Finally! We've replaced the camera that was lost . And just in time to capture the essence of late spring, when "newness" still abounds. Above: new fern fronds; a new (?) lovely (?) fly; new salmon berries, and a new board in the bird "condominiums" that my husband built twenty years ago. (The downstairs units are accessible from the other side.) The condominiums are a focal point in our coastal garden and there is now a bit of a sad (and now silly) story associated with them: My husband built this hoping to attract the birds that had frequented his father's garden through the years. However, when he built it, the birds were no longer coming to his father's garden and there was some uncertainty about what kind of birds they actually were; were they Purple Martins or Tree Swallows, or perhaps both? And then, many years ago, his father passed away. And all the while, no birds established residency in our condominiums. So disappointing! Then. . . while we were in our garden last weekend, the Tree Swallows were suddenly circling overhead and occasionally swooping down to land on the perches, before quickly taking off again.
Not far away, we saw a swallow land on the perch of a stand-alone birdhouse, enter the hole, and then emerge to fly off. While observing this, I commented that the entrance to that house -- which he had also built -- looked like it had a bigger diameter than those of the condominium entrances. My husband replied, "Wouldn't that be something -- to find out after all these years that the holes hadn't been large enough!" Well, he got right to work. He measured the entrance to the other house, removed the entryways to the condominiums (south side, only -- so as not to overly commit to the new design) found a replacement board and drilled three new holes, hammered new perches into the board and nailed it to the structure. Within minutes, the Tree Swallows returned. We then spent the rest of the afternoon watching assorted pairs swoop down to investigate the "south-side" units while we fabricated funny dialogues between the spouses regarding the respective features of the various units, and why one unit should be selected over the next. For awhile, they limited their investigations to peering in from the perches, but eventually, the females (I imagine) hopped inside to take a look around. The following morning, there was still activity around the condominiums and now, one week later, it appears as though residency has been established! Such a happy ending! (Or rather, now, a new beginning.)