Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Wild North Side

Our house is completely oriented to the southwest. We have a wall of windows that look out in that direction to the pond and orchard, and beyond to the Olympic Mountain range. The north side of our house is a side we don't look at or use much. Interestingly, it's the front of our house, the side we approach when we drive in, but we just click the garage door opener, and slip right in, and hardly ever use the front door. I think most people have a side of the house that they basically ignore, or at least pay scant attention to. Just making sure that the few shade-loving plants growing out there have water, and the lawn is mown. (Or is that just us?)
Arrow points to nest.
As much wildlife as we see out our south-facing windows, there's so much more going on on the northside. When we do open our front door, birds scatter like crazy. Rabbits skitter away quickly. The deer munch lazily, barely giving us a second look. It's so peacefully their haven, that the rabbits and birds have built their nests out there.
Nest close up.
The other evening, just after sundown, I walked out the front door to go over to the neighbor's. I spent a little more time over there than I thought I would, so it was definitely dark when I left to walk home. I called the pirate and asked him to turn on the outdoor lights, and to meet me half way. He met me with a flashlight, and we headed back to the house. As we approached the front steps, we startled a male House Finch. He frantically started flying back and forth between the light on the porch and the light over the garage. I felt bad for him, he didn't know where to go for safety. I thought if we entered the house quickly, we'd be out of his way. So, I opened the front door, and in he flew.
House Finch on a 55 year old teapot.
The poor fellow ended up nervously flying around our kitchen and living room. We have very high ceilings, so he was way out of reach. We just watched him go from the ledge of the kitchen's upper cabinets to the handle of the teapots we keep there. He was looking for a way out. DPR closed the doors to the bedrooms, bathrooms and laundry room, and opened the front door, and the back slider. We waited. He flew. He perched. I photographed him. We waited. He suddenly took off like he had a plan, and flew straight out the front door, which we quickly closed behind him.
Considering his options.
I sure hope the finches will continue to build their nests out there.
I really ought to get out the ladder and dust those teapots.

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