In order to help you pace yourself, I should have mentioned that this is/was a three part series. (Apparently I had more free time back in 2010.)
For the birds...Part Two: Their Unlikely Ally
Well, the birds proved to be as insane over this situation as I was becoming. They did stay away from the recyclable plastic forest I was trying to create. However, they started doing a balance beam routine on the pieces of wood that once held them at bay. Here we see the swallow doing an inspection before flinging any more mud in that general direction...
And here you can see less than a full day's work...
I am sure you appreciate the fact that I am sparing you the visual of their bathroom renovations...ugh! I can see these charmers right from the chair I sit in when I am on the computer, and get the full picture every time I open the front door. I neglected to mention that they sleep up on that ledge (nest or not) at night...and do not fly away when we come and go. It's a little creepy to me because I can't see them when I am coming in until I am already on the porch...with them.
Now every now and then, I like to pretend that I am in charge of the inside of the house, and Mister Weedwacker's domain is anything outside. I might as well go all in and pretend I am a pretty princess in a posh castle with a moat to keep me safe, and legions of people catering to my every whim...not because they are in my employ...just because they love me so, and wish for my happiness. Well, these birds are outside (thank goodness), so I wanted them to not be my problem to solve. Mister did what he thought was his part, and took the nests down a few times...um, okay, but that didn't solve the problem. His strategy each year seems to be, try one thing then stop (regardless of what kind of, if any, results are achieved).
I was starting to think he may LIKE the birds. We used to be avid cardinal, nut-hatch and chickadee fans and feeders at our previous home. I was wondering if his fondness for those days of feathered friends was making him latch onto the wrong crowd. How else to explain why he wasn't doing more? A friend tried to explain to me that it just wasn't his priority, like it was mine. OK, but I could not understand how ceasing to have a bird poop cluttered front porch was a "back burner" type of an item. Why weren't we forming our own team, drawing up blueprints, making a PLAN! I was chatting with neighbors about the birds and they were full of suggestions, offering to cut wood. I knew these folks were under no obligation whatsoever to invest any time, energy or manual labor in assisting me. And once again, this was the Weedwacker's domain, ergo his obligation.
This is where my fuzzy logic often comes into play. I obviously am the only one living here who operates under the impression that we all have job descriptions. I'm not sure who I believe conducts our performance reviews, but I'll be happy to tell you how everyone is doing! Fuzzy logic might be better than when logic completely escapes me and I decide that even if it is not Weedwacker's priority to deal with the poopsters, he should be doing it because of how much it upsets me (mmm-hmmm, back to my castle fantasy perhaps). For better, for worse, richer, or poor, her priorities are your priorities...oops, did I dream that?
Finally I decided that I would just feel better if I just dealt with the situation...made it go away. Maybe I'd even feel a sense of accomplishment. I didn't want to leave the house because the kids were out playing, so I had to do the MacGyver-what's in the garage that I could use? The birds appeared to be off on some mission, so the timing was great. First I gathered up a few more water bottles (with no sense of how wide our porch is). Then I hauled a five inch by eight foot plank up the ladder, and placed it on the ledge. I took it down when I realized our children's safety was important to me. Then I grabbed a cross-country ski (the look on my daughter's face told me I was losing my mind). I found a couple of 2x4s and some cardboard in the garage, and realized THIS was going to be the answer (at least for that day). I wedged the pieces up on the ledge at an angle, as the key is to take away their flat surfaces. Now all the while, I was on the phone with my dear friend (obviously a dear friend, because who else would stay on the line, calmly telling me to flap the cardboard, while I was screaming that the birds came back and were flying at me?). She stayed on the line with me until I had all of the available cardboard in place. (This was in exchange for the times I have stayed on the line with her to keep her company when she has to put away laundry or empty the dishwasher.)
One piece of the cardboard fell, and I did NOT have the energy to get the ladder back out, so I asked Mister Bird-friend to put it back up, and mentioned that it might need a tack. There were several of other pieces in place, so I thought it would've been insulting to give any further directions as to how to replace it. My friend tells me all the time that we have to put the dots pretty close together for our husbands (do not be offended ALL men...I think she literally means our two husbands, for the most part). Well, for once I felt I really put the dots close together, so I didn't give the porch another glance that evening...phew!
**Marianne, I laughed when I saw your comment on yesterday's post because you were the only commenter back in 2010. Your comment on this post's original airing stood alone as well! ;)