Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A little patience required

We were so disappointed that Henry and Margaret decided not to make their home with us this year. We love and miss them. How fickle they are, not to choose us again this year, after we made them so welcome. We are, however, not bereft of wildlife. We have many of these:

At the beginning of spring, we decided we would try TruGreen. All of our neighbors have lawns that look like golf courses. Ours...does not. TruGreen came at the beginning of April and did their magic. We thought they were weed-and-feeding, but that application was just fertilizer--weed killer isn't applied until Mid-May, and you won't see results for three weeks. Consequently, we have the healthiest dandelions, clover, and creeping Charlie in three counties, and we're sure all the neighbors are gossiping about us. It is glorious to behold, and the rabbits are in heaven. Anything we can do to help, bunnies.

A couple weeks ago though, Darren bought me a birdbath with robins on it, since I love robins. We've had a lot of fun bird-watching, and a couple days ago discovered the payoff in our little apple tree near the driveway:

I told the girls, and they were so excited. Yesterday morning before school, Lucy ran out so she could see the nest.

"Don't get too close, and DON'T touch the branches," I told her.

Three seconds later I looked out and saw her pulling on the branches. I watched dumbfounded for a second and then heard a robin screeching loudly at her.

"LUCY!" I shrieked out the screen door at the top of my lungs, "What are you doing? What are you thinking? I told you not to touch the branches!" Too late I remembered that just the day before our pastor preached about having patience, and also now all the neighbors can hear what a sweet mom I am. At least they'll stop gossiping about the yard for a minute.

Lucy came in, dragging her feet.

"I don't get it--didn't I just tell you, 'Don't touch the branches'?" I demanded.

"I just wanted to touch the branches," she replied.

Oh. Well, alright then.

"That robin was MAD at you, Lucy," Elaine reported. "He went 'eee eee eee'!"

This sounded remarkably like the robin did and also like the theme music from Psycho.

I tried to remember patience, especially when teaching my children, and tried to dial it back a bit.

"The robins don't know that you don't want to hurt them, Luce," I said. "You're so much bigger than they are, and they're protective of their babies. I know you'd like to see them, but you have to give them their space. Otherwise, they might leave their nest all together because they got so frightened."

"I didn't want to scare them," she said softly. "I just want to be their friend."

Fortunately, all yesterday and today, the robin has remained on her nest, and the girls have respected her area. Her husband bathes in the birdbath and plucks worms out of our healthy, weed-infested backyard. All is well. We'll be having a baby shower for them soon.

And in case you were wondering and I'm sure you were, their names are Frank and Eleanor.


Mae said...

I had to laugh about your dandelions. Our neighbors' yards that join the side of our house and our backyard are dandelion free and I keep looking out the window at our dandelions and do hope they won't call the dandelion police on us. I went out yesterday and clipped (with my hands) the tops of the yellow dandelions in the backyard, but didn't do it to the front (just to much work).

Melanie said...

Love it! Yeah, dandelions are all the neighbors are talking about here, too. All the neighbors across the street are dandelion free so now everyone on our side is giving up their prejudices against fertilizer and I think we are too. It's been interesting to discuss the dandelions with Cole. I love that you have a little robin family now! Congrats!