Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Shade

Our back deck faces east. That means that we have beautiful sunrises.

In winter the sun comes up much farther south and as the season's change it moves to the north.

During the spring and summer we like to take our coffee out there in the morning and read the paper, a book, or just watch and listen to the birds all over the yard. Several years ago we decided to get one of those roll up shades so that it wouldn't be quite so bright. It's hard to read through eyes squinted to slits!

So we hung the shade and that first summer spent most mornings out there.

The next spring of our shade we noticed alot of activity towards the end of the shade. Oh, and by the way, the last time we rolled it up, we rolled it up geehawky, crooked. So one end has shade sticking out and the other end has a wonderful space that is just perfect for a little bird's nest.

Yes, we have not been able to use that shade for the last THREE years!!!

It has been a fantastic nest for our House Finches. In case you don't know, hardy and adaptable, house finches were kept as cage birds before it became illegal in the 1940's. Rather than face arrest, pet store operators in the East released their house finches and the birds, native to western North America, have taken the continent by storm. With their rich, cheery warble and insistent tweeting, house finches serve as a magnet to other, shyer feeder birds. A few house finches at a feeder can attract many other species.

House finches may nest almost anywhere, and are famous for choosing hanging baskets as nest sites.

This fall one of our resident Cactus Wrens pulled the nest out of the shade. I thought it was sad but eagerly looked ahead to the times we would once again be able to use the darned shade!

Okay, who knew they would use it during the winter too!
We have been getting down to freezing at night now and have a big blow tonight (30 + mph). I feel good knowing that this particular little bird has a safe place to close her eyes.


Scriptor Senex said...

That looks so sweet. Perhaps you could hang a nest of some sort next to it and encourage them to migrate across! The you'd both be winners.

CJ said...

It is so great that you have given up your own comfort to accommodate these birds. My husband and I are great nature lovers. We have 5 bird feeders all year, plus a hummingbird feeder in the summer. I like staying up all night ---it is now past 6 am (EST) and I haven't gone to bed yet. One of the last things I do is stand at the kitchen windows and watch the birds. Seeing them excited and happily eating is my sign that all is quite right with the world, and then I am ready for bed.

meryl's musings said...

That is so cool for the birds. It is amazing where they will make their homes sometimes. Bluebirds discovered our backyard last summer and now I'm all intrigued by them. Oh, and hummingbirds.

Glad you could post a pic.

Janice said...

Aww! So sweet! My Mother loved Finches.

Flora & Fauna

Books I have known & loved

  • Life of Pi
  • A Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Kite Runner
  • The Way the Crow Flies
  • Fall on Your Knees
  • Poisonwood Bible
  • East of Eden
  • Shantaram
  • I Know This Much is True

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