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20 February 2017 @ 02:08 pm
No, you can't live here!  
Remember a post from around the summer, where I found a bird's nest in my gardening hat and was thinking that The Boy might have put it in there as a prank?

I pulled that same hat off the peg in the garage last weekend, and it was again occupied by a bird's nest. Except this time I knew for sure I had put it away the weekend before—no chance of leaving it out unguarded. There's also the matter of an artificial flower display I have outside, where fricasseed bits of it wind up on the ground or a table top in the breezeway. For a while, I thought the cat was getting up on the fence next to it at night and going nuts. Or maybe the raccoon that gets into the yard. But last fall, I kept catching glimpses of movement over there, and a tiny bird would fly out of the flowers. I checked to see if it was trying a nest in there, and it wasn't. However... one of the flowers wound up as nesting material in the hat inside the garage.

I cannot fathom why a bird would want to build a vertical nest inside something it has to sneak into—and can only get to when the side door to the garage is open (which, okay, is most of the time, but still). Nevertheless, it appears that is not an accident but a plot. I put the nest in the crotch of a tree by the patio, hoping someone might reuse it.

The rain here has worn me down to the point of, "Could you STAHP? I mean it!" We will be at 8 consecutive days of it by the time this round ends, after the previous stint of 5 days, and then 6 before that. My legs are tired and cramped from biking in the garage, and running is still out due to the plantar fasciitis. Boy, do I wish I could do some running right now!

Some random recs: Movie-wise, The Skiptrace is streaming now on Netflix. It's a basic Jackie Chan flick, silly but entertaining, and with a lot of extended "found object" fight scenes (this is Chan's genius, for us). Parts are a little strained and ridiculous, but there is a also lot of gorgeous Mongolian and Chinese scenery, which balances that out.

Book-wise, I'm finishing up Neal Shusterman's Challenger Deep. This an "unreliable narrator" extravaganza, told in short sections which alternate parts of a strange sea voyage (with a pirate captain and his crew) with a teenager's life in suburban America. At some point, it becomes apparent that many events in both stories are the same, but wildly abstracted. The reason becomes clear as you continue to read, but that bleed and resolution are just fascinating throughout. Almost finished, and then I'll start a Pascoe and Dalziel mystery. :)

In fan fiction, I've been reading Band of Brothers slash (just finished a gorgeous pre-series arc called Lancaster County yesterday). This is in between writing my Idol entry, of course, and then soon I'll be reading Idol entries and back at work, wondering why these 3-day weekends don't come up more often.

For music, it's more Rag 'N Bone Man: Lay My Body Down, and Hard Came The Rain. Yowza.

So, is everyone else ready for winter to be over? Or summer for those in Australia, which is probably just past its worst point now?

Direst Ryl: Tawdry Filth!ryl on February 20th, 2017 10:59 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile on the other side of the country, the forsythias are starting to bloom. In February. This is not comforting because it's making everyone have flashbacks to The Blizzard of '93 which hit in March.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2017 12:53 am (UTC)
Are they normally a spring flower, and people are afraid of a sudden return to winter?

We usually have a "false spring" here most years, around late January/early February, which theoretically could be happening now. It's warmer in between the wet spells.

Most often, spring is just early, but sometimes the return of late wind and rain strip all of the blossoms off of the orchards that bloomed, so farmers worry about that.
Direst Rylryl on February 21st, 2017 02:07 am (UTC)
March is flowering time here. Now that the trees, etc. are blossoming early there is a real non-zero chance that the next frost could do some real damage, especially to all the apple orchards around here.

Also it's just weird. There's something very off-putting about all the warm days we've had so far.
Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on February 21st, 2017 07:39 am (UTC)
Oh wow, the forsythia here are budding like crazy but they haven't bloomed...yet. Ditto the dogwoods.
uranium-235: Pizza Rollsfidgety on February 21st, 2017 02:11 am (UTC)
We had birds return year after year to nest in the rafters of our back porch, according to Adam's parents (who had previously owned it). I was told to go out every morning and just knock the next out of the beams. Eventually, I discovered the crux of the problem: It was a very, very big nest, and I was only getting rid of the very top part. Once I cleaned the whole thing out, the birds didn't return. Now that the birds are migrating back for the spring, I've noticed a few scouting out my porch, but at least I'm ready for them this time.

I know this doesn't directly apply to your hat issue, aside from one thing: Chances are, there's something that they really, really like about the general area. I don't know what it is, however, because I am not a bird. If you want, I could try to ask one, though.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2017 06:03 am (UTC)
Maybe these birds like dark, secluded places, and they can't tell that the hat-on-a-peg is not a permanent structure. I almost put it on before checking again, and would have wound up with twigs and stuff in my hair... so long as spiders weren't also attracted to it. Yuck!
cindytsuki_no_bara on February 21st, 2017 03:36 am (UTC)
maybe the birds just really like your hat?

i am not at all ready for spring. it's supposed to be 60º or some such nonsense on thursday, and that's absurd. it's still february! altho it might be some kind of false spring, which is ok. i can handle a day of spring in february as long as it goes back to being winter afterwards.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2017 06:06 am (UTC)
I wonder if the birds like that there's a nice nest-sized depression in part of the hat, even though it's upright, which doesn't quite work. Birdbrains!

It sounds as if false spring happens in your area, too. We have a lot of years where late January/early February we get a couple of weeks of spring weather, and then winter comes back again. I don't remember this from living in Oregon, and with Illinois... how could you honestly tell? "Oh, it's 20-degrees today instead of 10. Spring must be coming!" \o?
Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on February 21st, 2017 07:42 am (UTC)
the birds, obviously, think your hat the perfect safe place :) We've had sparrows nesting in the crook between our side door awning and the soffit for years now. They twitter angrily whenever you open/close the door. You'd think after all these years that maybe nesting re the front door awning would perhaps be better because we seldom use that door? Um, no.

I hope this warming trend we're having isn't false spring, but alas, this is New England so I shouldn't get used to it :/
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2017 07:55 am (UTC)
We go in and out of the garage a couple of times a day, though the hat sits undisturbed for possibly a week at a time. They may really be getting the wrong impression by finding it during the middle period.

Oddly enough, no birds have been IN that hat the two times there has been a nest in it. No eggs, either. I kind of wonder if they start making a nest, and then something clues them into the fact that it is not as good a location as it first seemed.

Didn't you have a big snow threat about a week ago? I could swear the friend in Boston posted that they were due up to 12 inches about 8-10 days ago, but that it's going to be in the mid-60s tomorrow.
Laura: Easter birdscookielaura on February 22nd, 2017 01:48 am (UTC)
Sounds like the birds think your hat is super stylish :D

Ahhh I love Lay My Body Down, I've been listening to it so much the last couple of weeks <3
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2017 02:13 am (UTC)
The seem to think it's a nice, secret place for nesting, and it probably smells a little like hay (it's a straw hat), so that's probably good.

I'm obsessed with Rag N' Bone Man's voice, and those two songs-- wow. :O
Vice Captain of the Universesweeny_todd on February 22nd, 2017 07:57 am (UTC)
birds (and most animals in general, and I am so including humans here) often make very dubious life decisions XD

yeah!! I have a real love for Dalziel and Pascoe. I read the books (collected most of them) and I really enjoyed the TV series too.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2017 08:21 am (UTC)
often make very dubious life decisions XD
This makes me think of the "derp dove"we had a few years back, who made a nest on top of the box covering the outdoor air conditioner, out from under the edge of the eaves where she was exposed to the elements. Day after day of rain dripping on her, there in a spot that we could see right out the window, or was readily visible if you went into the back yard. :O

I haven't seen the Dalziel and Pascoe TV series, but I've always liked the books. The Joe Sixsmith series is fun, too-- not the more serious drama of D and P, a completely different tone.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yikeshalfshellvenus on February 25th, 2017 09:38 pm (UTC)
I hadn't seen that, thanks!

No wonder it has seemed so ungodly and inconveniently wet here for so long. o_O

I'd be surprised if our total annual rainfall is much more than 18 inches, and to have it all come in less than two months? Argh.

Please, make it stop!