You act weird enough, people just leave you be.
I’ve already told you about the time Dave took me to the back porch to teach me how to blow a raspberry. (It was a sanitary issue. I was spraying a lot.) He was patient. I must’ve spent a good fifteen minutes spraying away before I got my first good fart sound out and then it was just a matter of refining the tone.
By then I was leaning over the railing so the spit wouldn’t hit the porch so much, and Dave was helpfully lip-farting to demonstrate proper embouchure, and every time we looked up we could see Venetian blind slats closing, and curtains dropping.
Still, people didn’t leave us alone for long. We’re friendly, and we have beer and a pickup truck. But today I might have finally done it.
I was outside attending Mr. Studley Windowson with a nice tub of mealworms, and he took one and immediately started scolding, and loud. That’s something, not only having a perfect bird on your finger but having him go off like that, and I looked up, and there was a scrub jay close by on a post. Mr. Windowson hates scrub jays and the boy can put out some decibels when he wants to. I admire jays, but I’m getting to where I’d prefer they go somewhere else, ever since the Nuthatch Fiasco of 2016.
So Studley flies off to a wire to scold some more, and Marge joins him, and they’re both going off, and I think–recalling Julie Zickefoose
and the time she won over a previously hostile family of barn swallows by getting on a ladder and scooping up an enormous black rat snake that was working its way toward their nest–I think, Watch this, Marge,
because Marge still hasn’t come to my hand, and I go over to the post the jay is perched on and thump it but good.
|Studley visits friends too.
And the jay does not even pay me the honor of glancing down. Eventually it gets bored and goes to another post, and I follow it and thump it right up to Kingdom Come. And then I get out my hose and put it on Jet and try to knock it off, but it flies lazily upward, and by this time I’m spraying the hose straight up in the air and every which way. Any neighbor peeking out the window is now watching me spray myself, basically, and nothing else in particular, and running around in circles. And eventually the mildly annoyed jay flies off. Meanwhile, Marge and Studley are still going nuts.
Then I see the jay is poking around the neighbor’s arborvitae. Marge even takes a dive at the jay, and then the arborvitae explodes with birds, all of them screaming their tiny chickadee heads off, and I see the jay is actually chasing a flying bird, and I think No, no, not Studley, and I haul ass over there–I am now in my neighbor’s yard–and I see the jay actually bearing down on two flying chickadees, not two feet behind them, and I don’t know if they’re Studley and Marge or the junior Windowsons, and I’m chasing the jay and flapping my arms and yelling NO NO NO at the top of my lungs, and they’re making tight circles so I am too and–well, basically, from the standpoint of anyone looking out his window, nobody does any of this stuff unless they’re on hallucinogens.
Finally the jay decides to bother someone else and goes away. I think the two birds the jay was almost catching were Studley and Marge drawing attention away from their babies in the arborvitae, but god almighty, how long do they have to keep this up? Their kids are flying, but apparently not well enough, and the sight of a jay almost catching them in flight fills me with dread. They’ve already made a nest out of pretty much nothing and found food for their brood for weeks and weeks and worked themselves skinny, but the danger never ceases. When do they get to stop worrying?
I’ve heard it’s the same with humans though.
And it's only June! I'll bet the neighbors will start completely avoiding you well before the fall migration.I do sympathize with your cause, however.
At least I'm old. When we pulled shenanigans when we were much younger, it probably looked threatening.
Didn't the Windowsons use the nest box by your computer this year? Or did the young take off into the arborvitae after fledging?
Yeah, I sometimes think about our neighbor's perspective of our actions when we are doing something which to them must seem mental. I will seemingly hold animated conversations with their rooftop — on which a beautiful leucistic pigeon is perched. I will chase cats away from my yard — all the while hissing like crazy and windmilling my arms at them. After they have run off, I still yell at them: "Stay out of my yard!" I never notice my neighbors doing anything of a similar fashion, so I wonder if they are thinking, "Oh, that Mimi. She's always doing stuff like that." or if instead they think, "Dear god in heaven! That women is batshit crazy!" I don't really care, though, which they think. If people think you are crazy, it gives you a lot of leeway for behavior.
The Windowsons did indeed use that nest box but they've been in various shrubberies since fledging.
If you live in the south, they are saying: Bless her heart. But they don't really mean it.
I had a similar incident with a mockingbird attacking a blue bird house with babies in it. I like mockingbirds very much but this one had me throwing stones and using the hose and coming close to damaging my roof where it rested! I do not have a pick-up or beer and so my neighbors pretty much keep to themselves. Waiting for the candid camera version of this post.
It's probably on NextDoor with a headline "Watch out for this one."
Mother Nature is brutal.
This is true.
Ah, Murr. You can and do conjure a mental image .
"Mental" is right.
I would be with you. And quite possibly would have fallen over while I was running around shrieking.
And wouldn't give even the smallest rat's fundament what the neighbours thought about my behaviour on an issue of this importance.
It was SCARY. I was five feet away from all the action, right nearly at ground level.
I haven't laughed that hard since last week. I've got my hose at the ready for the catbirds and cats that are both going to be the death of me if they don't get the wrens and chickadees first. I don't plan on letting that happen in 2020 because I've had enough bullshit.
Succinctly put, my dear, succinctly put.
You have made me feel so much better — just tonight I was in the backyard with the garden hose trickling water, pleading with a row of temperamental begonias to cut out this crap about dying from the heat, perk up, and start blooming again….One of my next-door neighbors is from France, and you know he is totally convinced that I'm nuts….
Well…. The French think all Americans are crazy, so it's just a matter of degree. And they are quite right in their assessment of us. There may be a few sane people in America, but they are the exception that proves the rule.
Now the British would undoubtedly get pleading with plants. They probably have High Tea with their begonias and discuss cricket with them.
Wonderfully exciting story. Even while staying at home life is treating us with thrilling adventures. Your descriptions certainly add to the flavor of the moment.
Honestly, during nesting season things get a little TOO exciting sometimes.
The worry never ends and there's extra worrying when the grandchildren come along.
I'm so very glad you managed to scare off the blue jay.
Temporarily. I will now report that after several days of seeing no one of the chickadee persuasion, Stud's back with THREE babies in tow, feeding them around the clock.
Still giggling at the shrubbery line, love that movie.
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