Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16 - Lisa's Musings (on barn swallows) and Every Day Life

Must be bird week.

After meeting Killdeer yesterday, tonight while I was mowing, I was dive-bombed by barn swallows.

Now, I do know a little about these birds because when I was a kid, my mom allowed a couple families of them to nest in our garage. So I could see a family of birds grow up.

The garage also housed two family cars. That then had to have their hoods covered with plastic sheets to protect them from the barn swallow poop.

Never let it be said that barn swallows EVER poop in their nests. But it's fine to say they poop a lot. As in piles and piles of it. Most of the time in the same place. So mommy barn swallow must have turned tail in the same direction at all times.

My dad tried to convince my mom after the first year that perhaps now that I'd seen the miracle of barn swallow life that we should start closing the garage door again. To be bird-free.

But, I think she felt sorry for them because there were like four families of them and year after year, we left the garage door open all spring and summer -- or until they flew away for the year.

The barn swallows always had easy in and easy out access to their nests.

And the cars were covered with plastic tarps that had to be constantly washed -- and guess who had to do it? For allowance money, of course.

But let me tell you, after a few years, it wasn't cute anymore, I started hating these pooping feathered beasts and I voted with my dad to let the birds find another nesting place. Each of us got more than one "good luck" charm on our heads, and I think when they nailed my mom one too many times, she eventually came over to our thinking.

But back to being dive-bombed by the ones around here. It started with one very angry barn swallow that would not give up swooping around, down and right at me while I was mowing the front yard. After the first couple of passes at me, I started looking carefully for a nest in the grass.

Now, my grass wasn't THAT long, but I thought perhaps in the week since I'd last mowed it, that perhaps they'd built a nest. But because of my past history with these birds, I kinda thought they liked higher places.

I looked and I looked while bobbing and weaving the constant attacks. It was like being in my personal version of Hitchcock's "The Birds."

And then suddenly, it gave up and flew away. I thought OK, I'm no longer a threat or had mowed passed the target area.

Not so, the barn swallow got reinforcements -- four of them. So for the last 15 minutes of my mowing I was dodging not one, but five, barn swallows. Gez oh Pete.

They were swooping so close I could have whacked them with my arm, that's if I weren't holding onto the steering wheel for dear life, going as fast as I could to get the heck done.

In fact, I contemplated quitting, when all five came at me, but I only had a little more to go, and decided I was bigger than they were, they should fear me.

Not the other way around. I was not going to let a bunch of less than 2 pound birds intimidate me.

So, if I missed a few spots, I have a good excuse -- I was under attack.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]