Living in an Upside Down World

red and black bird on red flowers

The more things change the more they stay the same~

Things change as a person grows older. That oxymoron statement will get a person the obvious award of the year. Yet as we think about it change is the way life is.

There is another saying, the more things change the more they stay the same. We expect babies and young people to change, and the change is usually dramatic. We expect to measure their changes in specific ways.

At some point, visible change begins to slow but change is still happening within a person. And as I have reached a sublime age where I have the privilege to not just change but also ponder on change happening to me and happening to others in life in general I’m quite busy.

Today’s project is to finish projects. A year ago I was just barely making it to the goal of getting up and surviving. Yesterday I finished a huge project and today I’m hoping to finish some of the little projects I wanted to finish for Christmas 2020.

I have also in the past made personalized birthday cards for the grandchildren. Last year was a slippery year. I ran out of ink, and energy, so that project got lost. I’m hoping to revive this year.

The sun is shining in my office door. I have rogue swallows who have insisted on making a nest over the front (living room) door just a few feet from my office door.

Four years ago they made a nest on top of the light above the door. I didn’t catch them until it was too late, so that year we left them alone. They make quite a mess and don’t like visitors coming or going. The next year I turned the light on which did discourage them from nest making that year.

The next year they started a nest on the trim of the shelter over the door, and we knocked it down as well as leaving the light on. That worked that year to discourage them. This year we’ve knocked it down three times but they have persisted.

So they made their nest and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. I know there should be many places for these poor creatures to make their nests other than right above our front door, yet their increased amount of persistence makes me wonder.

I don’t live in la-la land as some people do. Some people believe that nature is loving and all creatures (except humans) are kind and beneficial. That’s not really true.

A few weeks ago I watched out the window as a large raccoon came down out of our apple tree. I was amazed at his size, however, the real point here is there was nothing in that apple tree for him to be after except raiding the bird nests of the baby birds.

We do have a lot of birds here. Sometimes it looks like we have too many birds. They tend to eat much of the fruit from the trees and bushes we’ve planted to feed our family. We haven’t had a lot of natural predators until lately.

We had a stray cat join herself to us several years ago. Then she became fruitful and multiplied. Now we need to figure out how to stop the reproduction amongst cats most of which are strays by choice.

In the shop buildings and in farm machinery there is an abundance of mice and if the cats could catch them, rats. So cats can find an endless supply of feed here including birds. And sadly in opposition to the idea that nature is kind and benevolent, cats have no qualms about what birds they eat. All birds are game birds to them.

That brings me back to my barn swallows becoming house swallows. They have set up their housekeeping nest and are awaiting their hatchlings. I’ve always loved watching them fly and swoop after their insects. And perhaps the swallows know I’ve been likely to take after a lazy kitty looking for a bird and they feel safer here under my porch roof.

At one time Old Fuzzy made a purple martin house, but it has fallen into disrepair. Much time and effort go into those projects. They aren’t simply a birdhouse they are an apartment building and one project like that in a lifetime is usually enough.

Purple Martins and barn swallows help keep mosquitos and similar insect populations down. Although the apartment building/Purple Martin house has gone the way of all the world we do still have our dual-purpose single-dwelling bird feeder.

After the winter bird feeder has done its duty and becomes birdfeed free our wrens come back in the spring and raise at least one brood of hatchlings.

In some way, I can’t believe our year is on the downhill slide. The next thing I will be looking up as September and its last of the year bounty come wafting in.

Psalms 90:

14  O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

15  Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

16  Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17  And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.