1. Do mice climb trees?
2. Do robins dance?
3. Do robins harass bluejays?
4. Does ice rot?
If you answered “Yes” to all of the above, then you are absolutely correct! And I can prove it. You’ll have to take my word for it, though…
1. Ian climbed the ladder about two weeks ago to take the bird house down out of the tree. It had gotten turned upside down by strong winds, and he thought he ought to clear it of the old nests before hanging it up again. He brought it in to me and set it on my desk, asking how on earth he was to take it apart without wrecking it. I was surprised to find out there was a nest in each end. I noticed there was a movement as if the nest had “settled” when he set the Conestoga-shaped birdhouse on the desk. He took it out to the deck to take it apart. Suddenly I heard yelling coming from the deck as Ian hollered for the kids to come out there. Excitement ensued, luring me from my computer. He had discovered, as I am sure you have guessed by now… a nest of mice in one of the birds’ nests! Two relatively young mice, which looked suspiciously like deer mice to me. Very pretty. One of the mice took a dive out the hole and down to the ground and took off running. Ian let the other one go at the base of one of the trees.
2. I was sitting at the computer one morning to see a movement outside the living room window… and was compelled to stand up to get a better look at the activity. Two male robins were engaged in what looked like some sort of well-choreographed ritual dance. In a single movement, both would fly up into the air and back down… or run a few feet across the grass… or zig zag from one side to the other… and back up into the air again. This went on for a minute or so, till they both took off in the same direction for the trees across the road.
3. Yes, indeed, it was a male robin I saw dive-bombing a bluejay, chasing him from branch to branch, and finally right out of his tree, across from our deck. Those evergreen trees are a haven for all sorts of bird activity. Loads of fun to watch the goings-on.
4. Ian took Timothy, Nathaniel and me to the river one evening a few weeks ago. The pathway to the river was treacherous with thick mud, and Nathaniel had to be rescued from his spot on the bank where he was slowly slipping downward, with no way to step out of it. He just stood there looking at us helplessly till Ian reached over and picked him up. The beach was strewn with little ice floes. These ice floes consisted of what Ian calls “rotten ice.” In the spring when the ice is breaking up, it does so by the impurities on the ice surface melting the ice downwards and making all sorts of little shafts and columns of air. What is left is the pure ice, in thousands of icicles standing side by side, making up one little ice floe. Kick it and it falls apart into a hundred pieces. Ian said you can take a canoe out on the river when the ice is that way, and actually paddle through what look like solid chunks of ice. Rotten ice. It sounds like a thousand pieces of glass tinkling together when you kick it… I can only imagine what it would sound like from a canoe. I’d love to try it sometime.
© Willena Flewelling