Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Porch Guests

I'm writing this on Tuesday, which is a beautiful day thus far: comfortable, sunny, a bit breezy. I'm dying to go out on the back porch and sit at my space on the picnic table and write or draw or something. But I have a guest.

Last week a pair of robins built a nest in our extending ladder out on the porch. Since Monday they've been sitting, in turns, on that nest, making it difficult for me to get out there without disturbing them. I managed to hang laundry on the line while the male was away for a few minutes, but he was back when I finished, so I carefully walked around the shed so I wouldn't pass the nest directly, put my basket down, and went back into the house. He stayed put. When I stepped out from the back door a bit later to try to take a picture of him, he flew a few feet away, stood on the porch railing and hollered at me. I quietly apologised and went back into the house. Ten minutes later he was back on the nest.

I love having a nest of robin eggs on the porch. We get a robin family almost every spring or summer, and it's fascinating to watch the birds build the nest, sit on the eggs, and hatch the babies, who grow from naked, pink blobs with huge closed eyes to furry-looking fledglings to juvenal birds who fly from the nest before more than a couple of weeks have passed.

I would really like to go sit outside on the porch this morning, but I don't want the robins to regard my porch as a dangerous place. I don't know if they'd abandon the nest, but I don't want to chance it. There were three beautiful blue robin eggs in the nest yesterday, and there may be more in there now. Soon the porch will be filled with the sounds of hungry hungry robin chicks, who are really quite loud when they think Mom or Dad is nearby with some food.

So I suppose I'll leave the porch to the birds for the moment. After all, in no time at all the chicks will be grown and then I'll have the porch to myself again. In the meantime I can enjoy having a little bit of nature up close and personal. It's a gift I appreciate.

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