deck and patio furniture, planters, decorative ornamental hangings, etc.) and put away back in late fall dusted off and back in their proper places.
Now, as the days and weeks wear on through April, things are shaping up nicely around here. The grass all around is healthy and relatively free from various weeds and those persistent dandelions. The first applications of crabgrass preventer and early spring weed-n-feed have been applied.
We’ve mowed five times already and have added mulch to our backyard “triangle” that has the tall evergreen in the center. The colors of the daffodils and the tulips (that survived the rabbit assaults!) have been spectacular for the last couple of weeks.
When all of the yard tasks are finished, I enjoy sitting on the deck in the late afternoon with a cold drink, or in the early morning with a hot coffee, and watch the birds come and go to our two feeders and our neighbor’s finch feeders.
Those mornings when the sunshine is magnificent (which it has been for the past several days), there’s simply an overall feeling of nature coming alive and all the vestiges of winter cold eradicated.
Which brings us to the saga of the industrious robins who, for the last couple of springs, have built a nest in the tall evergreen out back. It’s a perfect spot, offering protection from the weather and other nosey creatures.
I’ve watched the nest-building on those mornings when I’m on the deck, and I find it cool how organized the robin “nest builders” are. While one bird goes out and forages for nest materials (grass, mud, cloth, etc.), another one–some distance away, yet on alert–watches to chase away any intruding bird who might have ideas about disturbing the nest in some way.
One morning a few days ago, I happened to notice one of those robins hanging around our deck several times. When I went out with coffee in hand, the bird flew out low over my head. I looked over to where it had come from and saw that it had been starting a nest on the top of our gas fireplace vent on the side of our house. The nest was pretty far along, too, so I knew I needed to get rid of it before Mama robin moved in to lay her eggs.
It is a perfect spot for a nest, I realized, as it’s surrounded on three sides and out of the way and protected from strong winds. The problem, however, is that we don’t want a bird building a nest so close to the deck where we’re going in and out. Also, we don’t want grass, mud, stones, and other nest materials clogging up the fireplace vent.
I figured I could remedy this quickly in its early stages by getting the broom and sweeping away the grass and mud that our industrious little friend had placed there. I even wedged an old shovel handle through the deck privacy wall in hopes that it would deter the robin from returning to build its nest.
All seemed satisfactory until the next morning when I checked it out, and the bird had re-started the nest, having deposited a good amount of grass once again. So, I repeated my earlier sweeping and put the handle back over the vent top, thinking that this time I’d surely discouraged the little red-breasted birdie!
The robin was persistent, though, doing the same thing as before the following morning. Something more had to be done to deter the robin from nesting on our fireplace vent, and my creative juices were in overdrive.
What I came up with is as follows: Inside a coffee can I placed a heavy stone for weight and then punched a hole in the plastic lid just enough to fit a miniature American flag through. I hoped that the waving of Old Glory would keep the eager robin away, and the lid and can would keep the top of the vent covered and inaccessible to the robin. So far it has worked.
Each time I go outside, I check to make sure that the little flag is waving and no grass has been placed in or around the can on the vent.
I still see robins out and about, bouncing and bobbing right along on the green, green grass of home, and I’m pretty sure that one is nesting in the big evergreen as before.
But wherever they are, I wish them and their babies well–Just not next to our deck and on our fireplace vent!