Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Bird Motel and Birthing Center
We have a large handmade grapevine star hanging over our front door, between the first and second levels of the house. Around holiday time, Johnnie gets up there and fixes all the bulbs that have broken or don't work by that time of the year. It stays up all year because (a) it's too darned hard to move it after the holidays are over (b) we kinda like the looks of it all year round, as it's not a perfectly symmetrical star but sort of carefree (c) it's better for grapevine to stay out in the weather so it doesn't dry out (d) the neighborhood sparrows use it for nests and shelter all year around. The picture above is, of course, a close up of the star and it looks less awkward and ungainly from the street. It's wonderful when it's lit at night.
The birds also use it to keep their babies safe in the springtime. It's been lovely waking up in the morning to all those little peeping voices asking for their next meal from the Mom and/or Dad birds. They birthed a nest full of babies (or maybe there are several nests in there, it's hard to tell but the star is roughly four to five feet square so there's plenty of room) earlier in the spring and there's another batch that hatched just recently so the tiny peeping is going full strength again.
When Johnnie and I were working at full time jobs, we used to get up early in the morning and walk. We'd pass some bushes or trees that were chock full of awakening birds chirping like crazy. We called them birdie motels so I think of our star as a birdie motel and birthing center since we're definitely increasing the population of sparrows in our area.