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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

July 15, 2015

It’s a steamy one this morning on BackPorch—a peaceful place, still bathed in early morning stillness. Quietly, I melt (quite literally!) into my chair, tucked in among lush and happy houseplants, to absorb the peacefulness.
We’ve enjoyed watching a family of Downy Woodpeckers this year. Several weeks ago, we noticed the parents teaching new fledglings how to feed from the suet cages. Now normally we don’t offer suet in the warmer months, but how could we not keep refilling them with these adorable fluff-fliers flitting about, cheeping and chittering to one another, vying for the next yummy treat! So we put up another feeder.
Near as we can tell, there are four juveniles along with doting parents, but since they’ve cheeped-and-chittered the good news to Hare Hollow Woods, we are also seeing Hairy Woodpeckers, Red-breasted Woodpeckers, along with Catbird-and-family, numerous Chickadees, Nuthatches and the feisty Titmouse clan.
MouseHouse has been a skittering place these months. While we are lolling about in the shade, sipping our iced teas, or soaking up the summer rays, they are busily digging about in the woods and fields (our garden too) seeking and gathering the bounty. And not just to plump their bellies or pad posteriors, mind you, no, they are busily preparing for the seasons ahead.
Sir Fivel along with his son-in-law, Bret have been working on expanding Bret and Betina’s place on the other side of Hare Hollow Attic. It’s humbling to watch them lugging carefully-hewn twigs and small branches up the DownSpout Stairway, trip after trip. Sir Fivel stops now and then to wipe his brow with that jaunty bandana he carries before tucking it into the back pocket of his workpants.
Fivelina graciously took the time to chat with me a few days ago, perched daintily there on their veranda (otherwise known as Hare Hollow gutter-strap) while I stood below, shading my eyes from the bright July sky.
“There’ll be two more bunkrooms…” she explained in her high-pitched whispery voice. “The little ones are growing so fast you know, Betina is just beside herself trying to keep up with them. And truly, they do need more room in that little place! So the two boys will have one bunk area, and the two girls the other. I’ve been helping Betina during the day, “ she continued, “…and sewing at night to finish quilts for the new beds.” She stopped. Her eyes twinkled merrily. “This grandma-business sure keeps us hopping, doesn’t it? Well, in my case—skittering!” She tittered delicately behind a dainty hand.
I chuckled. “For sure! But in wonderful ways, don’t you think?”
“Yes, Ma’am…” she sobered. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are blessed.” She glanced then, over at Bittersweet Vine line. Colorful pillowslips and quilts fluttered in the breeze. “I better get back to my chores, Ma’am.” She curtsied politely then turned to pull the dry laundry from the line.
“Me too, Fivelina. Have a wonderful day.”
Like I said, all is quiet at this early hour, but I know there’s much activity beneath the surface. Underground. Under brush. Under roof.
Ah well. Call me pampered, but it’s really time for this busy grandma to get back in the air-conditioned house and cool down!

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