No one else was up yet when I first saw her. She winged around the umbrella, then flew inside the canvas circle, and, for a few minutes, merely sat where the posts converge, contemplating the location, I presume. The spot must have been anointed, for the next time I saw her fly in, she had twigs in her mouth…and so began the construction.
An hour or so later, I chanced to look out the glass door to spy a stellar jay sitting on the construction site, his beak full of twigs and now tearing apart the robin nest. I wrenched open the door and yelled loudly, all the while waving wildly my arms. (I’m writing this on Sunday morning, and within the last few minutes I have been called on to repeat this action…so I am sadly wondering if indeed this incubating area will endure.)
At another time yesterday the prospective mom glimpsed the Jays approaching her nest, and she flew fiercely at them. Squawking loudly, the ill-behaved birds settled into the nearby pine trees.
After my in-the-house-brood were up and about, I showed them the developing maternity ward and asked them not to go onto the back deck. It was still cold and wet, so most of the day, they were inside anyway. These four spent the better part of a couple of hours sorting, admiring and stringing buttons.
It seems that out of all the youngsters, Nathaniel and Cole have been assigned the most homework. Cole is in the first grade and besides math sheets, he brought two 30 page books, which he had to read, then write in his own words, the main idea of each page. Quite a lot, but he is dedicated to doing it. Nathaniel’s work has taken more than two hours a day. Gentry and Chloe didn’t have much at all to do, and have been finished for some time.
“Granny, may we please make a fort in the living room?”
“No, you can’t. But you may make one upstairs on the balcony.”
So, now this is the interesting view from our living room.
And this is a side-angle view of the fort.
In my original fort erection remarks, I had told the youngsters to be sure we could walk through to the game room which sets just past where the fort is now. So, when I first saw the completed project, I had to complain, “I thought I told you to leave a path to the game room.
“But there is one, Granny,” one of them insisted. “Look, you can crawl all the way through to the game room!”
And indeed one could, but I didn’t…and they had “outfoxed me.” The fort remained standing as originally constructed.
The house was quiet on Sunday morning. Seated in my study chair before the glass doors that view the back deck, I watched for awhile as Mama Robin continued her work on the nest. I drank coffee, then poured a tiny milk and sugared cup for Brady who was the first up today.
Then I crept up the stairs to view the building site of the three older grandchildren, who had slept in the fort. I held steady my camera and snapped this picture.
Stunning place, isn’t it?