Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rooms With a View

Some of us dream of leading a simple life by the sea. But finding affordable housing in a popular seaside community can be difficult, and along with a water view, nearly impossible. But at The Crooked Little House, there are still vacancies, at least for the moment. Bird houses are still available in the cherry tree, by the kitchen door and hanging from the mimosa tree. There is also a bumble bee box nestled at the base of the trumpet vine near the pergola, all courtesy of my fabulous brother who makes them and ships them down to me from Massachusetts. I am envious of the birds this time of year as they search for a mate and play lover's games of catch me if you can, then select their dream home to raise their families. I fondly recall doing all those things many years ago yet still miss each aspect of these spring activities.

Just this week, the bird house nearest the pergola has taken on tenants for a short term lease. The last "renters" were house wrens who left a disheveled nest when they departed, littered with bits of shell. But now Carolina chickadees have moved in, reclaiming what was once a chickadee house in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I adore wrens, but I am excited about the chickadee nest that will be left behind as a landlord's payment. These nests are lovely, silk-soft and filled with kitty hair which I put outside after brushing Buddha and Erb. Last year, I felt fortunate to have flycatchers residing in the house by the back door, constructing a nest with beautiful moss woven into it. I can't imagine where they found that.

Soon I will hear peeping coming from the houses and strict warnings from the branches above to keep my distance. So I will sit on the deck and quietly watch the parents make endless trips bringing food to the babies. By early summer it will be time to clean out the houses once again to make room for the next happy couples who will raise the next generations to sing and flit about the yard to the delights of Buddha and Erb as they watch from the windows. And I will document this year's group in an accordion folded booklet I have made, proof that while there was still land to be found for the wildlife on this barrier island, they were here.

"Only the birds are able to throw off their shadow. The shadow always stays behind on the earth. Our imagination flies. We are its shadow on the earth."

                                                                                          Vladimir Nabokov


  1. Hi, Elizabeth. Sorry I have not been in touch for such a long, long time. The accordion booklet looks wonderful.


  2. So glad to hear from you! I've been following your blog too. Perhaps we'll see each other this summer?