Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The little bird who could

(Dark-eyed junco nest on the right front tire of my Elantra)

This is my favorite time of year, primarily because migrant birds are returning, and breeding has begun.  Dark-eyed Juncos are now in the woods all around my house, males are singing, and their hormones are raging.  I parked our Elantra in the driveway yesterday and, this morning, a junco was building its nest on top of the right front tire.  The nest is comprised of long strands of dried grass.  I felt badly about it, but I can't let that car sit there for the next month while the bird finishes its nesting cycle.  So I drove to town, which obviously destroyed the starter nest (I have to actually say that the nest was destroyed, for the economists who might be reading this blog).
When I returned home I parked the car in the same place.  Within two hours, the bird was busy building a nest in the exact location on the tire again.  I promptly removed the material, hoping that this junco gets the message: you will not be successful building your nest on a car's wheel.

Usually any bird's nest that is disturbed early in the cycle, like this one was, is enough to cause the bird to change locations immediately.  Once the female is incubating, she will rarely abandon a nest unless it is completely destroyed.  So I was surprised that this bird, probably the female, tried to build in the same place, given that the first attempt was obliterated.

A few years ago, we had a pair of juncos build a nest on a ledge in our garage.  We normally keep the garage doors closed, so we kept trapping the birds inside.  I gave up, left the doors open, and they fledged several young.

Notice also, that the Korean Hyundai was parked next to the American Jeep.  The junco chose the Korean car over the American.  Could juncos be used by the American automotive industry to decide what the public will choose to buy in the future?  Could they be used to help us decide who the next Super Bowl winner will be?  Or American Idol?  Food for thought.

In the end, I wish her well.  May your babies grow and thrive----------elsewhere.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Royal Wedding and Us

(DrTom was asked to give the bride away at the Royal Wedding, but the bride's father insisted that he do it.  So DrTom stayed home with his wife.)

About a week ago, Management had the bright idea that we should attend the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.  I had not remembered receiving my royal invitation, so I looked all over the house for it.  I found a number of old lottery tickets, a couple of laundry receipts, and a key I had been looking for in pockets of my jackets, but no wedding invite.

Then, she explained that we were not actually going to the wedding, but we would attend it remotely in my den by watching it on our flat-screen tv.  However, we would dress appropriately for the occasion, as if we were actually there.  So I set the alarm for 4am, we arose, dressed, and laid out scones and coffee and a bottle of champagne.

Below are some of the photos taken of us by the paparazzi.

DrTom in his tux (yes, I actually own one), with champagne in hand.

Management, sporting the Fascinator hat she fashioned from items she had around the house, which are attached to a paper plate.  As cheap as this hat was to make, it was not the worst looking hat at the wedding.  (See Fergie's daughter)

Kate had asked me to give her away, but I couldn't make the affair in person.  I, in turn, asked her father if he would do the honor.  He reluctantly agreed.

These events often make me weepy.  I love weddings!
Management and I finished off a bottle of champagne before 6am, which is a first for us.  Did I mention that I love weddings?