December 30, 2019

An uninvited guest

When I was a girl, great numbers of Eastern Bluebirds lived here during the summer. My grandfather must have had a good twenty birdhouses just for them. He always painted the birdhouses blue so he could keep a tally on nesting pairs. Houses for the little wrens were brown, and houses for all comers were white. It's just the way he did things. 

Until about two summers ago, seeing a bluebird had gotten to be a rare and exciting thing. This year was a real treat. They were everywhere. Not even Loki's presence dissuaded them to nest in our woods.

Yesterday, a very rainy day indeed, I glanced out the north windows of my sunroom office and found the ground literally moving. A huge flock of bluebirds had landed on their way south. I reached for the binoculars and of course, they took to wing. All but one poor unfortunate, that is. It wasn't my movement that startled them away - it was Loki. Quick as lightning, he snatched the straggler.

Fear not - the story ends well. 

Loki carried his catch to the patio, where the bird got loose and flew skyward only to meet the patio roof. He then hopped from screen panel to screen panel. I had visions of little talons ripping my expensive screens but I don't think Mr. Bluebird caused any damage. I grabbed Loki and tossed him (yes, tossed) inside the house. Then I needed a broom to encourage Mr. B to fly out the opening to join his flock. It took a few swipes but he finally got the idea and slipped through the opening to freedom.   

I was relieved the bird was uninjured. We've left about half an acre in the southwest corner of our property as wilderness for the birds, squirrels, rabbits, and whatever other small animals may need shelter. Even snakes because we know they're around, too. 

Maybe I should ask the man of the manor to build a few bluebird boxes and paint them blue. It would please my grandfather's spirit. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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