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Crazy Packing Frenzy

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Just a few notes...We're packing for an epic trip over to Maryland and Delaware, to see my mom and sister's family, and to play music for what promises to be the sweetest and most fun-loving wedding ever--that of our dear friends Jeff Gordon and Liz Bennett DeLuna. On the Delaware shore, amid the salt marshes. Our wedding present to them is putting together a four-piece band and playing for the rehearsal dinner and afterparty. The last time Bill and I played together was in West Virginia, and we're really ready to lay down some music. So there will probably be a four-day hiccup in the blog, but do check, because we may get a chance to check in from there.
I got my phoebes baffled. They're safe from snakes and coons now. I've tried a variety of baffle systems for these obstinate birds, who flirt with nesting on all the safe little shelves we've erected, but always choose the relay box for DirecTV. You can see the little mossy nest atop the gray box with the black cord coming out of it. Which would be fine, but it's just too easy for a rat snake to go up the gutter, or come down from the deck above. As I think about it, I think phoebes like a low overhang--a narrow space above the nest. And all our shelves have ten inches or more clearance. They like feeling hidden and inaccessible, even if they aren't. The first year they nested on the direct box, I tried an overturned wastebasket baffle on the downspout. A five-foot rat snake just went out and over it and ate the babies when they were four days old. So last year I hit on this ridiculous-looking arrangement. Man, it's fugly, but it works.
This past weekend, I dug all the holes for the tomatoes, peppers, and basil. I climbed into our fetid awful compost pit and dug out the really ripe, nasty stuff, crawling with worms and mango seed pits and liquefied ears of corn and nameless gook that smells like manure and vomit all mixed together...and put a big shovel full of that into the bottom of each tomato hole. Tomatoes love to put their toes in that stuff. I couldn't set anything out, because the last two nights, it has gone down to 32 and 37 degrees, respectively. Disgusting for late May, but there it is. Here are the holes, waiting. I planted everything out today. Whee!
Five years ago, while visiting my brother and his wife in Raleigh, NC, I dug up three little red mulberry saplings from his backyard. I took three, because this tree is dioecious, and needs a male and female to produce fruit. Well, they finally bloomed this spring. One is a male, long catkins spewing pollen. One hasn't decided its sexual orientation yet; the deer chewed on it and upset it and it's sulking. The third and finest is a female! Here are her fruits! She's loaded! She's right in front of the kitchen picture window, so we can watch the birds flock in to take them. How exciting. She's also going to hang over my greenhouse and drop berry juice all over it. Oh well. That's why we have hoses.
And because I know you are all baby bird junkies now, here are some tender sweet three-day-old tree swallows. So delicate and transparent--swallows are delightful. I serve them on crackers.


Baby birds...then and now. I hope your birthday was full of delight. You are spread delight...delight. Thanks for your friendship. Be well and happy.

Posted by Anonymous July 26, 2011 at 7:38 PM
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