Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Drab-colored Bird, The Deck Box, and Remembering a Major Disappointment from My Childhood

Here's the drab bird that comes by all the time (left and center birds in the photo; not right, which is the house finch again). According to whatbird.com, it's a house sparrow. Also according to whatbird.com, if there were one more house sparrow on the feeder, it would be called a "blight", a "humiliation", or a "subdivision" of house sparrows. What is it with bird people and their weird names for groups of a species? It's a little contrived.

A correction on my previous entry: I had referred to the bird that throws all the seed on the ground as a "damn American tree sparrow", but I think it's actually a female house finch; the male does it as well. What's a group of house finches? Let me check... a "development" of finches. Fabulous. Give me a frickin' break.

We added an accessory to the deck: In just a few hours over a couple of days, Stanley made this awesome deck box using leftover wood from the deck. I helped a little, mostly by nagging since I have negligible upper body strength and I'm afraid of sharp objects. We finished it yesterday. It's approx. 4' X 2' X 2' and weighs about 4300 pounds. We had some trouble getting it from the garage to the deck. I couldn't lift my end so we put it on little wheeled plant pallets but the wheels broke off. We thought about using the wheelbarrow but I sensed that could be disastrous. We ended up rolling it end-over-end and that worked great. It's right next to the back door. We will put wood in it for the winter so it will be a snap to grab some wood on a cold day, then just refill it from the main pile every week or two. During the summer it can hold garden tools, etc. Perhaps most importantly, it's a place to set stuff down while I'm fumbling for my keys. It's almost too tall to sit on, but not quite. It looks more practical than pretty and has some rough edges so I'm going to add decorative wood molding and appliques here and there.

Check it out, we have honeysuckle. Pink, no less. I didn't know it could be pink; I've only seen it in white.

Honeysuckle was my very first catalogue purchase, and my first major disappointment. I was maybe 8 years old...not too sure. Mom let me pick out what I wanted from the Avon catalogue. I liked the honeysuckle bush in the side yard because it smelled so heavenly and I thought it was cool that you could drink the nectar. So when I saw the honeysuckle perfumed powder, I had to pick it. An eternity later, my order arrived: some other perfumed powder. Not honeysuckle. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. I learned a valuable lesson that day: Don't trust the Avon lady; she'll get it wrong. If I remember rightly, when the honeysuckle powder finally arrived, it didn't smell like honeysuckle. It smelled like perfume.

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