Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Household Hints and Swallows

Last year we had some storm doors put up at the front and side doors. Long ago there were probably screen doors, but they were taken down whenever and were never replaced. We wanted to do the back french doors too, but because of the non-standard size of the opening (it was a window that was enlarged to accommodate french doors to the backyard when we had the house renovated a decade ago) it would have cost thousands to have storm doors custom made. So. We passed on that for the time being.

I decided that screen doors would be adequate -- especially in the summer, keep the bugs out -- but finding the right size proved a challenge. 30" screen doors are not commonly stocked in the big box stores it would seem. Nor are they easily available anywhere else. I went through something like this with the side door as well. Just lucky, I guess, to find one 30" storm door in stock. I wanted to replace the interior door too, but couldn't find what I wanted -- one with and operable window -- and wound up purchasing an antique door in California and hauling it out to New Mexico on one of my many California to New Mexico junkets before we moved here permanently.

Eventually I found two 30" screen doors in stock at Home Depot in Albuquerque at an astonishingly low price, and I figured I could put them up without too much trouble. Sure enough. Given my inability to do much of anything over the last many months -- besides growing tomatoes -- I was pretty jazzed that I was able to do it. Then I built four cat houses for the ferals that would no longer be able to use the french door step for a shelter. Whoa. Actually, they were pre-cut cat houses, so it wasn't too much of a challenge to put them together, but still. I couldn't have done it at all a few months ago.

And the swallows are back -- again. There was a clutch earlier this year nesting in the eaves of the front porch. That nest has been there for years. There used to be two nests, but one day when we weren't here a bad boy who lived across the street came over and smashed one of them. We told him that if he tried that again on the other nest we'd be sure he went to jail as swallows are a protected species, and interference with their nests is a criminal offense. He never came back, and eventually his household moved away. Yay.

So. This is the second clutch of swallows this year. Four chicks each time. Whether they have the same parental units, I don't know.

Swallows are messy. When they nest under the eaves at businesses and public buildings, there's often an outcry to get rid of them. Bird doo-doo piles up under the nests as the parents dispose of their little ones' excrement.

Requires constant attention and clean up.

But the birds are pleasant to have around just the same, and it's a joy to watch the chicks grow and eventually fly away. They'll be back next year once the weather is warm enough.

Late summer pleasures. Simple things.

On the Labor Day weekend we're headed out to Acoma Pueblo -- I think I mentioned before. I really hesitated about going because I wasn't sure I could handle the exercise. But we'll give it a try. Why not?

And then, if I haven't already, I'll have to describe what happened there when Onate came to call in 1598.

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