First, our soggy Sunday brought us one inch of rain, and now the grass has greened up nicely and even grown a bit… in fact, just a little too quickly.
Then, there was yesterday … and, it was Monday to boot. The aftermath of Sunday’s rain left fog so thick you couldn’t find the cross streets or the main drag without being right on top of them. WWJ’s traffic reporter and weatherman both commented “it looks like pea soup”, an expression that has always puzzled me because Americans like their split-pea soup green and the Canucks like their French Canadian split-pea soup a rather putrid yellow. Hmmm, so tell me, just how does one equate fog and pea soup? I guess that yellow soup might resemble smoggy fog if you used your imagination. I did not suit up to walk, being mindful of all the sleep-deprived drivers from the Daylight Saving Time debacle, compounded with the thick fog, thus I decided I did not want to end up as a wet spot on the pavement.
So, I went out to run the car and glanced down the driveway and sidewalk where the cement was littered with long, slimy bodies as it was a virtual wormy wonderland. Well, worms don’t bother me as they move slower than I do – it’s the multi-legged critters that do me in.
While outside, I did marvel at the eerie look of the bare trees against the misty sky and how you couldn’t even see the top of some of the tall trees. Birds, which looked like darkish blogs on bare branches, called out to one another, and I imagined them saying in bird speak “hey, are you there?” or maybe “c’mon over here so I can see you!”
But marveling at the fog did nothing for racking up some walking miles, so I headed back into the house.
But today had promise, or, so I thought. Though the weather folks first predicted rain or fog again, I peered out the window as soon as it was daylight and it was clear as a bell. I laced up my shoes and nearly skipped out the door into the warm air. But my glee quickly turned to disbelief when I saw several long and straggly piece of dead grass on the sidewalk. I quickly jumped to the conclusion that it only could mean one thing – the robins have begun building their nests! But, I shook my head “no”, because for decades I’ve been tormented by Ma and Pa Robin building nests in preparation for their second brood of babies that arrive in late April or early May. It is only the middle of March.
So, I kept walking along the sidewalk, that is, until a robin nearly smacked me on the side of the head as he zoomed from the coach light in the front of my house where indeed he had been busy constructing a nest. I quickly gave him the evil eye and he flew over to sit on the split-rail fence, with a defiant stance and wearing a surly scowl. He’d obviously been around here the past few years, because there he perched, having baited me, and now waited for me to explode at him, which I quickly did.
I then opened the lock and jerked the garage door open, just a little too quickly (whew … glad it didn’t roll off the tracks), then I grabbed the corn broom and tore down the nest, while some serious chattering was going on, i.e. a few curse words under my breath and a few loud peeps by that red-breasted perpetrator. The nest was a solid piece of work – a lot of dead grass, many pieces of wool, even some long whitish-gray human hair, all cemented together with mud – lots of mud, thanks to Sunday’s rain. And, just like in years past, mud splatters had landed on the mailbox lid as the mailbox hangs directly below the coach lamp and nest. In a normal Winter, we’d still have frozen ground with no chance of the robins finding any mud to use as mortar for their nest construction. Probably the snow would still be covering the blah-looking grass.
I worked diligently, swabbing up the splats and bundling up the nest fixings. Finally, feeling like the elderly man who has chased the kids off his lawn, I shooed away the robin who sat like a statue studying my every move. Next, I tried to fill up the empty bend in the lamp’s elbow that looks so darn inviting, to thwart any more nest-building activities. Unfortunately, my efforts will be in vain after the 45-50 mile per hour winds roll in tomorrow.
With any luck, the gusty winds will blow the robins down to the Ecorse Creek, as I sure didn’t make it there myself today, because by the time I whisked away the huge nest, cleaned up and tried to block future access, it was too late to head out for a walk.
I am not amused, and I now have to table the walk until later in the week. To most people, the robins may be a welcome sign of Spring, but their annual insistence on setting up their “Home Sweet Home” at my abode sure makes me hopping mad!