Tuesday, December 11, 2012
WREN RESCUING, AGAIN!
For the second time in the past few days, a Carolina wren has flown into the cottage and found itself trapped. Neither time did we actually see the little bird dart inside. Last's night's visit was only realized some minutes after the fact, though I should have known something was afoot—er, a'wing—after glancing down the hallway from the kitchen and noticing a couple of small woven baskets, which usually sit on a high shelf, scattered on the floor near the back door.
Huh? I thought to myself. Wonder how they got knocked off?
At that moment I was busy keeping a close eye on a tray of Bruschetta toasting under the broiler. Timing is critical when doing Bruschetta, with perfect browning and bitterly burnt being a matter of mere seconds apart. My supper creations—slices of fresh Vienna bread, rubbed with garlic, salted and peppered, drizzled with olive oil, and topped with bits of cheese, bacon, and chopped veggies—were moments from their delectable completion…and therefore there was simply not time to puzzle over the oddity of the fallen baskets.
Then Myladylove toodled down the hallway and turned left into the laundry room to check the dryer. "Eeeeek!" she yelled, executing a dandy Olympic-class backpedal from a half-squat position into the hall. "There's a bird in here!"
"Probably a wren," I said, flipping on the oven light for a bread check: Thirty more seconds. "You're safe," I added, because while Myladylove is not exactly afraid of birds, she can be disconcerted when meeting one unexpectedly in close proximity.
"Get in here and let this thing out! Now!"
"Just another minute," I said, stalling for the sake of the Bruschetta…and, I must confess, for the entertainment of watching a full-grown woman doing the quick-step avoidance waltz. Which is, I think, an odd reaction from a gal who's spent much of her life outdoors, often camping and living ruggedly, including a few years on an Alaskan island where a trip to bathe in a nearby stream necessitated carting a suitable firearm along as well as soap and towel, just in case a grizzly wandered by. But you'd have thought it was a bloodthirsty pterodactyl she was playing dodge-'em with instead of a half-ounce wren.
"NOW! This bird will poop in the house!"
"That'd mean the Mayans got it right, I guess," I said. Perhaps it wasn't so much mild phobia as good housekeeping causing the impromptu comedy.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," she said, as I came to rescue both her and the wren—after first, of course, taking my Bruschetta from the oven.
"Poop," I said, grinning as I passed around her in the hall. "I'm referring to the possibility of the wren pooping inside. That happens—and I'd say it's more like a probability, given the way you've been frightening the poor bird with all your didoes and yelping—and sounds to me like you think we'd be looking at the end of the world…meaning the Mayans called it."
My writing room is located directly at the end of the hall across from the laundry. The wren had been flitting from one to the other. "Which way?" I asked Myladylove. She pointed right. I looked in my workroom toward the desk. The wren was sitting atop the Mac; no poop on the screen that I could see. The bird saw me and flew up onto a wire shelf adjacent to the printer. I picked up a camera and snapped a quick shot. The wren flew onto the floor and hopped under the desk.
I stepped out, crossed the hall, turned the laundry room's lights off, then turned the interior hall light off, opened the back door, and turned the outside light on. "You stay there," I told Myladylove, "and herd the wren back down the hall should it head your way."
The wren was perched on the fireplace mantle when I reentered my workroom. The bird didn't seem too frightened. Black eyes gave me a sharp, quizzical scrutiny. "You need to head back to the roost," I explained. The wren flew across the room to the wall of built-in bookcases, where it sat, still keeping me in close watch. "Out this door and turn right," I said, stepping back to be less in the way of the flight path to the back door.
And in a sudden whirr of wings, the tiny Carolina wren was up and out…and gone.
But probably not for long. I'm sure the accidental visits occur because it's electing to roost in the stone cottage's deep and thus protected back door inset. Whenever one of us goes out, the open door and flicked-on porch light prompts the startled wren to fly the wrong way, into the house. That's usually the scenario with visiting wrens. Almost certainly, we'll be shooing the bird out again before too long.
At least I hope so. Carolina wrens are one of my favorite birds. However, I can't say those sentiments are exactly shared by every member of the household.