Archive for the ‘Birds & Birding’ Category

I did it!

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I finally managed to pull up the blinds in the morning without scaring all the birds away from the feeders.

Normally the cats are looking at me like “gee, thanks, dumbass.” Now they’re entranced by the dozens and dozens of birds on the ground and on the feeders.

Hey, it’s the little things.

Two more to add to my magazine addic-… er, collection

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

One of the things that intrigues me about magazines is that, taken as a set, the magazines you bother to subscribe to have an awful lot to say about who you are and what you’re passionate about. Of course, not all of our passions have publications dedicated to them, but you might be surprised how many do.

For example, I just stumbled across two magazines I didn’t know existed and now I’m really psyched about: Birds & Blooms, which “celebrates the joys of attracting birds and tending to beautiful backyard flower gardens” and Wild Bird, which provides “fascinating information about birds and birding from your own backyard to touring hotspots in the field.”

Did I subscribe? Oh heck yes, I most definitely subscribed. OK, I don’t know that I’m quite enough of a bird lover to get into the whole “touring hotspots in the field” thing, but I’m definitely excited about bird-attracting gardens. And yes, I already have subscriptions to a bunch of gardening-related magazines, and occasionally they have articles about attracting birds and butterflies, but these! These are dedicated to attracting and admiring birds. Hee! I’m actually giddy about it. (Don’t tell Karsten, though. He’ll roll his eyes about me signing up for yet more magazines.)

Now the trick is to actually find the time to read the magazines. Because see, that’s the other interesting thing about magazines. They seem to represent our best selves: what we, in an ideal world, would be paying attention to. Instead of leaving to pile up in a corner.

I kid! I really do read my magazines. Most of them. Most of the time. OK, sometimes. But I mean to read them! What kind of obsessive nut would sign up for a whole bunch of stuff she knows she isn’t going to have time to read? What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Birds took out our power.

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Our area lost power for a while last night. Turns out it was birds. Weird.

ETA: Oh, and I also want to say that people have no freakin’ clue how to drive when the power is out. When stoplight intersections have no power, people barrel right through. We had to drive out of the neighborhood to find food, and it was a white-knuckle experience getting through the intersections. Idiots.

My life is forever changed

Friday, June 15th, 2007

I’ve just seen the cutest bird ever. (I tried to get a picture, but it was all a blur.) That is all.

I can’t think of a subject stupid enough

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

I backed out of the backyard into the alley this morning — naturally, we’re parking out back these days — and was detoured when I got to the end of the alley by Morgan Park Place construction blocking my normal route out to I-65. So I didn’t drive by the front of our house, as I like to do each morning.

Ten minutes later, I got a call from Karsten asking if I’d driven by the front of the house this morning. Strange that he should ask, I thought. No, why?

Well, apparently, someone nicked seven boxwoods from our front yard garden.

Let me just repeat that. Some clever burglar determined it worth his or her while to yank boxwood shrubs out of our garden. Small ones! I mean, have you seen our garden? I’m definitely not claiming it’s the most splendorous garden in all of the South or anything, but it’s got some pretty nice plants in it. The underwhelming hedge we’ve been attempting to grow with a bunch of young boxwood plants is pretty much the least appealing thing in the yard. And this wasn’t just a random act of boredom — someone took the time to grab seven of these things.

Now of course after explaining all of that, I’ll admit that I’m now dreading the disappearance of nicer plants in the garden — they’re sure to be the next to go.

Karsten and I have been told by folks who’ve lived in the neighborhood for a while that plant thefts used to be more common when some vendors at the Farmer’s Market used to buy plants from folks off the street to resell them, no questions asked. We’ve heard that this practice has been discontinued, so I have no idea what the boxwood thief is planning to do with the young shrubs. By ripping them out of the ground as he or she apparently did, the thief probably shocked them enough that they won’t do well when replanted (especially since pretty much all vegetation is still in recovery mode from the Great Easter Freeze), so if the idea was to plant the boxwoods, it’s not likely to be a happy outcome. Maybe I’m mean-spirited, but somehow that makes me feel a little better.

Also worth noting is that, a few weeks ago, someone apparently stole a young but still pretty large tree from the front yard of the house next door (which is for sale — the missing tree was noticed about an hour before they were having an open house). Earlier that day, I’d seen a guy riding by on a bike carrying a shovel. Not to say that’s related, but it could be. Apparently it wouldn’t be the first plant theft in the neighborhood involving a getaway bike, believe it or not.

We were already planning to install a period-appropriate iron hoop-and-spear fence, but all this makes me want to get right on it. (We already have enough motivation because of the bird feeders that keep getting stolen.) Karsten’s calling the guy today to see when we could get started.

Bird feeders stolen AGAIN - email to our neighbors

Sunday, June 25th, 2006

Germantown & Salemtown friends,

After losing several bird feeders to theft a few months ago and taking elaborate measures to secure what remained, this morning Karsten and I discovered our bird feeder pole and remaining feeders were gone. Not only gone, but the thief or thieves apparently got frustrated trying to remove them intact and bent the pole back and forth to break it off near the ground.

And actually, we were forewarned: yesterday we found that a small feeder had been stolen from the south side of the house, and the handle on one of the secured feeders in the front yard was twisted, as if someone had tried to break it off from the pole.

Not only are we frustrated at the property loss (the last theft included about $60 worth of feeders — this time, the dollar value is more like $150), but it’s upsetting on a much more significant level: the feeders were a memorial of sorts to my father, who always loved feeding the birds in his own yard.

Anyway, I filed a police report, and I’m letting you all know so you can be aware of the trend. You probably already know to secure your possessions, but here’s a disappointing reminder to be extra cautious.

Take care and be safe,

- Kate O’ at [home address]