Guests and the Evening

We have two birds’ nests in the downspout of our gutters. One is at the back of the house, in a very safe location. We just leave them alone every year, and we get a good view of the hatchlings as a result.

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The other nest is in the downspout next to our raspberry and blackberry canes. We have to put up netting to keep the birds out, and so the last thing I really want is to enclose them in the netting. With the blackberries blooming, it’s only a matter of time before we start putting the nets back up.

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My first effort to evict them was a failure: I put nails in a board, much like anti-pigeon devices one might find in cities, and set the board in the downspout. They build around it. So I’ve been going out and knocking the nest down, hoping they’ll get the hint. But they’re stubborn and rebuild. I took some bleach water while they were out and soaked the nest, thinking the odor would repel them. It did, for a while.

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I’ve got another solution in mind, but in the meantime, I just go out and knock the nest down before they really settle in. “Just leave them alone,” K says, but it’s a battle I will win.

So the day begins with an eviction, and then another battle: thick, long, heavy grass. The Boy comes running up, walking beside me as I struggle with the tall grass before deciding to raise the mower deck to its highest level for an initial trim.

“I’m going to help you!” cries E, squeezing his way between me and the mower.

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It slows the process considerably, but it’s worth it. We work out a deal: he helps one direction, then races me back to the other end. We’re both happy with the compromise.

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After dinner, it’s time for a little exploring.

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The azaleas are in full bloom now, and the kids love picking up the fallen blossoms (and picking them from the bush if I don’t keep a close watch), so between the swing, the creek, and the blooms, it’s paradise.

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