Monday, May 25, 2009

Hiking In The Swamp

Happy Memorial day everyone. Today the Pohicks took a little walk in the woods. Or perhaps I should say they took a little walk in the swamp.
Today's hike took them through a piece of the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. The refuge has a number of boardwalks that allow you to walk through the swamp without actually walking through the swamp. Just close enough to hear "things" jumping into the water.
We probably could have used just a tad more bug spay. When I say a tad more, I mean some, because we didn't put any on at all. We thought about applying bug spay, but we just didn't. Hey, the bugs have to eat too, right?

Sunday, May 24, 2009


First, we framed the house. Then we put siding on the house. And then we painted the house. Then we put in flooring, doors and trim. And then we installed kitchen cabinets and shelving. And finally today, we did the landscaping.
Truth be told, laying sod is probably not the most intellectually challenging task that Jake has done during the construction of the habitat house. The only instruction that was given out by the foreman was, "Make sure you put the green side up."
Though the task was not mentally difficult, there were eight pallets of sod to put down. That's a lot of bending and lifting.
After the landscaping was complete, everyone took a step back and admired their handiwork. A lot of hard work and love has gone into the house. The home owner is very excited to be moving into the house in a few weeks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cardinal Attacking Window

For the last several days, a male cardinal has been attacking our kitchen window. The first time he did this, we thought it was an accident. Oh, that poor bird just flew into our window. Then he picked himself up and did it again. "Wow", we said, "You don't see that every day." Then we hypothesized that the bird saw one of Molly's flowers inside the house and was for some reason trying to get at it. Jake, thought that the bird was trying to get in and do the Chicken Dance with us since we do that on a regular basis.

At little research on the net led us to the real answer. If we could witness the scene from the bird's point of view, the real cause of the bird's behavior would be clear. We would see what the bird sees: its reflection in the windowpane.

Apparently, Cardinals are very territorial. When a bird decides on a nest site, the surrounding area becomes its territory and it aggressively protects its territory by driving other birds away. Northern Mockingbirds sometimes display similar behavior when they are protecting a food source, such as a shrub full of berries.

Most birds have a strong sense of territory, especially during the breeding season. It is nature's way of minimizing competition for food and nest sites. The singing of adult male birds is a familiar manifestation of nesting territoriality in birds. A male's characteristic song, usually given from several preferred perches in its territory, says, in effect, "This is where my mate and I plan to nest; others of my species respect my boundaries and stay out."

We aren't sure how long the mating season lasts, but we hope Mr. Cardinal stops crashing into our window. It's kind of scary in an Alfred Hitchcock sort of way.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

French Award

This week Scribbles was given an award as the top French Language student at her school. The award was presented as part of a regional assembly of the Huntsville-Madison French Teacher's Association. Jake who is very proud of Scribble's accomplishment attended the ceremony with her. Even though Jake is very proud of her, he really wanted her to study Spanish which he thought would be more practical foreign language to study. C'est la vie. As you can imagine, there was a fair amount of French speaking at the French Award Ceremony. Jake who speaks about three words of French was undeterred and began to do a comedy routine concerning Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther Fame much to the abject horror of Scribbles.
Clouseau: Does yer dewg bite?
Inn Keeper: No
Clouseau: Nice Doggy (bends down to pet a dachshund - it snarls and bites him)
I thought you said yer dewg did not bite!
Inn Keeper: Zat... iz not my dog!

Clouseau: And who are yeu ?
Jarvis: I'm Jarvis, the butler.
Clouseau: And what is it yeu deu..?

Housekeeper: You've ruined that piano!
Clouseau: What is the price of one piano, compared to the terrible crime that has been committed here
Housekeeper: But that's a priceless Steinway!
Clouseau: Nyot Anymeur.
Scribbles who is generally immune to Jake's antics did not appreciate Jake's attempt at French humor. There were even threats of physical harm if he did not desist immediately. Though he mostly complied with this directive he still managed to work in a few guttural "Wee-Wees" during the remainder of the ceremony. Viva La France!