The wild things are taking over outside my front door. Itís probably a good thing that the rain stopped long enough for me to get out there with my weed trimmer this afternoon. Itís going to be a long, slow process, but every time I use the trimmer I get a little more comfortable with it. I now have the basic idea for the most effective motion; the fact that I havenít quite mastered it yet is just a matter of time.
It irritates the birds no end when Iím out there, but theyíre still comfortable in my yard most of the time. Too comfortable, maybe, because Iíve been chasing sparrows out from under the eaves by the door all week. Iíve explained to them, quite patiently I believe, that the eaves go all the way around the house, and they can just build there nest somewhere Iím not going in and out all the time. Itís better for everyone that way, really.
This morning before I opened the blinds I heard a noise outside that had the same sound as my trash can when I wheel it down the driveway, a sort of low, roaring rumble. When I looked out to see what was going on, I realized Iíd heard the beating of a hawkís wings at close range. I saw it take off from the garden and fly off into the fields to the south. These red-shouldered hawks have been around a lot lately, but way overhead. This is the closest Iíve seen one.
Turkeys, on the other hand, have no problem trekking through the high grass and moseying around the yard for as long as it suits them. And although the quail donít much like the weeds, they have been hanging out on, around and under the gardenerís truck, which is now in its second month of abandonment in my driveway. I have to drive slowly when I come home from my errands, because it takes the quail a while to get out of the way.
The little birds are back, too, and the rain has kept the birdbath filled even when Iíve forgotten. I think the insect-catchers (the black phoebes, for example) prefer the high grass, because theyíre always swooping down into it and coming away with something.
I canít keep the yard overgrown just for their benefit, though. After less than a week, Iím becoming convinced I can handle the weeds on my own this summer. This is a big step after four years of depending on others to do it.