Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tea With Cats and Bluebirds

I accomplished some minimal tidying of the kitchen after a light and late lunch, and headed for the front porch.  I made myself comfortable on the wicker loveseat, toed off my sandals, prepared to sink languidly into the sleepy afternoon nattering of the birds, to enjoy the flourishing plants lined up in front of me.  I vowed not to think of seedlings to transplant or weeds to pull, or to contemplate the begonias which  wintered over beneath the flourescent lights in the basement and now need to be brought
outside for the summer.
Behind me in the house, the phone trilled.
No matter, likely one of the endless calls for Jim.
J. popped through the front door waving the phone at me.
"Who is it?" I hissed.
[For whatever perverse reason the man refuses to tell me who is calling!]
Putting the phone to my better ear I managed a 'hello' in a courteous, but less than enthusiastic tone.
"You need to come see the bluebirds!"
It was son-in-law Matt in his most peremptory mode.
"Errrr--" I muttered.
"Gina is making tea," stated M. firmly, "And you need to see these baby birds."

I poked my feet back into my sandals, found my camera, and as an afterthought, put my wellies in the car.
[The snake population inhabiting M. and G.'s backyard and climbing their maples
inspires me to rugged footwear.]
The front yard of their cottage looked cool and tidy.
The front steps sported the various plants in shades of pink which G. has been tucking into
pots and planters.

Inside G. had created a pretty display with a bouquet of my vintage peonies flanked by a scented candle and a gently worn coffee set--a yard sale treasure.

I began to perk up as we conveyed our tea things to the bistro table set up near the side porch.
Note T-Baby [aka Bubbie] lounging in a chair.

G. interprets for Bubbie, who was apparently denying any interest in our tea.

"Is that real butter on the muffins?"

The oddments of lawn furniture were passed along to G. when her neighbor moved this week.
With the table, bistro chairs, two weathered benches and two Adirondack chairs was a birdhouse condo on a sturdy wooden base.
G. hoicked all the pieces the several hundred feet from the boundary fence and positioned the birdhouse near the back door where it could have a scrubbing. 
On removing one of the bird boxes she discovered bluebird babies almost at the fledgling stage
Ninah-Cat knows the birds are there, just out of reach and coos blandishments to them
in her sweetest tones.

Overhead Mother Bluebird watches--not squawking, not diving at the cats, hovering quietly to await developments.

Our repast of applesauce/date muffins. fruit salad and blueberry iced tea was consumed in a less than leisurely manner in deference to the safety of the bluebird children.
G. produced a large roll of chicken wire and we devised a cat-proof barricade around the birdhouse while Ninah and Jinka glared their disapproval.

Serenity restored; Mother Bird swooped in with choice delicacies for her brood.
The cats resigned themselves to bird-watching at a distance.
G. and I resettled with iced tea, a faded copy of Petersen's Birds of North America and the binoculars.
A pair of rabbits cavorted and 'boxed' in the long grass around the tottering barn in the next lot.
As tree shadows deepened, the scent of honeysuckle and clover lulled us to a few moments of leisure.


  1. Don't you just love Spring! What a wonderful discovery. "Too bad kitties but I imagine you are already spoiled silly." Hugs, Deb

  2. Isn't that miraculous? Thank you for sharing the pictures of the baby bluebirds. I've been trying to attract them to my yard but no luck yet. What a nice way to spend the afternoon.

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful day. Wilbur and Willow look so sweet in that side bar photo.

  4. Another lovely day for you. It helps to make one forget all those gardening aches & pains! How wonderful to have bluebirds to watch, especially now that cat-proofing has been installed. And I love the tea table set up in that pretty yard. I'd want to be out there all day long.

  5. Deb; How did you guess that our family spoils cats?

    Jane; I always feel that a close-up of wildlife is a blessing. Once the cats/birds situation was sorted it was a peaceful interlude.

    Chris; Willow is definitely becoming a 'pet' in spite of much feline competition. Wilbur is totally offish--he's been in the house since July but we can't get our hands on him. He LURKS just out of reach.

    MTVA; Gina has a knack for doing things prettily. She and I are both spending many hours in our respective dooryard. In my case it means the house is quite neglected.

  6. Your afternoon in your daughter`s garden sounds wonderful! Like a fine summer day would be here.

    I hope the baby bluebirds survive the close proximity of the cats and that the wire mesh works. G`s two "brown cats" remind me of our Forest Cat and Lucy.

  7. Sharon- this is a lovely post!! the baby birds are so gorgeous, as are the cats.

    (And G's house is beautiful!!)

    oh, and what type of snakes are they?

    Leanne x

  8. What a lovely afternoon. i love G's little wooden cottage and its environs.

    We probably have Sparrow babies in the nests under the eaves and "our" Swallows which live in the barn have just arrived . . .

  9. Loved reading this - how wonderful to find the bluebirds nest. Hope they survive their first flying lessons!
    The end of your afternoon sounds pretty good and I love those Adirondack chairs!

  10. What a lovely afternoon with complete with the excitement of baby bluebirds! How blessed you are to live close to your daughter!