Ready for nesting

Of the four birdhouses sitting on posts at the edge of the field, only two were in good shape. One had a busted roof with a hornet nest under it. One had fallen off and had gotten buried in the snow. Another was loose but at least it still stood. It took care of some of that today.

These birdhouses have been around a while. The only thing I have had to do in the past was to clean them out each spring. They do get used. Two of them had old bluebird nests in them this time. They are made up largely of white pine needles. The other day, as in the past, I dumped the old nests in the field.

Unfortunately, one of them had a dead bluebird in it. It was odd. It was perfectly preserved. Maybe it had not been there long. Maybe it had gotten frozen. I found a spot for it under the white pines. That seemed fitting.

I removed the busted house from its post. That one is sitting on the porch. I am not sure I can easily repair it. I might just replace it. The fallen one I remounted and reattached. I tightened the loose one. The one on the end, closest to the fir tree and the forsythia, seems to get used the least. It had no nest last year and typically does not. It needed no help.

So three out of four next boxes are ready to go. Tree Swallows will be back soon. They often nest in one of them. Bluebirds sometimes get two hatches out of a box. One summer House Wrens used the far one. It will be good to get that fourth one back on track. I am not sure they have ever all been used at one time, but I like to give our avian companions options.

This is the start of cleaning things up outside after winter. I can see we need to rake leaves and clear out debris. Fallen branches need to be hauled away. Our driveway has some ruts that could use some smoothing. But at least the bluebirds and swallows can get started on their annual duty of raising chicks. Already Red-Winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows are staking out territories with their songs. Once the ground thaws it will be time for us humans to get cracking as well.

Painting Tomorrow?

Summer has arrived and the big house painting project needs to begin. Tomorrow? The weather should be fine. My plan is to get started early: sand and prime the deck and the wall next to it. If that goes well I might be able to paint all that the next day. I say might because we plan to travel to Montreal the next day, see the city and have a fine time of it, thank you very much. If I can squeeze some painting in before we leave, I will be better off. If not, it will have to wait until Friday or even Saturday. Too busy.

I will need some supplies, but not to get started. Once I get that first stint under my belt I will go get the supplies I need–more primer, more paint, a taller ladder. I can get most of the house but our ladder isn’t quite tall enough for the ends. So more tools are required. At least it will save us some cash.

I am fired up for this project. I fear I will not have enough time, but if the weather holds I think I can crank and make it happen. I had better. I should have gotten it done last summer.

So tomorrow I begin and see how far I get. If I can at least get the south and east sides of the house painted–they get the most sun–then I will have been successful enough. I hope to do it all, but who doesn’t?

My immediate problem is the wasps nests in the exterior deck light. One mud wasp and one yellow jacket.  I should rid the lamps of that nuisance this evening. If our insect friends stand for it. I don’t mind having them around. Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you. That seems to be the way it works. But these characters are making themselves a little too much at home, so I will need to suggest they leave or be slain.

Or I could paint their houses as well. But I don’t need more work than I’ve got with this project, eh?