Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm like a bird

Our house was previously owned by a childless (oh my god. maybe the house is making me infertile!) older couple who gardened like it was their job.

Then, the husband got sick and died and the wife got dementia and let everything in the yard go to crap. We've been in the house almost 4 years now and it is a constant battle to keep invasive vegetation from taking over. I am not a gardener! I'm more a concrete jungle kind of gal, and I have absolutely no base knowledge of anything plant related. Seriously. I got The Idiot's Guide to Gardening and it's too fucking advanced for me. There are days when I stare out at the yard, in my gardening get-up, trying to figure out what the hell to do, and what tool to use to do it, and then I go inside and fix myself a nice cocktail. Or three.

Anyway, Hubby and I have this week off because we really need some time away from work, and we really really need to tackle some serious house projects, including the yard. (And what are we doing this fine morning? I'm writing and he's sleeping. Productive indeed.) He got started on Saturday while I was at work and took down a rotting, swaying pergola attached to our garage that had probably been up since the dawn of time.

I didn't know he was going to do it, and if I had, I probably would have convinced him not to. I know that it really needed to come down before it collapsed onto the dogs. I get it.

But it had become the perfect nesting place for some birds. They constructed a nest under the overhang from the garage. They made a home there last summer, and we watched them raise their babies and taunt our dogs, who really haven't figured out that they can't fly, and will never be able to jump high enough to snag a critter that can. And then the birds came back this year.

Hubby was worried because the thing was so damned rickety, and the dogs were trying to climb it to get to it's residents. So he took the pergola down, and the little nest with it.

There were two eggs in that nest.

And now the momma bird sits on my garage, staring at the spot where her nest used to be, looking for her soon to be babies. She makes me so sad, that poor little momma, because I get it. I know what it's like to do everything right, and lose your babies anyway.

Maybe I'm anthropomorphizing. Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to avoid being outside and doing yardwork. But still, whenever I see her, my heart aches.


  1. I enjoy reading your posts. I love the way you write. It may have been unintentional, but you made me chuckle when you talked about how your dogs have yet to figure out that they can't fly.
    (The Idiot's Guide to Gardening being too advanced was a good one, also).

    What you described about the momma bird is exactly how I'd feel. It would break my heart. (((HUGS)))

  2. I can't garden to save my life so our backyard is now a nice little stretch of soil.

    (((hugs))) about the mother bird. I was watching meerkat manor and had to stop because it was so sad.


  3. My gardening issues are the opposite of yours. We moved into a totally bare lot (it used to be a trucking company before they built a house here) and I keep trying to spruce it up. Unfortunately, my "flower garden" is in rows (being the good math teacher I am) and I the only vegetable I've been successful with is tomatoes, and too much so of that.

    In term of the bird, I am starting to believe I empathize more with animals than with people... So even if I wasn't infertile, I think I probably would have cried over that poor bird losing her nest.


  4. This is an incredibly touching post. Bird eggs are a weird subject for me too- I'm at once fascinated by their color, their shape, their tiny size, but I understand the weight of that symbol on my own heart. Really beautiful post.
    ~Miriam (ICLW #2)

  5. Oh my :( That would upset me too.

    I love gardening but I have avoided doing anything to my husband's grandfather's yard until recently. There is just so much to do. I finally started my doing it bit by bit. It won't be perfect for a long (long, long, long) time but it's good to have little milestones...


  6. you know what i would so be aching with her too. you are a trip girl and made me laugh my ass off today and towards teh end of thispost tear up alittle. adding u to my bloglist now. happy iclw.

  7. What a thoughtful post... made me chuckle and made me sigh.

    And I can totally identify with the lack of gardening genes. Every year I try try try to grow herbs and every year, I kill them within days of transplanting them outside.


  8. I know nothing of gardening either, and my hubby doesn't know anything of handiwork. We teeter totter on whether a house is even a good idea for us! Happy ICWL!

  9. I love to garden, but to my chagrin, I don't have a truly green thumb, in spite of my efforts.

    I'm sorry about the little bird. I would be sad too. :(

  10. This absolutely broke my heart. :,(

  11. I feel for that mama bird. We had a bird family on my balcony and they drove us crazy, but I toughed it out until those babies left the nest.
    The next spring those birds were back and rebuilding in the same spot. I immediately put a stop to their building. They tried another spot in another of my flower pots. It took me a full week to convince them to build elsewhere. I didn't want to have to hurt their little home if they got too far in the construction.
    The symbolism at that time was not lost.

    (from the creme)