…and the flowers and the trees.
After too many days of being sequestered in the house, first, with a self-imposed Spring cleaning regimen I embarked on last week due to all the rain, then dealing with a wacky wireless router which necessitated a trip to Best Buy and making arrangements for an install (in between countless trips to the basement to tweak, unplug and re-plug in the old one), I was chomping at the bit to get out and walk. I did walk on Sunday morning and it was beautiful out, and I wrote about my trip, but when I went to post it, the wireless stopped working and could not be revived. It made me fractious indeed, and after too many days of high-tech frustration, I was happy to just suit up, tie my shoes, strap on my pedometer and bolt out the door before there were any more setbacks.
But, as I opened up the door on this coolish morn, what did I see but a big, fat robin with a huge piece of dry grass in his mouth, wearing his perpetual robin scowl. I immediately swiveled my head up to check out the top of the coach lamp under the awning, one of the neighborhood robins’ two favorite spots to start building a nest, but I saw no twigs, dry grass or mud to indicate he had set his sights here like I told you about before way back in June (https://lindaschaubblog.net/2013/06/23/evicted/). The season is young, however, and I made a mental note to check every day now. Then, I hurried to the front and was relieved to see no nest-building activities there either. Whew! I shook my head and I wanted to go back and shake my fist at that robin, but rather than getting myself all worked up, I turned on my heel and left for my walk.
As I strode down the driveway, I nearly had an encounter of the worst kind when a bee buzzed no more than five inches from my face. I have no idea where it came from, or where it was headed, but talk about up close and personal – as it zipped by, I could have counted its stripes! Believe me, that little winged critter was not lethargic, as if it had just awakened from hibernating all Winter.
I almost turned around and went back in the house as I was thinking for sure there would soon be an encounter number three. Instead, I picked up my pace, happy to be walking on such a beautiful day and headed down the street. The sun shining so brightly felt wonderful, even though it was not enough to radiate any warmth on my face. The big orb hovered in a flawless blue sky, marred only by the occasional seagull screeching and swooping across its expanse. The songbirds were out in full force today and it was wonderful to hear them trilling and trying to out-tweet one another. I tried to whistle back at them for awhile, and they would match me note for note, but then I had to disappoint them by stopping when my ChapStick quit working and my lips got dry. My fine feathered friends were happy to bask in the sunshine, just like I was, and they continued on with their songfest. A woodpecker rat-a-tat-tatted as I walked down Emmons Boulevard, and soon I heard another one start drilling into a tree as each bird played its own tune which you could hear above the street noise.
The flowers I am monitoring on the corner house two blocks away are really getting tall, but no blooms yet – it was quite amazing how large they got since I last checked them out on Sunday. Everywhere I looked, the trees were just starting to form tiny buds and that was a welcome sight (except for my allergies). As I wended my way back home an hour later, the streets were crowded with cars transporting workers to jobs or kids to school and a handful of pooches were enjoying a morning promenade. A few of them were still wearing wool coats. I heard the scrunch of tiny fertilizer nuggets under my feet as I walked … some of the fertilizer, or perhaps Mother Nature, has worked some magic as the grass is already starting to green up. (Groan.) Most of the trees on Emmons Boulevard in Wyandotte are large and stately looking, and really enhance the front yards of the two-story homes. We have our old, tall trees in Lincoln Park, but most of them on Ferris were severely trimmed a few years ago and now look like over-sized slingshots. Other trees were painted white half-way up many decades ago, and most of the white paint has sloughed off, giving them a sad, tired look. Several of the trees in our neighborhood are diseased or have some type of malady, because whenever we have volatile Summer storms, long strips of bark peel off and are scattered about on the neighbors’ lawns.
I love this gnarly old tree pictured above which I pass on almost every walk I take, and certainly when I head back and forth to Council Point Park. This tree looms large and is a little spooky looking with its lumps and bumps on its trunk, and especially now with its still-bare branches, it really resembles a tree right out of a Halloween scene. When I pass it, I always wonder how old it is and if it were to split open, just how many concentric rings we’d find inside? Today I mused how many times I will pass this behemoth before the year draws to a close?
All too soon I was rounding the corner and heading up the driveway and sorry to see my brief respite end so quickly. I went to the front door to get today’s mail a mere three hours later and found a big plop of mud-covered dried grass sitting on the lid of the mailbox. I glanced right up and a nest was in progress in the bend of my front coach lamp. I took a couple of garbage bags and wadded them up and put them on top of the nest to thwart any more efforts and just as I closed the door, I saw one very angry-looking robin meet my gaze from his perch on the split-rail fence. ‘Nuff said – let the territorial wars begin.