Birds! And other outdoorsy stuff. (Also baby.)

Spent part of yesterday afternoon installing* a fence around our new Hazen apple tree, as we’ve had a sudden influx of deer droppings around it. Not to mention a slight disappearance of leaves and shoots on the lower branches.  Thanks to all the clanging and banging, the baby is probably now predisposed to enjoy black symphonic metal. The day’s Fantastic Moment came when I was at the local farm/hardware store buying posts, and the guy helping me was all, “You’ll need a post pounder. [Me: Heh.] But you’re just driving three posts. Hang on.” And then he went and got me one to borrow, as long as I brought it back the same day. Yeah, maybe Wal-Mart does the same thing. I doubt it.

In the midst of “install”, I discovered that the old snag behind our garage was likely an apple tree at one point. It’s clearly dead, with all its original branches lopped off long ago along with what appears to have been the main trunk, but the wreckage of it still looms about 15 feet high. Smaller branches have grown up and around it like vines, and those viney branches have a few wormy apples hanging off of them. I hung a couple of bird feeders (suet, sunflower seed) off the more shaded branches for the shyer birds.

We don’t get much for songbirds around here. Plenty of house sparrows. Plenty of types of finches, mostly house finches with irregular purplish red stains on their breasts and heads. Lots of young bluejays, as bossy as possible. Mourning doves. Nothing very exotic. I haven’t seen a squirrel or chipmunk yet. And the deer are very sneaky, for this area. They’re populous as hell here in South Dakota, and brazen about where they go. If I ever have a sleepless night I’ll probably see them cavorting in the backyard, but the baby’s good at putting me to sleep right now–a trend I hope (but doubt, given I live in reality) continues AFTER the little sousaphone is born.

Baby IS waking me up these days, though. I’ll be neck deep in some dream about Clio stalking baby alligators while a commercial popcorn machine goes out of control and it’s snowing popcorn, and these gentle kick-nudge-bams will slowly shake me out of it. It’s a nice way to wake up.




*”Installing” sounds so much better than “fumbling around with steel posts, driving said steel posts for a couple minutes only to discover that you’ve hit ANOTHER rock in the improbable Paleozoic epic that is the backyard soil,  fumbling around with chicken wire, realizing that you’ve done your math poorly and the end of the chicken wire comes 5 feet before the last post, pulling up the posts, re-driving the posts, re-wrapping the wire, collapsing in a yard area free of deer poop, and spending the next twenty minutes in a slow-handed stupor, absently petting your dog.”

Yep. Installing sounds a LOT more competent. I like it!


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