Tag Archives: Cats

Grandbirds!

Nestbuilding robins need a blueprint.

During the COVID shutdown, Hubby and I discovered weird vandals had swathed our garage light with dead tiger lily leaves.

“You never know how quarantine boredom will affect some people,” he said.

Eventually, we discovered Courtney, a robin, wasn’t bored. She was constructing a nest.

She and Jason, her mate, must have flunked Nestbuilding 101. Their shapeless leaf pile dangled halfway to the ground.

Image by annca from Pixabay.

No eggs or nestlings fell. Still, we felt sorry for the hardworking couple. Hopefully, they’d consult a new architect before trying that blueprint again.

“Looks like we hung shrunken heads on the garage,” I observed.

Eventually, the robins’ mess toppled.

Instead, Courtney and Jason built another amorphous mound of lily leaves, topped by a tipsy nest.

We held our breath as Courtney settled in. Don’t lean to the right! Or left! No heavy lifting. Raise your feet so they won’t swell!

Mama robin broods her eggs in the tipsy nest.

Courtney took on a new-mama look: frazzled and frumpy, with missing feathers she’d worked into her nest. She probably couldn’t stand Jason, debonair in his neat, black-and-red suit. You did this to me!

Still, Jace babysat eggs and brought food to his grouchy spouse.

We grandparents-to-be grudgingly admitted the garage-light choice made sense. Under an overhang, the birds escaped bad weather. A perfect distance from the ground and roof, their abode protected them from interested neighborhood cats.

Those kids were smarter than we thought.

For Courtney, 14 days on the nest probably seemed like 14 years.

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.

Then, it happened.

Hubby yelled, “Jason’s pecking at the nest!”

Our worry changed to celebration. Three tiny, wide-open beaks clamored for Daddy Jason’s tasty victual.

“Ya-ay-ay! Triplets!”

We did the Grandma-and-Grandpa Dance.

Unsure of their gender, we named the babies Ellie, Nellie and Belly — the last, the pushiest at dinnertime.

Success! Despite the messy precarious nest, the robins raised three babies.

Their parents, making 100 trips a day to find food, didn’t care about their children’s preferences: “What, you think this is McDonald’s? Eat!”

They did. A lot.

Soon, they crowded the nest as if in the back seat of a VW Beetle. Before long, the triplets left home.

Impossible! A little sad. But even nasty viruses couldn’t banish our smiles as we witnessed that shiny, brand-new life. How glad we were that Courtney and Jason moved into our neighborhood!

Though, about that nest blueprint, kids. Maybe you should check out different ones the next time?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have birds squatted on your property?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Love Me, Love My Pets

O Lord, You know I adore my grandchildren. Hence, I’ve also learned to enjoy granddogs and grandcats. But OMG, it took me awhile before I petted the grandrats.   

Why I Am a Plant Person

Before pet owners condemn me to deep doo-doo, please believe that I hold the utmost respect for animal lovers. They invest enormous amounts of time, money and love in their animal buds. One friend even shares hot fudge sundaes with her German shepherd.

I’d share with my husband. On his birthday. But with a dog?

Sorry. I don’t get it.

Yes, God made sure Noah took animals aboard the Ark, though it soon would rain cats and dogs. However, plants would have required feeding only once every two weeks. The family wouldn’t have shoveled nearly as many, um, by-products.

But the Lord counted on plants to take care of themselves — a big reason I’m a plant person.

My dear, departed fern was named Carolyn.

I’ve never paper-trained a plant. They don’t nudge me at 5 a.m. to go outside. They don’t bark or jump on guests. Plants don’t lick.

I haven’t lost a single new shoe to a plant’s fangs. Nor does my fern, unlike my daughter’s dog, shred the family’s underwear. If a plant outgrows its space, I can trim it. A plant will even hold still. (Just try this with a Lab.) I don’t scour neighborhoods for runaway plants or pay hefty shelter fees to bail them out. No vet appointments inflate my budget.

Unlike horses, they cannot kick me in the head.

Plants never eye me with the “Oh, is that you, peasant?” stare favored by most felines.

My black-eyed Susans and tiger lilies engage in leaf-to-leaf combat for dominance, but they never yowl under my window during the wee hours.

Plants even diminish carbon dioxide and add oxygen to the air. Animals? The reverse.

Admittedly, plants are not perfect. While they don’t bite, some boast nasty thorns. My child preferred to teethe on poisonous ones.

Plants shed, but their shedding is localized. I don’t find a thousand leaves stuck to my Sunday morning attire.

Plants also can be fussy as your Aunt Prilla Lou. They readily lay on wilt-guilt when I subject them to too much sun, not enough sun, too much moisture, not enough. Despite my friend’s assertion that “you can’t kill herbs,” I am a serial basil killer.

That’s the biggest reason I am a plant person. I grieve the herbs I kill and the poinsettias that shrivel, but I rarely shed tears for them. I never conduct plant funerals, as I did for our children’s hamsters, ceremonies so numerous the neighbors suspected a cult.

Hats off to folks who not only risk tears, but share sundaes with animal buds.

Still, unless my daffodils ask outright for a taste, I’ll handle hot fudge by myself.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a plant or animal person? Both?