The Sentinels

Last week we had some very hot days that drained me of energy and motivation. Days like that make me wonder why people in the warmer climates believe that their weather is heavenly. It feels hellish to me. But…to each their own.

This week it feels as if God had mercy on me and switched on an air conditioner. The weather is perfect: in the 40s at night and climbing only into the low 70s during the day. (That’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius.) This morning when I went out to do my chores, it was so chilly that I could see my breath whenever I exhaled. It looked like tendrils of smoke from a Dragon–which is what I used to pretend on cold days when I was a child. “Look! I’m a dragon! Puff, puff, puff.” During the day, the breeze makes it cool enough that it’s not uncomfortable to wear a sweater, which makes working outside pleasant. I wouldn’t mind if every day were like this.

EJ usually spends most of the morning working in his garden. It’s really looking nice. It will look even more splendiferous when the peas start climbing up the fencing he has put up. Whenever I go through his garden, I think it looks like Farmville, the game that was popular on Facebook several years ago. In between working on the garden, EJ has also been making trim for a little cat door from the hall into the pantry, where the kitty litter boxes are. It’s going to look nice when it is finished.

I’m doing all my regular daily chores, and other tasks here and there. I’ve weeded my herb garden and have been harvesting some of the herbs, which I’m drying in my Magic Mills dehydrator for winter use.

Earlier in the week we got medical bills for when EJ cut his thumb at work and had to go to the clinic for stitches. My heart sank because the bills totalled more than $600. That is WITH the deductions that insurance is paying. We try very hard to be frugal, buying most items secondhand, and it gets tiring to have to be even more frugal. I asked God to please help us pay off this bill. EJ took the bills into work to talk to the office staff. He felt that Workers’ Compensation should pay for it all since he had injured himself at work. I was so very, very thankful that, indeed, Workers’ Comp will pay for it all. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Three mornings in a row I found our two hummingbird feeders completely empty. Once I found one of the feeders halfway across the deck. I strongly suspected the raccoon. I don’t mind too much if she eats the leftover birdseed, but I DO mind if she drinks all the hummingbird “nectar.” I thought about it. I couldn’t just bring the feeders into the house because it would attract ants. Finally, I brought a large cooler out on the deck and I put the feeders in it when it starts to get dark in the evenings. I can’t put them away too soon because the hummingbirds hover in disbelief that it’s gone…and I feel bad for them. My measures have worked and the coon hasn’t drained the feeders since.

A couple of evenings ago, as I was taking down our flag from the pole, I heard a chorus of little chirps from the bluebird house. The babies! I only got a quick glimpse of them because they hunkered out of sight as soon as they saw that I wasn’t their Mama or Daddy. It’s so much fun watching the bluebirds building their nest and then bringing their hatched babies food.

Our dunderheaded cat, Theo, must have heard the bluebird babies as well because yesterday afternoon he became very interested in the birdhouse. Several times he climb up the post to get to the birdhouse, with the parents screeching and diving at him. I pulled him down each time and finally shut him in the garage. When I went out to take down the flag an hour or so later, the parents were nearby, watchful sentinels, keeping a close watch on their nest. I thought it was very poetical when the red, white, and blue bird kept watch on the top of the pole which held our red, white, and blue flag. “I hope you know that I am on YOUR side and helping you defend your family from all predators,” I told the bluebirds. “We are in this together.”

This morning, I changed my routine and let the cats out of the garage LAST, after I had finished all my other chores. Last night I had put the nozzle on the hose instead of the sprinkler. I was ready for battle. As I suspected, Theo immediately headed over to the birdhouse. As soon as he neared the post, the bluebirds started diving at him and I sprayed him with the house. I was able to keep my distance and still reach him with the stream of water. Theo ran off. The bluebirds and I were watchful. Theo returned again, and the bluebirds engaged in an aerial assault and me with water. Theo ran off. He tried slinking on the other side of the big rocks, but I caught a glimpse of him. He climbed over the rocks. He came in from the side. Each time, the bluebirds and I were ready. I thought Theo would learn, but he is an incredibly stubborn dunderhead. We kept this up for about 2 hours, with Theo returning every few minutes. Finally, I thought, “This is impossible.” I decided that the bluebirds were busy enough trying to keep their young fed. They don’t need to also keep up a constant defense. I carried Theo into the garage. He may be locked up until the bluebird babies have left the nest.

As much as possible, I’ve been keeping my distance from the bluebirds so they don’t view me as a threat.

7 Comments on “The Sentinels

  1. I agree with you about perfect temperatures for gardening. And I hope you can work things out with Theo and the bluebirds. When birds nest in a birdhouse you’ve provided, you do feel responsible for them!


    • I know that life and death happens every day in nature, but I still feel responsible for protecting the critters who nest or feed at places we set up. Also…I don’t want to witness a massacre.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Especially of bluebirds! I have no cat right now, but if I do bring cats into the household, they will be indoor only cats, maybe with a “catio,” although we’d have to design and build one.


      • We have two indoor cats only and two outdoor cats. We adopted the outdoor cats from the Michigan Barn Cat Program, which finds home for outdoor cats. Millie and Theo help control the rodent population, which is good. But I have a problem when they go after the birds. We’ve had Millie and Theo for a couple years now, and this is the first time Theo has noticed the bluebirds. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We love cats too! And dogs. They all get lots of lovings. 🙂 Although Theo is in lockup. Every time I see him, I say, “If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime.” LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

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