Wednesday, May 18, 2011


One chance flutter and I think the porch project – my top priority porch project, the one that was to give us days of outdoor life in the heavily buggy months of July and August, has bitten the dust.

I wake up to a drizzle. Fine. I had a beautiful day yesterday, time for the rains now – good for the earth, good for my work, too.

And still, it is a lovely, dreamy world out there. I look out the kitchen/dining window, past the porch. The lilacs are gently arched, dripping lightly on the flowers below. In the background, the crab apple is a glorious fanfare of blossoms.


Then, the flutter. I look up at the porch eaves. There’s an old nest up there. Is it being revamped? No – you’ll notice this about birds and wasps – they like the fresh and honest. They’ll build their own rather than move into something already there.

But a few feet away, in one of the free corners, a robin is at it. Building.


Oh dear. If there is one thing I know about my landlord is that he will not exclude animal life to make his own world (or mine) more comfortable. Screening the porch while a robin is nesting there? It won’t happen.

Of course, my landlord is also frugal. He dislikes waste and unnecessary acquisitions. Perhaps I should stay quiet and wait until he purchases the nonrefundable screening materials...

Nah. He’ll just hold off building anything until next year. Or the year after. Or whenever robins quit mounting nests in the eaves of the porch.


But as the morning progresses, I notice that the robin has abandoned construction. As if the mortgage was denied after all. A robin nest foreclosure? What happened?

I open the front door. Isis is poking around. Good old mice chasing Isis, who just two days ago left half a critter for us to admire on the wood chipped path.

And there you have it. Now that there are people in the farmhouse and a cat lurking, the porch eave values may have plummeted for the robins out there.

Cats, mice, robins, people. You help one, you kick out the other. Sad how that works.