The First Robin

Yesterday the telephone rang, a call from Lares. He spoke with Attila and gently asked if Attila could give him a hand removing the lathe and plaster from the new nursery. Attila had to work on Friday night, his sixth night of work, and had not slept at all when Lares called Saturday morning. So Attila slept for a few hours, then we packed our “work clothes” and headed over to Terra and Lares house.

Terra was sleeping, she is back at work, shift work. Attila and I changed into our work clothes, then Attila, Lares, and I went at the job in earnest. Attila and Lares with hammers and crow bars, and me with a shovel and broom. As they removed the plaster, I shovelled it into large construction grade plastic bags. There were around sixteen full bags of plaster to go the dump by the time we were finished, over half of which Lares had filled by himself, before we arrived. Then it was time to remove the lathe, which I could not help with, so I took myself off to sit in the kitchen with Terra, who had by this time arisen from her rest.

Terra and Lares are very content right now. They have wanted children for many years, and at last their dream is coming true.

Which brings me to this morning… Just after lunch Attila looked out the kitchen window into the back yard and spotted a Robin! Birds! The Robin was hopping underneath the Mugo Pine, where the snow has melted away, having a snack. Near the Robin, a female Cardinal was enjoying a similar repast. Chickadees swooped around the yard.

Later Attila was in the front yard and noticed that a very large branch on the Crabapple tree had snapped off, coming to rest on the branches below it. The wind was intense on Friday night, which is when the damage was done. We opened the front door so that I could see the tree and the branch, and observed a small Woodpecker perched near the break, obviously having some success in finding a meal under the bark.

It has been quite mild for the last few days, with temperatures as high as 7C. The snow is diminishing before our eyes.

The signs are clear, spring is on its way!

I have added a function to allow following comments. I hope it works!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 21 February 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 1.8°C
Dewpoint: -0.9°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: S 9 km/h

Quote

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.”
George Santayana
1863 – 1952

16 Comments

  1. It’s been a rather mild winter here for us, compared to last year’s horror story, but all the birds have been here the whole time. We put up a suet bird-feeder in our crabapple tree and the word has gotten out.. Food! Blue jays and sparrows and woodpeckers and others that I don’t know are all coming to our yard. Paul was leery about them wanting the suet, but they love it… We filled the bird baths also with fresh water… we’re pretending it’s spring here!

  2. WendyNC

    Robins have been and mostly gone here and it was almost 70F today. We’ll have some cooler days and some subfreezing nights yet, but the peepers are in full voice and winter is over here. Soon it will be hot!

  3. Maggie Turner

    Bex, a bird feeder is a great idea! We love the birds, but haven’t thought of a bird feeder, until now. Pretending its spring! We aren’t that far along yet, snow still covers the ground, and the weather people say that we will be getting more of it next weekend.

    I intend to pretend that it is spring as soon as we see the grass for a whole week!

  4. Maggie Turner

    Wendy, that sounds lovely, winter over! It is coming here, and after the gentle winter we have had, it isn’t all that hard to wait for it. Attila thinks this will be a hot dry summer, I hope it isn’t too hot, or too dry!

  5. I have removed lathe and plaster many years ago, and have never forgotten the mess and how we were all covered in white powder when we were done. Not fun! But so happy to read that spring is coming your way. Always a pleasure to see the first birds!

  6. Yes Diane, removing lathe and plaster is an unforgettable experience. My hair felt so terrible to the touch, that despite the itching, shudder, I would not touch my head. I rinsed my head in water when I first arrived home, and none of the dust came out, it was stuck to my hair securely. After shampooing three times, I finally got it all out. Now am using extra conditioner to try moisturize my hair, it is so dried out!

    It isn’t as bad as this job job though, demonstrated in Tony Robinson’s Worst Jobs in History: Medieval

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4tTUXdK7-0 See the job described at around 42 minutes into the video.

    At one point he states, “I’m losing the will to live.” I am so glad the kids aren’t going to be processing their own wool for cloth!!!

  7. NORA

    Hi Maggie,
    Nice to hear things are coming along with the nursery. I’ve never done that type of work before. Had no idea that is would adhere to hair like that. I guess a hat and a mask would help.

    We had a flock of robins here about a week ago. Now the temps are not as welcoming but I’m sure they’ll be back. Robins always remind me of spring. Some of the trees have blossoms on them.

    We’ve had a mild winter but discovered this apt. is not as easy as the last one to keep warm. Glad that we have a little faux fireplace that is a big help. The living room (where I live now) has high cathedral ceilings that just love to such us the warm air. I wonder why they are popular.

    Take good care.

  8. Hi Nora,

    I had no idea that my hair would collect the dust the way it did! If I had realized what it would do, I would have worn a hat, perhaps even a bathing cap. We all more breathing masks, heavy shoes, and safety goggles, at all times.

    I love the robins. They leave this Ontario for the winter as there is little food available for them here, due to the almost constant snow cover. So when they return in the spring it is a time for celebration. Blossoms!!! I grew up surrounded by orchards, and “Blossom Sunday” was an annual celebration. The sweet scented air was amazing at that time of year. Sadly, most of the orchards of my youth have been torn out for housing developments and wineries. Pavement and booze, instead of food.

    We had cathedral ceilings at the country house, and I did not like them for several reasons. It wasn’t cozy, and it could get very cold in the winter. Cathedral ceilings are quite beautiful, but I would prefer to live without them. We had a huge ceiling fan, which worked wonders bringing the heat down from the ceiling, where it collected while we sat below in the chill. I suppose in the hot weather they do let the heat rise in a room, but that hot air is vented to the outdoors, it wouldn’t be much of an advantage.

    Take care!

  9. It’s not exactly a bird feeder… it’s got a block of suet in it… well, it IS and it isn’t. There is no seed involved… just the block of suet. I’ve just ordered a pack of 12 suet blocks from amazn… the one we put in is gone – it lasted about 3 days. 😉

  10. Maggie, the suet is encased in a wire basket and it might be hard for squirrels to get at it. It’s just right for the birds to nibble with beaks… ours is all gone now so we await the new blocks in the post! I never saw a squirrel at ours… and we have tons of those cuties around here!

  11. NORA

    Sorry to be the dead head here but the squirrels will eat the suet unless they are different than the ones that live in NC. At first I had no problems but when the squirrels got wind of the suet they ate so much I had to stop feeding. They are such rascals!

  12. Well Wendy, they did eat through 2 inches of painted wood along side of our roof… your description seems accurate.

    I worked with a fellow who was Italian and had emigrated to Canada, as did many members of his family. He liked to tell the story of his uncle, who many years ago was joyous about moving into a well treed suburban neighbourhood, where there were a lot of squirrels, and other kinds of wild animals. Apparently the uncle filled his freezer with all the free food he could catch. I was never sure sure if the co-worker was relaying an urban myth that I hadn’t heard before, at his families expense, or telling a true story.

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