Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I like surrounding myself with beautiful things. For me the top five on that list are family, quilts, art, books, and plants. Every spring I make extra time for gardening so I can insure I'll have lots of flowers and green thing to inspire and calm me for the rest of the year. It also adds a little joy to every day (whoever said you can't be unhappy in a garden was right on the money.)

We can't keep plants in the house because the pets won't leave them alone, but the back porch is fully stocked with containers now and we're planning a new rose garden around my much-loved miniature Japanese maple. I also put out my favorite hanging plants, sweet potato vines, on the front porch (I love how fast they grow and the way they spill over the pots like leafy waterfalls.)

I went out to water the front porch pots when I noticed a shadow among the leaves. At first I thought it was some dead leaves cluttering the middle, until I got closer and saw some very familiar spots:

Yep. Seems I'm not the only one who appreciates sweet potato vines.

For a couple of minutes I was pretty ticked off, seeing as we just hung these pots up only two weeks ago. Now I knew I'd have to stop watering it and let it die while Sweetie nests, and then wait a couple more weeks until the babies were ready to go before I took it down and replaced it with a new plant. This was going to totally ruin the look of my front porch.

Some people would chase off Sweetie, I know. And I was briefly tempted, because I didn't want her mate defending her and the nest by flying at the head of anyone who came to the front door (which we have learned the male doves will do because they're never far away during nesting.) I also knew it was my own fault for feeding them. If I didn't put out so much wild bird seed, the local avian population wouldn't spend so much time on my property or decide to nest in all these weird places.

It would be more logical just to stop feeding the birds. Eventually they'd get the message and then leave us alone. Life would be far less nerve-wracking.

Actually, life would also be kind of boring without our bird visitors. We wouldn't wake up to all this chattery birdsong in the morning. The pup and I would have no one to watch when we go out to sit on the porch. I'd never find another blue or red or gray feather in the grass, or see tiny baby birds cuddled together, or watch fledglings bravely take their first flights.

I do love my plants, but I have plenty on the porch and in the backyard. Until we moved to the country I'd never seen birds nest, or eggs hatch, or fledglings fly, not up close like this. Not on my front door step.

I like surrounding myself with beautiful things: Family, quilts, art, books and plants. These are all things I choose to have in my life. That Nature decided to surround me with nesting birds may be a little inconvenient, and spoil some of my plans, but they've become part of the beauty now, too. Then there's that look nesting Mama birds like Sweetie give me when they see me. They're wary of me, but there's also something else in their eyes. Maybe it's a smirk. Or maybe it's a little smile of thanks for the safe haven.

Oh, hell, I can always buy another damn plant.

Added: Sweetie wasn't sitting in the sweet potato vine this morning, and one of my friends said she might just be hiding out there, so I very carefully took down the pot to have a look. I was right, she's not just loitering.


  1. You're right.
    It's a look of appreciation.
    I'd almost swear I see it sometimes on the deer who feel secure enough to bring their fawns to play out back in the spring--probably just because I've left food out in the winter.
    Either way, yeah--plants are cheap. :)

  2. Anonymous6:26 AM

    You rock. Well, you and the birds.

  3. Awww. Wonder if you could water from underneath (into the tray below the planter) to keep the foliage alive? I think Sweetie is going to be shocked when her leafy green hiding place dies down around her.

    More baby bird pictures ahead!

  4. :) I love this post.

    yes, appreciation, safety, etc. :)

    You love Nature and Nature loves you. You gave gifts of foods and shelter (love) and you receive gifts of feathers and nesting (love). Oh i forgot...entertainment; watching the stages of life up close. (Joy)

    You said you liked Family around you...can't get much more "family' than nesting birds. *smiles*

    It sounds all so lovely...I am glad you have Love and Joy in your life.

    Be well :)


  5. Anonymous8:21 AM

    Maybe a gentle "rain" once in a while wouldn't upset her and would help ensure her green cave continues...

  6. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Well, some people would say to run her off, but I think it's wonderful that you won't. My neighbors have been trying to trap (and kill) a fox we have in our neighborhood. Our property backs up to 80 acres and this fox goes across our back acre and out to the big pastures. My neighbors complain that the fox (a carnivore!) is eating their garden. I have argued that no, she doesn't care about the veggies she has, it's the moles she's after. So far, I've won the argument. I refuse to run her off. Nature is meant to be wild and if you live in the country, you need to expect nature to intrude. I like it!

  7. That's awesome. I wish the birds would nest in my yard, but we have no trees. The closest we have is the starlings who nest at the neighbors place. They come and eat the food I put out for the stray cats.

    Enjoy your doves, and I agree that maybe there's a way to water from below, so she gets to keep her hiding spot and you get to keep your pretty plant.

  8. Anonymous1:16 PM

    Hee! It does appear some of your family members have feathers. :)I do wonder if there's a way to water the vine from the bottom to keep Sweetie under cover. Maybe wicks down to a basin with water?
    Whatever happens, you know we'll all be looking forward to the photos.

  9. You seem to really enjoying nature a lot. :) that's a wonderful quality!
    I've never seen sweet potato plants before...they're so green and pretty, hehe.
    I know what you mean...making sure that your life is filled with pleasant and pretty things definitely puts you in an overall very good mood.
    Love your photos, as always.
    Thanks for sharing!!



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