Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life in the City

Another wildlife in the city report: Day before yesterday I heard some songbirds, robins and finches, going absolutely berserk outside our front window. I finally went for a look. And there on an electrical wire sat a short-tailed hawk looking very grumpy about all the fuss. We’re thinking he came into the neighborhood drawn by all the juicy young rabbits that infest every back yard. He sulked on the wire for about half an hour – the robins (a male and a female) never shut up the whole time, while the finches came and went – then flew into a big tree across the street. An hour later he was back, and the songbirds went back to creating a racket. He lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes this time, then flew off for good. He was a handsome tan bird with an oddly-short black tail.

We have a balcony in our apartment that our cats just love to visit. They become a nuisance in fine weather, always asking to go out – and sometimes they’ll take up a quiet stance under a chair or table and get forgotten out there, which they hate and I’m sure our neighbors don’t think much of either, as they yell to be let in. So we bought a cat door that fits onto the screen of the sliding door off our bedroom. At first they were baffled by it. We took turns shoving them through and became convinced we own two very stupid cats. Then Snaps caught on and now he’s in and out as easily as if he invented the door himself. But Panzi, poor Panzi, still doesn’t get it. She’ll sit and watch Snaps go through, then sit and stare out the screen, hoping one of us will notice and shove her through. I wonder if some of it is stubbornness or some other syndrome because she has, on at least two occasions, been abandoned out there only to turn up in the kitchen in time for supper. We have stopped pushing her through, which makes life easier on the pansies I planted out there this spring. She adores eating roses but if there are no roses around, she will eat the blossoms off pansies.

I am discovering how incredibly simple it is to stitch an argyle pattern in cross stitch. I love argyle, I keep meaning to learn how to knit it. I’m making a bookmark in just two colors, orange and black and debating whether to graph it into a traditional charted pattern or just do it in words, since it’s so easy.

Buttons and Bones is making progress but more slowly than I would like. I’m hoping it picks up speed once then identify the skeleton they’ve discovered in the root cellar.

I learned a whole lot about beer for the forthcoming Blackwork, but wish I’d run across this story while it was still in the planning stages. I could have used this. Meanwhile, I’d sure like to taste at least some of the beverages described here:


Terri Thayer said...

I was divebombed repeatedly yesterday by two birds. I couldn't see any sign of a nest or why they were torturing me but they were determined little suckers.

No wonder The Birds was so scary.

Julie said...

The hummingbirds in Southern California were gorgeous, but remarkably intimidating. They'd dive-bomb the cats, and hover outside the kitchen screen, yelling at me when the feeder was empty. They'd come down and hover, with that deep hum, right in front of my face when I was sitting outside. Amazing.

Betty Hechtman said...

We have aggressive mockingbirds in our backyard. I think the problem is that they think it is their backyard. They chase the dog, the cats and us.

We get hawks in the yard, too. It is really creepy how they are soundless when they fly away.

There are lots of hummingbirds as well. They seem content to hang around the flowers.

Camille Minichino said...

This is why I don't go outside unless I have to, never linger, just using outside to get from one inside to the next!

Linda O. Johnston said...

The birds in our backyard aren't especially aggressive, nor are they acclimated to living around humans. This year, we've had three fly into our back windows. Today, there was an ill bird in our backyard--still alive, but it didn't fly away when the dogs got close. I just hoped whatever its problem was, it wasn't contagious.