For the Birds

While not as showy as a Cardinal, she is spunky -
While not as showy as a Cardinal, she is spunky –

By Mary Anna Violi | @Mary Anna Violi

One of my favorite Sunday indulgences is to sit with my large gingham printed cup of green tea on the wicker sofa with the plush blue and green print cushion, reading the Sunday New York Times.  Having been out-of-town over the course of the past several weekends, I have not been able to satisfy my Sunday morning ritual.  However, on this leisurely morning, I thought I was back on track.

Our front porch, which wraps around part of the front of a 1928 story-and-a-half bungalow house, is in the shape of a square.  White PVC railing surrounds it and the front steps. Coordinating caramel colored faux wicker furniture consisting of said sofa, two chairs with slightly rolled arms, and a side table that actually sits between the chairs and the sofa complete the look.  The wicker table sits atop a small blue and cream outdoor rug; between the chairs stands a round flamingo tiled table with black wrought iron legs. Hanging ferns surround the porch adding an airy 1920’s vibe.  Since the porch faces east, morning is the best time to enjoy the porch.

With green gingham mug in hand, and bowl of Greek yogurt because probiotics are good for us, and fresh strawberries and honey, I collected the New York Times, watered the printed pot of pink Gerbera daisies on the side table, and prepared to park myself on the porch.  Glancing at the ferns, I realized I had best hydrate them immediately.  I gingerly poured water into the side of the large fern above the wicker chairs.  Suddenly, four small birds came flying out of the fern, chirping frantically and flapping their wings as if our two indoor cats had been let loose.

Weeks ago little brown mama’s eggs had hatched.  It had been at least two weeks since she had raised a ruckus as I crossed the porch to retrieve the mail. I assumed the birds had vacated the center of that particular fern.  How wrong I was!  For some years a verdigris rectangular planter was hung with three small pots of flowers off the back door steps.  Each spring a bird would set up housekeeping in that planter with her little blue eggs.  Every time we opened the back door, the bird could come flying in our face.  After taking it up with committee, I decreed no longer would we hang small flowerpots in that planter in the interest of preserving ourselves from bodily harm.  Consequently, I had moved the verdigris planter to the front porch.  Again, the birds nested there.  Stepping out on the porch one day, I saw what we refer to as the Baby Bird Massacre:  A villainous Blue Jay had pecked the young birds to death. This year I hung an artsy three-dimensional star instead, in honor of my daughter’s Fourth of July birthday, and to encourage the birds to seek another domicile.  Clever little birds that they are, they nested in the center of the large front porch fern.  Blue Jays had not nested in the neighborhood this spring.  However, a rabbit has set up residence in our backyard.  It is nice to be greeted by Cottontail each evening when I return from work.  At least the rabbit does not fly into my face.

Ciao for now.

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