Monday, June 13, 2011


You have heard me gripe about the foolishness of the leaders of  countries who go to war over territorial disputes.  Sadly I have joined  that group of people that I don't admire. I have been at war.

First let me explain about the turf I am fighting over. I love my hammock. This is where I go to totally relax and to air out my mind. It is the one spot that I can really slip my brain into neutral. I want my hammock time!!

The location I have chosen  very carefully to hang it, is on the north/west corner of my wrap around porch. If the air is moving at all, that is that corner it seeks and the sun doesn't hit there till late afternoon plus I am hidden from the road traffic. Perfect.

For the past couple of years, I have a returning Phoebe couple that insists on building their nest right on that same corner. Each year I try to dislodge all of their initial attempts in hope that they might pick another spot.

Messy little mud and moss nest builders.
For three years, I have lost the battle. They are doggedly determined that is the only spot they can nest. Not that I mind where they build. It is that they mind where I place my hammock.

As soon as I go out to lie in that wonderful contraption, whoever was on the nest flies off and then parks on a hanging basket to give me the evil eye and mutter bird profanities.
Click on to enlarge. Phoebe is right by post.
I have tried lying perfectly still so they would get used to me being there and realize I am no threat. This is a bit of a bummer for I do like to swing, but I sacrificed movement, hoping they would return to the nest with me there. Not going to happen. They continue to take turns on the basket perch to glare at me.

Wuss that I am, I start worrying about the abandoned eggs  with the parents gone (there are 4 little white eggs) and I know I really will worry once they hatch for fear they won't get fed properly.

The simple thing would be for me to move the hammock, right?  But this is the perfect spot and this is my house. Each of the other corners have major drawbacks. I want my corner. I have my rights.  

So who is going to win this war? Not the gigantic human with an arsenal of deadly weapons, opposable thumbs and a huge brain. No it is the few ounces of fluff, feathers and tiny brain that will claim the territory and impose their terms on me.

The Phoebe duo and I (well mostly me) have chosen the enlightened approach which the Middle East ought to try. I want my corner--- they want my corner--- but by mutual agreement we have found a solution.

It was a solution discovered one  morning as I was  walking with Mighty. Fortunately, I am an early riser or this wouldn't work.

It seems I am allowed by the Phoebe's to use the hammock in the pre-dawn hours while Mighty is watering the Liriope and chasing bunnies. Neither of the birds seem intimidated by me in the dim lighting  and who ever is in charge of the nest at that time of morning is not easily spooked.

On the plus side, it really is pleasant for me at that time of morning. Being   around 4:30 AM, it is pre-blogging and a good time to clear the brain and shake off the morning grogginess.  The air is delightfully cool, light is just starting to soften the darkness, and the birds are all waking up to sing their little hearts out. There are so many birds singing at that time of morning that it is almost a din.

Not sure whether I have a hundred birds in residence or maybe just a half dozen very talented Mocking Birds mimicking a hundred birds. The variety of songs do seem to come from the same areas. Regardless, I love it and I get in a good half hour of hammock time.

So the problem is solved, not perfectly, but solved. Are you paying attention world leaders? It is called sharing and compromise. Simple.

Have you ever let a creature bring you to your knees and alter your course?


  1. "Have you ever let a creature bring you to your knees and alter your course?" You mean, other than our furkid?

    With our lifestyle we don't have a territorial problem (other than in the spring when birds try to build a nest inside our king pin hitch of our fifth wheel) but if we lived in a sticks and bricks? Yeah, I would give in to the little critters.

  2. I hope the world leaders are taking note. Nice to know, too, that there might be an advantage to being an early riser. Personally, I think the earlier sunrises are a waste of light and a major design flaw in the universe.

  3. hmmmm..both are winners? Gosh, listen up world leaders...what a novice idea???

  4. Well, other than the fact that you don't get to use it any other time (at least at this time of year), it seems a good compromise. Plus it's gotten you up even earlier than usual.

    I too am an early riser. We have a lot of birds, but the graceless sound of the house sparrow is the most common, and it does sound more like a din. I have many other birdsong in the morning, too. :-)

  5. What a pretty hammock! I love to hear the birds singing early in the morning, too. Glad you found a compromise.

  6. 4:30 am???? Oh, not for me. I am snug in my warm bed then (one hopes) and although I love hammocks, I would not leave my bed for one at that hour.

    I had to altar my life a bit when birds built nests in the ferns on the porch, or on my wreath. They were determined that no one would use the front porch while they were there, and we tried to honor that as much as possible. Finally,(in following years) I began removing their nests as soon as they started building them, and they decided it was too much trouble to keep rebuilding.

  7. LOL, LOL....Every day, each day. Sweetie runs the show, pretty much.....Whatever he wants---WHEN he wants it, seems to be the order-of-the-day.....! He pretty much calls the shots. As the saying goes: "Dogs have Masters, and Cats have Servents"....So Very True!
    I am here to SERVE!

    Those Birds certainly fpund the way to have THEIR!

  8. I see a future in Washington DC for you.....


  9. Yeah, if only they'd pull out of all the wars and use that money to build infrastructure in this country, a project in each state, then folks would be able to get a job and there'd be a ripple effect in the economy, simple, but simple doesn't seem to occur to any of them. Of course they're not living hand to mouth - they just say it will take time, the hungry and unemployed have plenty of time, they just don't have any money for food or bills. Sorry for the mini rant, but little do they know.

  10. I think there is room for you in my administration, but it won't be Secretary of Defense. Now, don't get me wrong---I like critters as well as the next guy---but I would suggest THIS compromise: You two birds can stay as long as you pay your fair share of the rent. Ha.

  11. Patti,

    Sharing, compromise AND setting boundaries. Those little birds sure did set their boundaries, didn't they?

    What a lovely spot for you all to enjoy.

    Hope your week is spectacular!

    Kathy M.

  12. Abosluetly brilliant ...wonderfully written. ...its only the cats that wage war ...and win.
    Sorry i missed your last post ...I am so pleased for you that you have been given a clean bill of health for the next 6 months. I did not realise what Ca you battled with late husband had the same but discovered it a little late. He had to have a bladder removal but his heart did not withstand the 7 hour I wish he had taken heed of the early signs.

  13. Excellent solution. Very kind of you to give them their space. How long do they nest? Once those eggs are hatched, and the brood fledges, you get your hammock back full time, right? Or, do they have more than one brood?

    I always alter my course for creatures. That's the story of my life!

  14. Hi Patti, glad you came up with a solution that makes everyone happy! Your hammock looks like a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature and cool breezes. Why should the Phoebes have all the fun. Cute post!

  15. Blogger wouldn't take, so I'll try again -- I've never ever won a battle with the little critters, LOL. Since I'm sung in my bed at 4:30, I'd just roll over and give them the run of it till the kiddies fly the nest...but you made a nice compromise. Yes, world leaders should listen up!

    Happy your tests came back so nice...didn't're a strong lady!!!

  16. Our nesting Eastern bluebird pair has caused me to walk well away from the paddock fence on which the box is mounted than I normally would. This Mama is more easily disturbed than past nesters, so I walk wide to give her 5 eggs a chance to cook. And I have completely altered any travel plans since we closed the kennel. Having nowhere to leave them that I trust has caused me to insist we stay home or take separate vacations... Later this coming summer we have a camping trip planned so that will be the test.

  17. Have you ever let a creature bring you to your knees and alter your course? All the time!

    Glad you found a time to enjoy your lovely hammock and the birds are happy while you are doing so. That plan would work for me as long as they did not poop on my hammock.

    Enjoy your early morning time in your wonderful hammock. Hugs

  18. What a brilliant solution, Patti! Those early morning hours are such a great time to relax and to spin ideas. And compromise is such a necessary and often neglected life skill. World leaders really should take note!

  19. We have a wren nesting in our carport and doing her "business" on my car. :( I had my husband get the ladder out to take the nest down but there were 7 eggs in there! So we waited until said eggs hatched and the babies flew away. We removed the nest. While away for the weekend she built another nest and laid more eggs! Good this my house or hers? blessings, marlene

  20. Good idea! Don't you just love early mornings when the world is new?

  21. 4:30 a.m.??? There is only one reason for me to be up at that hour, and I take care of it quickly and jump back into bed for another 3 or 4 hours. lol

  22. I have, indeed! But you can bet your sweet bippy (you remember Laugh-In, don't you?) that it wasn't for a squirrel or a rabbit.

  23. You story is similar to mine that I wrote about last week in my blog. Luckily, the babies are much bigger this week and nearly ready to fly the coop. I went ahead and cleaned the porch and tried to reclaim my territory for just a few minutes a day, but Momma Bird didn't like it at all.

    I'm thinking about tacking up some chicken wire next year so she can't build her nest on my porch.

  24. Rv VAgabonds,
    Furkids really do lead us around by our noses don't they? As often as you move, that is a bad spot for a bird nest.

    Ha ha, I do detect a serious night person.

    They just try to complicate things too much. Simple works.

    You are right, the house sparrow does lead the choir.

    Thank you, I really love it. They really let lose in the AM don't they?

    I thought you might be a push over also. I tried daily tearing down of the nest but they wore me out rebuilding.

    I would have guessed Sweetie had you well trained. I can be pushed around by just about any creature.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    I can't be any more scary than what is lining up for the next election.

    Linda Starr,
    I doubt man ever figures out what you just said. Wars are too profitable.

    You definitely have the man's approach. We women are just too soft.

    Oregon gifts,
    Thanks Kathy, you too. They set them and I obeyed.

    I am so very sorry about your husband. Like a lot of cancers, early detection is so very important.
    Thank you for your good thoughts.

    Last year after the fledging, I just removed the nest and they either went elsewhere or were done for the year. Then it is all mine again. I was pretty sure you were a softy also.

    Thanks, it is so far working for us both with just minor inconvenience.

    Kitty Howard,
    So sorry Blogger was contrary for you. Sigh. Thank you for your good thoughts.

    Way to go big fellow. Let those Blues determine your path.
    Maybe you could take the dogs with you camping?

    So far, no poop, not even on the porch. I appreciate their toilet manners.

    Dr. Kathy McCoy,
    I wonder why people have problems with compromise. It really isn't painful.

    Wow, that was a busy wren with 7 babies. You just turn your back for a minute and----

    Yes, yes yes. Love those mornings.

    Well that gave me the giggles. Thanks.

    Though they always win, I love your squirrel and rabbit stories. They must make you feel like Wylie Coyote.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Those momma birds take the invasion of their territory pretty seriously.
    Good luck with the wire.

  25. Patti - the greyhound would do very well camping, but the pointer would be a disaster. He is a nervous wreck when out of his element. More surgery today for him. The tumors keep returning.

  26. I think you should send this to the white house.:) I would have given in also..but not sure I could get up that early to enjoy the hammock.

  27. ahhh, yes, snakes...they can have whatever it is they want and I will leave well enough alone! Honest, go ahead, take it!

  28. Detente does have a cost, but I think getting up for a 4:30 am ride in the hammock was a huge concession on your part. It doesn't sound as though the birds met you nearly 1/2 way on this. But I am glad that it works for you.
    I'm with Betty. If I see the clock show 4:30, I am rolling over to go back to sleep.

  29. Ha! So you are being held captive by nesters, too! I know the world doesn't need four more robins, but I can bring myself to do anything other that skirt around sneakily when I'm in the front of the house where their nest is. You use the mornings...we use the back door...all for four little eggs.

  30. Sounds reasonable to me. And the war never really escalted. You could have been dodging little white "bombs". Splat!

  31. Oh my, this is a dilemma, but you are a good diplomat because you condeded your space. I had this problem with starlings. At least you get phoebes. I am jealous. Dianne

  32. But of course...cats, squirrels, even the snails! They've all made me change my course of action. But, is that a bad thing?

  33. The next time one of our bigshots heads over to the Middle East for some peace talks, you need to hide in his or her luggage. You can be the secret weapon - er, I mean negotiator.

  34. Loved the story. But it's really awfully early to go out to the hammock. Once they leave their nest, then you can have the corner to yourself again. Good luck.

  35. Barry,
    Aw Barry, I am sorry about Logan but I know you are keeping up with the tumors and he is in the best of hands.

    We do what we have to. Eventually I will get my corner back.

    I am that way about spiders.

    Well they didn't poop on my hammock so I guess they gave a little also.

    Just proves we are both push overs. Proud of you.

    You are so right. It could have gotten ugly.

    Oh dear, I had Starlings a while back also. They are so messy but I had their entrances blocked off. One nest removed was 4 feet tall.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. And no, it is not a bad thing at all.

    Hay, if they don't want to co-operate, I could sing them into submission:))

    I am a morning person fortunately and yes, when they leave, the corner will be mine again.

  36. I love your hammock and the green onions you're growing in the planters, Patti. Wrens built their nest in my grandson's dirt bike helmet!

  37. Yes every dog I owned, and a few cats, have won So I am a greater Wuss than you.

    Luckie may be the worst. She knows when it is Sunday she gets a bountiful array of treats to bribe her not to tear up the house at 9:30 a.m. where she sits while we dress. Coffee making means 3 little treats before her actual breakfast. They are hidden in a bag in my coffee stash items. My housekeeper spoils her beyond reason. If she ever leaves home, she has developed Alzheimer's.

  38. Perfect solution, Patti ! Though 4:30 is very early! I am glad that you can have your precious hammock time! Can you shift the time every day in order to get it an hour or so later? Would the birds notice.?

  39. You are such a good person, always keeping a watchful eye on nature. Sounds like they keep an eye on you too. Other than that, this is tooo funny. I can picture the bird scolding you as he sits on your hammock. I have one Robin that sits on my roof and sings. I figure she must have a nest somewhere. But now, I'm trying to encourage birds to my yard. I'll probably be sorry if they sit on my chaise and scold. LOL

  40. My cats generally rule, and I have altered many things in my routine to accommodate them. Re: other creatures -- Years ago, I discovered that an Orb Spider (think Charlotte's Web) had spun a large web across my the glass on the outside of my front door. I usually do not tolerate spiders of any sort, but I was fascinated to watch her catch the bugs attracted by the porch light and, eventually, to watch her construct an egg case. I put up a sign on the inside of the glass reading: Do Not Open This Door - Spider at Work. One night she disappeared; over the next few days the web just sort of dissolved, and I had my front entrance available again. It was an interesting summer.

    Your hammock must be extremely comforting to pull you outside at 4:30 a.m. :)

  41. When we had 2 burmese cats, the whole household seemed to be dictated to by their needs and wants. They had the best place on the sofa, in front of the fire etc.

    Glad you get to rest on the hammock some of the time anyway!

  42. Wanda,
    Oh how funny, I guess not for your grandson however. When birds see a good spot, they just go for it.

    Our pets should be spoiled rotten for all the love they so freely give. Small payment.

    Reader Wil,
    Good idea Wil. I will have to try nudging the time up a bit each day. Might work.

    Don't worry if they scold. Just so they don't leave calling cards on your chaise.

    Now that is going above and beyond for a spider. I really have to give them a wide berth. Wonder if she died of old age or got eaten?

    LLCool Joe
    I had a feeling you were a push over Joey. Way to go.

  43. aw, I love this post. I was thinking of rigging up a mesh contraption below their nest to disguise your fearsome self. It seems like a lovely solution, and I do wish the world leaders and their minions would take note!

  44. Sue,
    Thanks, the eggs have hatched and as soon as the babies learn to fly, the nest is coming down.