Tufted Titmouse

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What I thought was a Jay, is in fact a Tufted Titmouse. What funny little birds they are, as they hop about the tree eating berries. They seem to travel in company, and constantly interact. It is such a treat to watch them, soon the leaves will hide almost all the activity of the birds, but for now the bare branches play host to a vaudeville stage of characters.

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse: These little birds are enjoying the berries on the tree in our front yard. They share with good grace, with Robins and Grackles.

The wait for the refrigerator delivery made for a day of impatience. I should be above all that, I know, but sadly I am not! The time slot for the delivery was between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., that is a twelve hour window. At 8:00 a.m. I was ready! I had moved furniture, swept away the berries dropped the by the birds onto the front porch, and brought in the weekly paper thrown onto the drive. The hours crept by, and as they did every truck engine heard in the distance was cause for curiosity. It is a silly way to spend time, but there you have it. In some instances I have the patience of a saint, but in others I exhibit no patience whatsoever. I am a woman of contrasts. Quite frankly, if I could find a way to talk myself out of this impatience, I would engage myself in that internal conversation immediately! It isn’t comfortable, and I feel silly being this way. The bright side of this trait is that it prevents me from taking myself too seriously!

As fate would have it, the refrigerator was the last delivery of the day, arriving close to 6:00 p.m. I was not surprised. At one point in the morning I noticed the store clerk had written the wrong area code for our telephone number, and so I received no call to confirm delivery or time. It took three separate telephone calls to sort that out, so that by 4:20 p.m. I received an automated call telling me that the delivery people would be on their way soon.

It only took twenty minutes from start to finish to bring the refrigerator in from the truck and set it up, which included taking the screen door apart, and putting it back together again.

What luxury! All the food kept in the cooler was transferred into the refrigerator. What a relief it is, to have the ordeal of appliance delivery over with.

Now we are back to where we began last autumn; we have hot water and refrigeration. The renovation budget for the summer of 2014 is shot!

During the afternoon Terra dropped by with Wiggler, who is full of energy. Wiggler was at first shy about wandering in our back yard, she has lived her whole life, six shorts months of it, in the country. Every city noise caused her to start, stand at attention and sniff the air. She had a good time though, as she found some sticks to throw around and chew on, and crunched away on the last little bit of snow left in the yard, in a sunless corner.

My haircut has been a surprise. It is very conventional looking, and of course I am not sure I like that. But it seems that a lot of people who work in retail do like it! People are definitely more friendly, significantly more friendly, and more helpful. Same old me, more conservative looking image. Attila thinks it is because people hold back when there is something unique or unusual in someone’s appearance, because they do not know what to expect. Maybe he is right.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I awoke at 5:30 a.m., after a restless night. By 6:20 a.m. I had eaten my breakfast, enjoyed a coffee, packed the car, and secured the house by turning off the power to the hot water heater, turning off the water supply and unplugging everything in house, except the microwave oven and the refrigerator.

I love early morning. The birds were singing up the sun as I walked out to the car, after locking up the house. How lovely the landscape, when the mist blankets the fields, the treetops reaching out into the clear sky above. Alone on the road, it was possible to slow down from time to time to take in the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

I arrived home at 11:10 a.m., the trip passed quickly and without incident. The day was sunny, and mild, the traffic continued light for the entire distance.

Attila came home for lunch, and it was so good to see him! He is moving into the busy season at work, so that he will spend less and less time at home, share fewer and fewer lunch hours in conversation across the table.

The snow is still deep on the ground here, but we can see the gravel on the driveway and deck, where it was routinely removed over the winter. It was very odd to drive back into winter. At the beginning of my journey home there was no snow at all in the landscape, then there were skiffs of snow along the tree lines at the edge of the farmer’s fields, eventually there were fields covered with a thin layer of melting white snow, and then finally there were fields of deep snow and high snow banks lining the roads. We are expecting snow flurries next Tuesday at the country house. Spring is very late this year.

snow is april
The view from the deck at the country house, on 11 April, 2014. The depth of the snow can be ascertained by the cap on the rock, upper left in the photo.

What I noticed most was the relative absence of birds at the country house. No robins yet!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 3:00 PM EDT Friday 11 April 2014
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Temperature: 9.2°C
Dewpoint: -4.7°C
Humidity: 37%


“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
Martha Graham
1894 – 1991

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I like that quite by M. Graham up there… makes you think.

We must have all your robins because they have been visiting our neighborhood ALL winter long! It’s amazing to see them in the snowy weather but there you go.

Having refrigeration finally (dependably so) is fabulous. I don’t know how people managed when they had to get that block of ice delivered each day for their ice boxes… we are spoiled!

I admire you for driving that distance so often to the two houses; the last time I drove for that length of time all at once was in or around 1975 when my first husband and I moved back from Indiana to Mass. and we took turns doing the driving. It was awful and I usually gave the wheel over to husband before my shift was up! I do not like driving on highways!


Bex, so that is where all the robins have been hanging out! Tell them we miss them, they can come north any time!

A refrigerator is a wonderful thing, I can’t imagine the icebox method of food storage, shudder. Of course, it would be better than a cooler, but only marginally. We stocked the little house in the city with pre-packaged foods, like fruit cups, that would keep long term without refrigeration; an expensive, tiresome, and less healthy way of doing things. We are lucky, as we haven’t detected any more mice, because they add huge challenges to food storage.

The drive is 4 to 5 hours, and it has become less challenging the more often I tackle it. I much prefer to travel as a passenger though, with Attila for company. There is something about the open road that is exhilarating, particularly when the traffic is light. However, the drive is long enough to tire, and I don’t like to stop, so I have to leave early in the morning, when I am most chipper, so that my daily allotment of high energy is used up completely by the drive. Attila seems to be able to manage it, even after a full days work, which amazes me. I would need the assistance of caffeine and sugar to manage that, and then would not sleep at night.

Joan Lansberry

I love your tufted titmouse. We have a nest of hummingbird eggs. The mother has chosen a spot under our awning, safe from wind and too much sun. We put a feeder nearby so “Motherbird” can replenish often.

I love the quote, too.


Hummingbirds are so beautiful Joan, we don’t see them often; having them right outside the window must be wonderful!