Monday, July 3, 2017

Backdoor Guests

"Backdoor guests are best."

I've seen the country-style wooden plaques in gift shops that say that. However, I grew up in a rural Kansas farm home. My mom wanted guests to come to the front door. And I'd have to say I agree with her.

At the front door, guests aren't forced to weave their way through the cheat-filled socks and dusty shoes we've shed at the backdoor. They don't see the recycling bins filled with empty cans or the pile of newspapers. They aren't walking past the broom and dustpan that are stashed beside the extra freezer.

If they come to the front door, they can be welcomed into the living room, where there's at least a better chance that things will be picked up and in some semblance of order.

We've had a couple of backdoor guests the past few weeks. As I wrote earlier, Randy and I both tried knocking down a barn swallow nest from our small back porch. 
May 2017 - You can see some of the nest-building materials on the bird's beak!

In the end, I guess the birds were more persistent than we were. (Next year, I will definitely try some of the suggestions offered by my Facebook friends, like hanging plastic bags to discourage a new bird suburb development, a move that Shirley called "redneck but effective.")
The pair of barn swallows tolerated us, and we tolerated them. They were often sitting on their nest, but they'd fly away as we approached. As they got used to us, though, they were less likely to hurriedly leave their eggs behind. They usually did swoop quickly out of the way when the back door opened.
The robin's nest - May 8, 2017
The swallow's nest was built so close to the porch ceiling that we couldn't see into the nest, unlike the robin's nest that was constructed on our 4-wheeler racks earlier this spring and which I moved for plenty of "photo ops."
Construction of the mud-based nest didn't allow for moving the nest, so we watched and waited. Randy was tall enough he could stick his hand into the nest, and he knew there were eggs there. Then last week, we had a population boom in the neighborhood. 
If we're honest, we've kind of enjoyed our backdoor guests. Well ... except for the bird poo on the steps. Yes, next year, we'll try to do a better job of discouraging the building of a new "house" in the neighborhood. And these guests won't be welcome at the front door either. They give a whole new meaning to the phrase "noisy neighbors."
We thought there were three babies. On Saturday, I discovered there were four, but this was the best I could do with a photo.

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