Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chirping Birds and Cow Pastures

Eight years ago this summer, we moved into our newly constructed home sitting on a hill in the middle of a cow pasture. Apparently some land developer got a great idea to offer Grandpa Jones money for 50 acres of his cow pasture and Grandpa Jones jumped at the offer, since he knew the land was basically worthless and not good for anything! Ironically, said developer had the last laugh because he figured out a way to build 40 homes on large lots of land and convince city folk to move to the country and buy their own piece of happiness!

Fast forward a few months and we were the city folk!! We had high hopes of cultivating our yard and developing a lush green landscape with big beautiful trees and lavish flower beds. It seemed as though gardening opportunities were endless.

Then reality struck - the only living green things on our property were a couple of crab apple trees along the fence line and the tons and tons of grasshoppers! I wish I had a picture to share with you, these grasshoppers were at least 2 inches long - seriously- and would eat any and all plants we tried to grow. Every step we took was on top of a grasshopper, think biblical plague - you won't be far off from what we experienced the first couple of summers living in the cow pasture.

Oh how I desperately wanted green grass and trees - we planted several pounds of grass seed the first couple of years we lived there and then it would promptly rain and all of our grass seed went floating down the neighborhood ditch!

Another tribulation we suffered through was the horrid caliche dirt. If you know anything about dirt you know that this stuff is like gumbo when wet and cement when dry! It's not at all easy to grow anything, other than weeds! Never fear, we forged ahead and planted shrubs around the house and eventually some grass seed has taken hold and we have something green that needs to be mowed on a weekly basis. At this point, I really wouldn't consider our green stuff grass, but the weeds sorta blend in where the grass leaves off and when it's mowed, no one really knows the difference. Maybe???

Next up I wished for I had in mind red birds, blue birds... you know nice friendly birds that will eat bugs and build their nests and come back each year to enjoy the birdseed you put out for them. UH NO! That's not what I got! I got these evil feathered beings!
OH don't misunderstand - they come back each year and build their nests in the exact same spot as the year before! They are just nasty! I don't know any other way to say it - but ICK! These are BARN SWALLOWS and they might as well be attack birds! This is the time of year when I would like to be sitting and rocking on my front porch, but instead I'm dodging these dive bombing birds! The continue to build their nest in the corner of our front porch, by the front door.
They look so sweet and innocent don't they! WRONG! PURE EVIL! I'm sure God had something purposeful in mind when he created these birds, but at this point I'm not sure what that would be, other than just a huge nuisance! Each year I try to catch their nests being built and before they lay eggs, but these little demons are quick!
One day I can check the porch and they are just starting to gather the mud for their nest, and the next day there is a nest full of eggs! UGH! Now how can I knock that down? I can't! I do have a heart, but still - as soon as those little buggers are flying on their own, I'm cleaning their nest down. If I don't catch it quick enough, they will lay another batch of eggs....these barn swallows never go away!!!

Not only do they lay 7 or 8 eggs at a time, but they are LOUD when they protect their young!! This morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard these little evil darlings chirping quite loudly; I'm not sure what was causing the problem, but I'm assuming it had something to do with the fact that I had opened the door and let the cat out... HAHAHA... cause I'm mean like that!
One our our cats will sit at the door and try to climb up the window panes to get to them - it's quite comical to watch, and one of these days I think I might just cheer her on if she catches one.

So now you know, my sunny disposition is all because I awake to sweet little chirping birds flying around our in our green lush lawn and nesting in our beautiful aged oak trees - NOT!! My husband has decided to just start pruning the crab apple trees, at least they look like we want them to be there? It's a never ending process - we water, we fertilize, we mow, and still no green grass, just more green weeds! We are learning to adjust our expectations.
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