Saturday, May 24, 2014

Critters and a craftsman

Yesterday afternoon I was puttering around on the front porch, arranging chairs and thinking about how things would look to prospective buyers.    I looked up over the door I'd just walked through and  saw the newest member of the farm, preparing to leave us.

It was a baby Phoebe bravely looking over the side of its soft mossy nest.  To my uneducated eye, it didn't look like it had enough feathers to be contemplating  first flight, but.....what do I know!

It blinked blandly and watched me move things around.   I called up to Dave (you guessed it - painting upstairs) to come and see the baby.   By the time he got downstairs, the deed was done.   The nest was empty and the wee one was crouched down in the garden, peeping loudly.

Dave quickly went out to pick it up and return it to the nest but by the time he got to the front garden it was gone again.   Ok, maybe it was ready to fledge.

It had managed to fly (I use the term loosely) up into a nearby Dogwood tree and it sat there as if trying to figure out what to do next.

mom watches from the fence finial

Mom stayed close, talking calmly to her child.    This morning they were both gone.  So glad I was able to watch.

So, today Dave put down the paint brush and turned his considerable talents to repairing a bit of the wear and tear from almost 38 years of our wonderful animals.  Today it was the mullion in one of the  kitchen windows that a young and energetic Sasha bit vigorously.  Couldn't really blame her, it was our fault for giving her the run of the house while we were gone - she obviously wasn't in control of her youthful exuberance.    We were lucky she didn't go right through the glass.

So many remnants of animals gone by.....a lightly chewed den coffee table leg, a few teeth marks in the baseboard behind the toilet (don't ask), some scratches in the door to the garage, courtesy of my dear devoted Golden, Nordic.  Not much trouble for all the memories.

The barn holds scars of its previous inhabitants too.   Impatient pawing made dents in the stall floors - "where is our dinner"! Marks on the sliding doors from long white teeth  telling us it was time to go out, telling us not to walk so close, telling us to not feed "her" first, streaks of gooey meds. on the wall, where I wiped off what was spit back out at me.   Long blonde and red mane and tail hairs stuck on the rough wood of the huge vertical beams - itchy necks and butts.  Sounds nasty, but it wasn't.   Every mark makes me smile now.

a man in his workshop

hands of a craftsman

Lewis....what a character he is.   He is loving the freedom of the huge backyard.   So much to patrol, so much to watch, so much grass to run and roll and romp in.   Today, at cocktail hour, he discovered the chipmunk that lives in the downspout.   The chippy wasn't happy about his discovery.

Sasha waits in the background until something actually happens

Mr. Chippy squeals and Lewis barks - back and forth they go...
Oh Joy!

cocktails in the clouds


  1. You have such a lovely way with words and memories! So glad you got to see the Phoebe fledge!

  2. That is a beautiful nest. I've never seen made of moss like that. How neat you got to the Phoebe take the big leap.

    I am sure getting the property ready for sale is bitter sweet:)

    Love Mr. Lewis! That poor chipper doesn't know what it is up against.

  3. That Phoebe really doesn't look like he has enough feathers to fly. Lewis is just a hoot to watch, thanks for the pictures.

  4. The little bird story was so sweet. Maybe it's a metaphor for your own time drawing near to leave the nest of the farm.

    I was quite moved by the images of all the scars left by your beloved pets and the thought of Dave cleaning them up one by one. It reminds me of not wanting to wash the little handprints off our windows after the grandkids visited.

    Cocktails in the clouds--glad to see blue sky!

  5. Seeing a bird leave the nest for the first time is always a great joy, one we loved to watch with the hummers and the quail in Arizona when we lived there. Your home sounds so lovely, I can see why it is so difficult to contemplate a sale.

  6. My thoughts were the same as Big EZ - witnessing the leaving of the nest was no accident. Mane and tail hair stuck in the paddock fence, and stall walls worn smooth and shiny from years of butt-scratching - thanks for the great memories of our old barn and the critters it housed. The best cocktails are enjoyed outdoors with a silly dog as entertainment!

  7. What a sweet little bird, and your last photo is breathtaking!

  8. I love the the baby Phoebe story, so sweet and if I was there I would also squeal with delight. That is a great capture of the mommy watching her kid from afar. I sense that although you are busy pattering around you are having a great time :)
    Sue, your sunset capture is breathtaking. Love it.