A finch family is building a nest on the patio off my kitchen. The mom & pop duo fly to the rain gutters together, then mom swoops down and goes to work with the building materials in her beak. Pop stays up top – to keep watch I guess – chattering and hopping back and forth until she returns. Then off they go again. Not quite an even distribution of labor if you ask me, but it seems to work for them.
Two pillars over, a robin has built a nest on a narrow four inch ledge. Each time I go by to water the flower pots, Mom flies away to the nearby tree and waits for me to finish. She has never scolded me – but you should have seen her chase, screech, and literally attack two magpies that happened into the yard. No contest. Robin – 1, Magpies – 0. If I watch from the office window, I see the three hungry mouths reaching up for the worms and insects she brings them. Why that nest doesn’t fall down, I don’t know, but Mom Robin seems confident they will stay perched up there.
Fat bunnies have reduced the sedum, Hens & Chicks, and blue fescue to memories in my garden. Oh well. Peter and his brothers are happy. The deer discovered my Yucca are blooming for the first time since I planted them six years ago. Besides being tasty – they must be packed full of protein!
I hope I am developing upper body strength as I lop and limb the lower branches of the Ponderosa Pine and Gamble Oak around my house. That job will keep me busy for years. Good fire mitigation suggests you remove all of the ladder fuels around the base of the trees. Close to the house, say for 100 feet or so, that is wise, but further out those shrubs provide a lot of habitat for the forest animals. What is a forest without animals? As in all of life – finding the balance is the key. Happy July! Oh, and by the way, it rained! Hallelujah.