Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Spring First!

Word of the Day:
empyrean \em-py-REE-uhn; -PEER-ee-\, noun:
1. The highest heaven, in ancient belief usually thought to be a realm of pure fire or light.
2. Heaven; paradise.
3. The heavens; the sky.
4. Of or pertaining to the empyrean of ancient belief.

It seems that the calender and the weather both agreed that Spring begins today. A sunny, wonderful day.

I never thought I would say it, but I am glad that one of my girls turned out to be a "girly-girl". Lorelei's teacher sent home a plain, white spring hat for us to decorate for a tea party in Lorelei's class.
This is what I accomplished:

Tea party hat 1
Not bad, I think. If RAPTOR ever gets tired of me, I can always become a haberdasher.
Hat and dress
And I found the sweetest dress for Lorelei to drink tea in. I matched the flowers in her hat to the lavender hydrangeas and pink roses in her dress. And look! The outfit has green and white striped BLOOMERS!
Eeew, this is wet!
I also found a pink boa for Lorelei to twirl. She got upset because I set it near the kitchen sink and it got a little wet. Nothing worse than a wet boa.
Tea party 1

Tea party 2
The girls sat (mostly) with their hands in their laps and their pinkie fingers sticking up as they sipped their tea.
Tea party 3

Mutt mallard preening
Quickie bird pic: The mutt mallard at Lake Isabella gets a good wash.
Almost maple leaves
Macro of the tiny, almost maple leaves.
And the house sparrows strike again. I had the bluebird house all ready for my little darlings, and I noticed a male HOSP singing on top this morning. I ran out and looked inside, and a nest was on the way to being built. Damn it!
So I opened the box and will leave it open until the bluebirds make their presence known in the yard, and I will be getting a trap this year, by gawd.
Lucy and our rehab Cooper's hawks will enjoy some fresh dead house sparrows!


Mary said...

Lorelei is a proper lady! Dressed in her finest, southern, Sunday outfit. You did a great job, Susan! My only daughter was not a girly-girl at all and I wish she was. I loved this!

Funny you mentioned house sparrows. Today, while at the grocery store "Bi Lo" there were at least 6 sitting in their sloppy nests in each letter of the two words. Ughhh. Glad you are taking action for the bluebirds!

Rachel said...

Nice job on the hat, it went well with her dress, and the bloomers are adorable!

Liza Lee Miller said...

Awwwww! What a cute little girlie-girl! I love it!

Sorry about the HOSP -- blech.

Body Soul Spirit said...

I love a tea party and Lorelei is adorable!

Lynne said...

My Molly was never a girlie-girl either. She always wanted to dress herself and her sense of fashion was and still is all her own! What a beautiful child you have there!

mon@rch said...

It is great seeing your little one dressed up for spring! Happy first spring to you also! Sorry about the House Sparrows!

Trixie said...

Lovely hat and bloomers! Bloomers! Wow. And you do have a talent with the haberdashery.

katdoc said...

Nothing worse than a wet boa, unless it is HOSP in your nest box. Got my first this weekend, and she is in the freezer, awaiting delivery to you and your Coops. The male is playing hard to get, but I have my eye on him.

Not to brag or nuthin', but my bluebirds have completed their nest. (neener, neener)

~Kathi, eagerly awaiting the first egg of 2007

vicki said...

Susan- this post sort of goes from the sublime to the demonic. It brought back fond memories of my girl, when I could still dress her up in bonnets and floral prints. Then she turned on me and I had to shift to getting vicarious pleasure from her daring-do and wild ways and that is all good, too. Lorelei is so lovely and I always smile when you post about her, esp. with pictures.

Now about sparrow murder. This is bad karma. Bad karma, indeed. I refer you to Psalm 84 wherein, "even the sparrow hath found a house..." I'm teasing, sort of, because they drove me mad when we had a big backyard, behaving like the white trash of the bird neighborhood, building nests willy-nilly out of flotsom and jetsom, getting in the way of the Carolina Wrens with their simple and lovely Shaker-like homes of perfectly measured sticks. And yet. Spring means rebirth for one and all...

katdoc said...


I know what you mean about bad karma and killing sparrows. I felt that way for years and years. I had a "live and let live" policy in my yard - I let the sparrows nest in the barn, etc., and cleaned out their nests if they tried to build in a bluebird box.

We lived that way for a long time, with no problems. I had long, charged debates with the "pro-killing" crowd about my philosophy. I was definitely in the minority among cavity-nesting managers (bluebirders, martineers)

Then, 2 years ago, for no apparent reason, a male house sparrow destroyed 3 bluebird eggs from the second nest of the season. I cleaned out the mess and the bluebirds rebuilt. The house sparrow destroyed two eggs on the next attempt. The bluebirds abandoned the box and the house sparrow left. He didn't even need the box for a family. He just killed.

I was mad. The house sparrow broke the treaty, and I wanted justice for 5 bluebird babies who would never be. Now, if they build in one of my nest boxes, I trap their butts and send them to RAPTOR to feed injured hawks. If they want to breed, there are plenty of places they can go, just not in the boxes I buy and maintain.

It is a very controversial subject, and to tell the truth, I am not entirely comfortable with it still. But, bluebirds are native, and at risk due to mankind's ways. Sparrows are alien and thriving, thanks to mankind. I live with my decision.


PS: I have the same treaty with the thistles. They can live in the ditches and the edge of the woodlot, but if they encroach into the lawn where I walk in bare feet, I nuke them, too.