Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother Earth gets a trim

OR; How I became a pain the arse of the tree hackers today.

You see, it all started with this phone call from the landlord:
"We're trimming all the trees because some idiot in another city all together, lit one of those trees on fire causing damage to that home."

Me, slightly dumbfounded "Uh... ok? So you realize it's early spring? Birds are in fact nesting in our trees as we speak?"

Her: "the birds haven't started laying eggs yet... I'm a great afficianado of baby birds."

I continue: "Can I have the number for the tree people so I can tell them about the hummingbird in the back yard who's worked her tiny tail off this last week building her tiny cup nest that has one egg in it."

Her: "Oh, uh, sure..." gives me the number & hangs up.

I call the tree folks; they assure me if I tie ribbons near her nest (my idea) they will happily work around her. I'm not convinced... I realize I will need to be here after all which means taking time off work to come home & sit in the back yard(k so that's not sooo bad on a gorgeous day like today).

This shot is after the trim; prior to this; I could only see two rows of bricks and none of the house behind:

As they trample my flower beds & destroy my plants by letting the tree branches fall all over the property without so much as an 'oops'. (I whisper many curse words to myself at this time but I'm not budging...)they look at me sideways. I'm out there dressed for work in a dress & 4 inch heels peeling off branches they've let fall all over my rose bushes, hibiscus and clivia nearly destroying them all. But... I don't take my eyes off that tree... The trimmer smiles & nods as he fires up that chainsaw & starts carving away (I'm not convinced they even know how to properly trim a tree in the first place) while my tiny hummer buzzes around her yard nervously lighting only momentarily before firing off again. My heart breaks. I'm fearful she may not return to her nest at all after this madness.

They finally finish up and I'm so paranoid I don't want to leave for fear they will get evil grins & go finish off the tree when I'm not here to stop them. But I leave. I have to go back to work, I'm crest fallen.

I have my daughter call as soon as she gets home to go check to see if our girl is back on her nest and I am overjoyed to hear that she is!

When I arrive home later; I take the ladder out & remove the ribbons around her nest in spite of my wobbly knees for being up on the uppermost rung of the 6 foot ladder. This is critical or I might as well hang an "Eat Here" sign for the crows & scrub jays. I cannot however, overcome my heights issue enough take El's camera up there & grab a shot of inside the nest. Nor can I risk tipping it down enough to see in as I'm afraid the egg will roll out. El assured me it wouldn't; the hummer had taken the 'raw off-silk' I had put out there for her and secured the egg to the nest with it. I am rather puffed up at this news feeling like I helped.

Tonight; I took this picture of her back on her nest. She rests like a tiny boat in the storm of leaves on her teacup nest. I am so happy for her, and Earth day. On my walk the Universe thanks me with the finding of this tiny, shiny thing: and I can sleep tonight.


  1. How cool is that! An Earth Day story for sure.

    I will take a picture of our wren nest - it's just 6 feet up on a baker's rack where I keep my extra plant pots. We were going to take all the pots off and wash them when my daughter showed me the nest just FULL of tiny speckled white eggs.

  2. I'm glad the hummer didn't abandon her nest. I tend to agree with your questioning of whether the men with chainsaws knew how to trim a tree. :P

    I love the dogtag you found! :)

  3. Wow, your landlords logic is questionable...I'm so glad the hummingbird stayed, and look forward to your stories of the hatching.

    Maybe with the lower branches gone it will be harder for any cats to reach the nest?

  4. Hi Sal,
    Her nest is way out on tiny branches as it is; they wouldn't be able to get her. They do have fun watching her eat but I've seen her come to within 2 feet of them and force them back with her chirping & razor beak! She's got them cowed. :) They are like diamonds; small, sparkly & tougher than nails!

  5. Wow - well done for taking so much trouble - I'm glad it paid off and the hummingbird is safe on her nest.

    I find it amazing to think of living somewhere with hummingbords and parrots in the garden!

  6. What a fabulous story of serendipity at work. Your landlord, nut job, but oh well, you stood your ground! Awesome. I love your art BTW.

  7. I'm way behind on reading blogs! I've always had a love affair with hummingbirds, and I would have done the same thing you did! We had a lot of parrots around a couple of years ago, but I haven't seen any in quite a while. They were beautiful, and they made a sound that was all their own. That little dog tag was a great find, and it was "given" to the right person! I think I need to take more walks! lol

  8. I gotta love a woman who would go to such lengths for a single egg. You're my kind of lady, for sure.

  9. Holy cow, what a story - very well told and encouraging! thanks.

  10. Anonymous9:58 AM

    What a great story! The finding is such a nice gift from the Earth to you, for being a good friend!


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