Friday, May 25, 2012


This will be quick just to prove I am on the right side of the grass.  Still been struggling with that empty socket in my mouth. It doesn't  hurt badly but the pressure from my sinuses is quite unpleasant. It only bothers me when I walk or am jarred. It has added new meaning to annoying and unpleasant.  

Hopeful the protocol the dentist put me on yesterday will help.  Perhaps it is one of those delightful things, like ringing in the ears, that happen as we age and we just learn to "live with."  Oh well, today I plan to work on ignoring it.

Update on the skirmish with the barn swallows. I was lying in my hammock sharing space peacefully with the swallows who are now sitting on 5 eggs,when all sorts of squabbling broke out.

Last year's Phoebe who must have stayed late at his going away party,  suddenly arrived and was very unhappy to find his nesting location was now a mixed neighborhood.  My late arriving little friend was in no mood to share such prime real estate with mud dobbing interlopers.   War was declared.

Stunned I watched at first a full frontal attack as the Phoebe tried to claim the nest.  Then the dust up went airborne. This was an aerial  dog fight  that would have made a WWII pilot proud. I would have killed to have had my camera ready and made a video.  

Zooming high, pulling tight corners followed by noisy straight line chases.  Mid air body slams causing feathers to float to the ground. It was fierce.  Once both birds in full chase flew within a foot of my face.  I made my self small as possible in the hammock and didn't move. 

The girls must have been somewhere in the trees watching the brawl and cheering on their fellow. This was strictly mano a mano.  I am not sure the fight lasted a full minute but it was intense.

My resident swallow with eggs to defend put up the best fight and prevailed. I saw a few flybys later by the  unhappy Phoebe but then I guess he went to Plan B to a lesser location.  All is peaceful again. 

All stories should have a moral.  If there is a goal or possession you crave, don't lolly gag  and get distracted. Go for it before someone else is living your dream.   


  1. Birds can be ferocious when they feel threatened. My purple martins chase at least one "other" away every day, sometimes falling to the ground in a ball of feathers and rolling around. Something to see. My mud builders moved back to the barn from whence they came so Mr. Owl won the day. Whoo-hoo!

  2. Nature is sooo entertaining, if one observes. So often, we don't allow ourselves the time to watch or listen to the sights and sounds of nature...Thanks for sharing such a delightful story.

  3. You have my sympathies regarding the sinus/tooth problem. Every spring I swear I am having major tooth problems and it always turns out to be sinuses. This year the past month has been particularly bad. Our strange early up and down spring is to blame. The only thing I have been able to do is use my allergy medications and ENDURE!

    Barn swallows are extremely territorial. No wonder our cats avoided them like the plague! Glad you survived the experience!

  4. Nature is entertaining, but also quite ruthless. Glad to hear the phoebe finally gave up before somebody died. Hummingbirds will fight to the death to defend their territory. I've seen fights but no bodies, thank heavens. Hope that sinus/tooth problem gets better; it can't be something that happens when we get old... can it? I'm already there and so far so good! :-)

  5. Reminds me of the mother cat we had that got into fierce fights with other cats when the latter approached her kittens. I suppose humans would do the same for their children.

  6. Wow a ring side seat to all those tussles.
    My granddaughter and I were physically assaulted by hummingbirds this last week as we changed their feeders. The birds were chasing each other and we humans must have been in the "declared" fly zone cuz we both got pegged in the head.
    It is after all their world too.
    Oma Linda
    sorry about the sinus thing....

  7. That is great entertainment. Birds are funny. As I left Rite Aid yesterday, I had to stop an admire a smaller bird argue with two shiny ravens. It got on the hood of my car to glare down at the two bigger birds on the sidewalk.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your tooth. I hope you feel better :-(

  9. I know we can't take sides, but i am happy the Swallow won. The eggs are important.

    We have had similar brawls this year between Chickadees and late arriving Wrens. Both are bullies, so as George Bush's mom said when Jenna Bush was arrested, "they are getting back their own."


  10. Ha! Great story and your last line had me laughing out loud, Patti. Your writing is so excellent that I felt as if I were there with you watching the amazing battle.

    Hope you have a great weekend and will heal on up.

    Kathy M.

  11. That is very amusing. I like the sound/song the Phoebe makes. I might have been rooting for it except for the eggs.

  12. I hope the Phoebes learned a lesson. Maybe they will be the first to arrive next year.

  13. I know the feeling all too well. Great photo op and camera elsewhere.

    Like my yucca flowers. Five blooms when I went to church and gone 4 hours later. I'd loved to have a picture of those deer eating what has been termed deer asparagus.

    My robin nest appears empty. Perhaps I should do a little porch sitting with camera to see if a new tenant arrives, or prospective opposing tenants! I might witness some aerial acrobats.

    Just hope it isn't bluejays. I've seen them zero bomb some of my antagonizing German Shepherds who sought to deny them territorial rights in the dogs' yard.

    Geez! I hope the tooth problem gets better. I have had a nagging earache the whole spring from sinus drainage. Since I am not in for ear drum lancing or drainage plugs, I am enduring.

  14. Interesting story--beautifully told!!!

  15. I am in the middle of teeth issues also, it's just one more joy of old age!

    Babies in my flicker nest are making quite a racket!



  16. Great story! I, too, wish you had had your camera handy. Would have made a good video.

  17. WOW! That sounds like it was almost a fight to the death!! I've never witnessed anything quite like that---it had to be pretty scary...! I'm glad the "family" prevailed...!

    Is that a "Dry Socket" problem, Patti? They can be a bitch!!!
    I hope it gets better and better with this new protocal.

  18. Terri,
    Your name fooled me for a minute. Then I saw the owl and recognized my Arkie buddy. I am going to have to get one of those for next year.

    I know, I am very quick to put on the breaks when something interesting happens. Glad you liked it.

    Sad but true. We really do exercise our "Endure" muscles as Nature attacks.

    I didn't know that about hummers and probably explains the dead one I found in my yard last year. Yikes.

    Motherhood really brings out the fierce in most animals. The Phoebe didn't have a chance.

    The pentagon would describe what happened to you and your grand as "collateral damage." Wow, those little beaks are sharp.

    I have seen the little ones pounding on a big bird in flight also. Usually, it is because the big one just ate a baby. Gotta love their courage.

    Introverted Art,
    Thanks, this has been going on in one form or another for over a month. I'm ready for it to quit.

    Had to laugh at Barbara's wisdom. I didn't have any use for George but loved her.

    Aw thanks for the cool compliment and kind thoughts.
    Am really hoping this weekend will be the turning point.

    If she wants a place on my porch, she had best hurry. I'm sure the swallows will be back also. First come, first served.

    I would have been torn had it not been for the eggs also.

    Isn't it always the case. Someone needs to invent a watch camera so we will always be prepared.
    Yikes, the ear treatments sound brutal. Hope you are better soon.

    Aww, thanks so much.

    Noisy is good. Maybe they will fledge and that hole can be fixed soon.

    Thanks. I am always without one when it would be best and have it when nothing is happening. Must be me.

    Thanks Naomi. I too am glad only a few feathers got misplaced.
    It is not a dry socket. I had one of those and they are sooooo painful. This is more annoying and lingering and less treatable.

  19. The birds were merely intent on distracting you from your tooth. Mine has healed nicely - wish yours would do the same since it's difficult not to walk.

  20. Oh my, that must have been exciting. It's amazing how vicious birds can be when they're in attack mode.

  21. Woooo----bet you enjoyed seeing that fight... I remember seeing a big fight last spring between two male bluebirds... They were fighting over a lady and the nestbox....

    Hope you continue to feel better and better..

    Hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend. It's going to be a hot one here (temps. in the 90's)... Yipes!!!!!


  22. Oh thank goodness I was so worried about all those little babies, yes go for it is good advice. Hope your socket doesn't give you too much trouble and gets better quickly. Ugh.

  23. I've been away from the computer for so long and missed so much in my friend's lives the past month. What the heck happened to your tooth? I'll go back and see if you blogged about it while I was mia.

    Hope the tooth problem quickly resolves itself and you are back to fighting strength soon.

    Moralwise I was thinking "When one door closes another opens". Your story could be a cautionary tale to little phoebes about not diddling away the day and missing out on the prime nesting areas.

  24. Dear Arkansas Patti, you described this aerial battle so well that I could see it happened and you cowering in that hammock! I hope the five eggs remained in the nest. And your moral certainly stood out for me. I'm going for my heart's desire--to move back to Minnesota!


  25. Barb,
    You might be right, it did work for a while. So glad you have healed. Today was my best in a month. Think I have turned the corner. Thanks.

    Maybe that is what made the movie "The Birds" so scary. They can be fierce.

    We hit 94 today. Yipes.
    And here I thought blue birds were the gentle ones of the species. That female had to feel pretty special. Have a great weekend and thanks.

    Linda Starr,
    The eggs are Ok if this heat doesn't fry them. Thanks. Today has been a good day, first one this month. Yipee.

    Amber Star,
    Thanks, I am much better today. Think I am on the mend. Early bird not only gets the worm but also the best spot to raise a family.

    Thank you. So far, eggs are all ok though 5 is really going to be tight quarters.
    So glad you are following your desires. Life is just too short to procastinate.

  26. Honey I just now read your comment you left me and I swear I clapped my hands together and laughed so loud. hahaha Your a hoot! I can see that we do have a lot in common I guess your right about being separated at birth.
    Now on to your post. WOW you witness the most interesting goings on right on your front porch. I do wish you would of had the camera there and could video it.
    Amazing what we see when we get around our outside friends.
    Have wonderful weekend and please feel better.
    Love ya

  27. Hi Patti,
    Wow, loved your live action bird story, sounds like you were laying in your hammock watching a real live movie of the barn swallow fight to the end. Maybe Phoebe was mixed up and thought he was in bird mating season, too late, but mamma bird swallow saved the day and her baby birds. There are baby quails here on the ground in Tucson, Arizona and every spring they get attacked by the flying eagles. It's sad. Hope your tooth and sinus problems disappear soon.
    Have a great weekend, Patti!

  28. That's right...don't lollygag...great moral of the story! and gosh, you certainly lead an exciting life!

  29. Better get another hanging basket fast. . . and hang an umbrella over it.

    I'm going to be a nervous wreck before my bluebirds fledge. So much responsibility!

  30. Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Ha ha, the only hitch in that theory is all the years between our births.

    Thank you so much for stopping by TNS and commenting.
    So sorry about those quails, one of my favorite birds. We all know animals have to eat, we just don't want to see it.
    Thank you, am feeling a bit better.

    Ha, Well a lot of it happen when I am doing nothing so I guess I am just lucky.

    I know, like you I take their survival and continuation so personally. Wish I could just be a casual observer.

  31. Whoa!This was a great blow-by-blow account. Are you going to explore sports announcer as an encore career? This comes with a prayer for dental well-being!

  32. This is an interesting story! I really like your style of writing.

  33. LC
    Gee thanks, that would be so cool, especially if it were baseball and my Marlins. Thanks also about the mouth. It is getting better.

    Gina Gao,
    Thank you so much for stopping by and your lovely comment.

  34. Ah yes the moral is so true but your account of that waring manomano is just awesome.I could see them just from your words!