Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bird Is The Word

About six months ago, we moved into a new place and I love it more than I thought possible. I grew up in a smallish town and lived in a small town for college. When I moved to Los Angeles, it was a revelation. I was surrounded by people always, which made me feel safe and energized in a way I never could've predicted. But every couple of years or so, I'd get claustrophobic and yearn for wide open spaces and fields of flowers. When I was in the hardest part of my chelation treatment for mercury poisoning, I dreamt of a cottage in the middle of nowhere away from it all.

We didn't go looking for a cottage or a tree house but that's what we got. Honestly, we wanted something in a specific neighborhood for a specific amount of money with some specific amenities (hardwood floors, washer/dryer, no mean neighbors, dogs allowed), and we took this place in desperation because we were in escrow and about to go to London for two weeks. Little did I know I'd fall in love with it. We're a ten minute walk from bars and stores and yoga studios but we're up on a hill surrounded by trees and critters and birds.

So many birds, you guys.

Out of all the places I've ever lived, this one is by far the most cottage-y and it's smackdab (auto correct feels that "smackdab" is two words but I feel differently so there) in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. Serious brain fuck, right? ("Brain fuck" is clearly two words.) But, I'm going off on a tangent. This post is about birds. BIRDS.

The first thing that happened was that a bird flew into the house. You can read about that traumatic shizit here. The next thing that happened was that a big bird and a small bird had an epic battle five feet from our front door. There were big feathers and little feathers everywhere. All over our porch, all over the yard. I'd hoped that both birds survived until my sweet little dog picked up a dead bird (the small one) in his mouth and stood looking at me like, "Hey, man, check this out, can you BELIEVE this is in the YARD?" I responded by squealing, "Hogie, nooooooooooo!" and almost passing out. Hogan McSmalls is part Spaniel so I should be a little more accepting of his natural tendencies but I couldn't bear to see him eat a bird right in front of me. To his credit, he dropped it.

A few days later, he decided to go to war with a small metal door in our laundry room, which I'm pretty sure used to be a porch. He'd attacked the door, trying to open it, leaving pieces of wall all over the floor for me to clean up. I'd opened the tiny door when we first moved in, of course. I knew it led outside. (There's a matching tiny metal door on the outside, presumably so house elves or the rats from The Secret Of NIMH can enter while we're sleeping.) What I didn't know was that a bird had made her nest in the small section of wall between the doors. When Tim pried it open, we looked inside and discovered a tiny nest with five tiny eggs inside. (Click here to see it. Of course I Instagrammed my new pals.)

I may not have been able to save the little dead bird from his fate but by golly, I'm gonna save this bird and her nest from my crazy dog if it kills me.

Right now there's a big bottled water dispenser sitting in front of the tiny door. No way Hogie can move it. After the baby birds have hatched and moved on, my grand plan is to close the outside door so no more critters can make it a home. I should've done this months ago. It's just too close to my crazy mutt's lair for safety.

But, despite the coyotes and the critters and the nests, I love my place. Actually, I think I love it because of the critters. I'm straight up living in a tree house, y'all. And I have the nest to prove it.