House of Sentiments

house backyard

It’s so wonderful to come home. You come home in dreams. In dreams the house that sheltered many lives can transcend time. The voices it used to hear are there again. The backyard in its many transformations blend one into another.

The house when it was new. The house that is old. The house in the middle of its life when sounds and bustle were strongest. The yard when it was at its finest, when it had turned to a garden.  The yard in its decline as its garden dissolves. The yard as it will be again when it becomes perfunctory, simple and ordinary again.

The light is always there. Nature in a small patch of ground, warming the red bricks, cheering the heart.

Our Adventure and His

We rescued a rabbit yesterday.  It had gotten caught in the chain link fence.  He was trapped at the hips and lay upon the ground suffering from worry with his eyes bugging out, as rabbits in stress will do.  Fortunately, my daughter heard the rabbit’s struggle and alerted us.  Necessary tools were located, and the fence was cut above and around his position so that his bands could be unravelled, and he could be released. 

Evidently he was uninjured, because feeling the pressure gone, he bounded swiftly and surely away — white tail in the air, and in seconds he was gone.

Would have loved to have painted the little guy, but he was ever so much less calm than the rabbit above painted by Albrecht Durer in 1502.

Little House “on the prairie”

We have a garden in our yard.  It’s become a backyard habitat.  It all began with a compost pile.  The idea was to provide nutrients for the garden’s soil.  So all the household garbage went out to the pile, apple peels, carrot tops, cantaloupe rinds, pistachio shells, coffee grounds.  In they went.

Sometime later, my husband noticed strange worms wiggling around in the debris.  Not knowing what they were, he contacted the Agricultural Extension Officer of a nearby university.  “Don’t disturb those guys,” was the reply.  They’re helping you out.  Eating your compost and turning it into soil.  They’re grinding it away for you.

Soon birds started showing up.  Evidently the worms are tasty.  We were putting bird seed out into the yard already, but these new visiting birds were after the worms.  And they weren’t the only new arrivals.  All kinds of birds starting coming.  It has become a game with my husband and daughter to figure out what kinds of bird visitors we’ve got.  Blue jays, cardinals, brown thrashers, starlings, doves came, even a Baltimore Oriole came.

Then, there was a new development and a different kind of bird feeding event going on.  We had a hawk visit, who came to catch an occasional bird to eat.  We knew it was a hawk before we ever saw him because all that were left were feathers.  But of course some neighborhood cats showed up to hunt and do a little “bird watching.”

Recently we added a bird bath and now there’s a lot of exuberant bathing taking place, with chirping and splashing and thrashing about — and not just on Saturday nights.

Squirrels have arrived in such numbers that I told the family that the yard was beginning to look like it’s been carpeted.

My husband and daughter saw a opossum wandering around one morning, and we have a bunny who’s a regular.  I expect to see deer and moose next.  If we put in a beehive, I’m sure we’ll attract a bear (and this is 6 miles from the nation’s capital!)

All we wanted was some fresh vegetables.  And we got all this.  Mother Nature — you gotta love her.

[Top of the post:  My Backyard  by Aletha Kuschan]