A Bird in the Hand

IMG_0768Yesterday morning, just as the kettle began to rattle and sing for coffee, a bird came into the house. A little sparrow, a melodia, a song-sparrow, the kind with the delicately tiger striped tail feathers, the kind that came in the house last time when we had the downstairs window open all day to run the wire for the new antenna on the roof facing into the mountain shadow so Sweetheart and I could watch Jacques Pépin on the free PBS channel whose mascot is a dancing paper bag (oh the thrill of our bear muffin lives!), the same kind that Nipsey the cat caught in his mouth in 2.5 seconds like a jungle beast, the kind that Sweetheart liberated from the cat’s mouth while I squeezed shut my eyes and hopped in a circle almost crying saying “please fix it, please fix it” (and he did, the kind of bird that lived), you know, that kind of bird. In the house. He made a few mad circuits of the dining room and kitchen as I wildly shut the cat out and opened all the windows and doors and gently and firmly intoned “Bird, Bird, this way, this way”. The bird does not answer to Bird. The bird landed on the windowsill of the last closed window, sat there, and let. me. pick. him. up. I held the bird, with no birdlike tremor, just a tiny and soft warm little parcel, how brave, in my gentle paw for only as long as it took me to open the window, the screen, and set him on the porch in a patch of shade. I did not take his picture, for he was very real. He sat there, very still for a very long worrisome moment, and then took a deep breath and swooped off into the hedge. They are singing right now outside, the song sparrows, their wonderful looping and cascading trill, call-and-response. Is one of them him? The bird who I held in my hand? I do hope so.

DIY Pest Control

WaspNestWasps were taking over, building their strange and beautiful papery cones under the eaves of every overhang on our first floor. If they weren’t constantly threatening to sting me, I’d leave them well enough alone (as I’ve done with the SPIDERPOCALYPSE that has been coating every corner of the house with cobwebs as if it were the entrance to that holy grail cave in Indiana Jones). But since they are stinking stingers, they had to go. Because of the bees, I didn’t want to use any deathly flying insect spray, but, also because of the bees, I find myself in possession of a specially designed stinging-bug-impervious suit. So, I slipped into my bee suit and caught three baby wasp nests in mason jars. They were MAD. But fascinating. And now they are gone.angrymamawaspswaspnests babywasps