Monday, June 14, 2010

The Spotted Towhee Fort

It's a new fashion in spotted towhee housing!

I had been weeding and cutting back the dead sage bush when I suddenly discovered a spotted towhee nest, with 2 little spotted eggs in it. The nest nestled in the sage, about a foot and half off the ground. A bird had been squawking as I worked but it took me a while to see the nest.

Having removed much of its protection, I piled some rhododendron cuttings around the nest site for some protection. But I still stayed up half the night worrying, as I could hear the resident owl hooting through our open window. Plus, we get all the neighborhood cats roaming through our yard, not to mention the raccoons.

So this morning, I piled more rhododendron branches around it. Mama towhee sat quietly in her nest as I piled the branches high around her. She's better protected now, but I can still get a glimpse of her:

I wonder if there's a way for me to declare my yard a wild bird nesting sanctuary and weeding is now forever forbidden?!

And by the robin's nest, we have a new cement pad!

This area was very uneven (not to mention weedy), and every year, as I get up on the ladder to pick/prune the grapes and peach, I think, for sure I'm going to break my neck this year. So now I've graded the spot, and with fellow artist Anne's help, started putting in a cement pad. I'll fill in the in between areas with some topsoil and Corsican mint.

This is also in a very sunny location, so I figure it'd be a good spot for my parents to sit when they come visit. Unlike me, who likes to sit in the shade, they like to sit in the sun!

The plan is to extend the cement pad down this path, gradually narrowing the width of the pad until it's more path-like than pad-like. Maybe I should name the cement pad The Robin's Pad?


margaret said...

Did you pour and form those concrete "tiles" yourself? I like 'em.

fingerstothebone said...

Why, yes I did! With Anne's help. It actually went really fast. I'll be using the same technique to extend it and make a path.