Dinner in the Trees

We just finished dinner and now it is time for a rest.  We live in the middle of the woods so get a lot of quiet watch time.  No cars drive past our house so I can feed the humming birds right next to our front steps.  I sit in my recliner and watch them eat and fight.  Right now there are 5 or 6 birds all fighting for the four feeding spots.  I have my window open so I hear them chatter as they dart about.  The humming birds are the only birds we feed because they head south before we do.  The other birds stay here all winter and it is in the winter they need to be fed the most so it is not fair for them to feed them sunflower seeds all summer and they leave them for 3 or 4 months in the heart of winter with no food and no experience  in hunting for their own food.  But our screened in upper level porch is where we eat our meals and it is right up in the middle of the trees so as we eat we can look the bird in the eye.  Some times the birds notice us and give us a funny look wondering what we are doing up that high.  We do not have Blue Jays here.  They hang around the farms that are below us and hidden from sight- near the road.  We have many little song birds and many nest up here.  We have two blue bird houses and both have eggs in them now but they are down near the ground- when we eat we are way above them.  Today at dinner there was a lot of squawk  and flying in and out of the big trees near us.  I told my husband there must be something bothering the nests of the song birds for they were chasing something.  Then I say the Blue Jay land on a branch near us and he had something in his claws – eating it.  Then I knew – that Jay had just robbed a nest – 6 or 7 small birds swooped down and went after the Jay-  Another Jay joined him and in and out of the trees they went with the little birds right on their tails and soon the Jays took off and headed down the hill toward the farm.  Things quieted down then and all was normal.  Life is hard for all living creatures and they have to fight for their place in the sun.  We get to see life in the tree tops here.  All our other homes have been at ground level so we missed most of this excitement .  We have seen snakes bother birds before but have never seen the Blue Jays do it.  I have heard stories about their robbing nests.  In Blairville we had a Blue Jay rookery on our land and they were not aggressive there but maybe that is because there were no nesting song birds near their territory, they were too smart for that.  I feed them and they were fat saucy birds.  We built a squirrel house and put it into a tree near the house but before the squirrels could build an owl built his nest in the box.  We thought it was the small titmice that were building in that for they would fly in every now and then and seem to stay but when it was time to clear out the boxes in the fall we found why they stayed, there was an owl nesting in there and he ate they little birds that came to dinner and fed them to the baby.  We did see the baby at the whole a couple times but never knew what it was  so this time we had the old nest to clean out and all the small bones.   At our cottage at Nottley Lake we had a single room guest house near our cottage and it was there that I did my sewing.  There was a bird that built it’s nest on the porch each year and when I was in there sewing on hot days with the windows open sometimes the bird would squawk at me but this one day he kept coming up to the window and squawking like mad and flying by franticly.  I told him to just feed his babies and leave me alone- there were four babies in the nest.  Finally I gave up and decided to go back down to the house and leave the poor bird in peace but when I stepped out the door instead of coming nose to nose with the bird nest with four chicks in it, I came nose to nose with a great big snake stretched out on the beam of the porch sleeping in the sun with four bumps in his body and no birds in the nest.  I knew then why the parent bird had been making such a noise but it was too late to help.  I couldn’t or didn’t dare leave because I had to go so close to that big snake so I screamed for Norman who came and gave that snake a mighty poke and sent him on his way.  We like snakes to keep the mice population in the country down but don’t like them on or in the house.  Have a good day

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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