New Home Construction

The window box on the porch outside of my office is thriving. This is the first year that I’ve planted a hanging cherry tomato plant and I’m looking forward to snacks while working!

window box


There’s a lot of bird life in the front yard. I frequently see bluebirds, and a hawk perches in a neighbor’s pine. The other day, though, I saw more activity than usual. I stopped writing and stepped onto the porch. A robin yelled at me and flew at my head. I hurried back inside. Robins were building a nest between the petunias and the tomato plant.



After several hours their beautiful home was finished.



However, once all of the work was done, the robins looked around and decided that they didn’t like their new neighbor. She had been there throughout construction, but somehow the robins had overlooked her presence. Lily had ignored all of the construction hubbub, but she was still gauged by the robins to have brought down the value of the neighborhood. All of their work was for naught. They decided to relocate. As they say in the real estate business, it’s all about “location, location, location.”



  1. It’s a good thing that they moved; you would have had poo everywhere. Even on your snack tomatoes.

  2. Is that a vintage container? It is very pretty. My poor Tomato plants have not grown in the 3 wks I have had them planted. Too much rain!
    Dogs sure love their pillows….mine insists on resting her head on one when up on the couch.

    • It’s plastic! I splurged on a rather good one that is self-watering, as it gets a lot of sun and in past years the plants there did poorly.

  3. I meant to ask you about slug pellets. I have always used `safer slug pellets` in my garden as they are supposed to be safe around your pets. This year having chickens added to the mix, I have not used them as they look so much like their pellets. I was hoping the Hens would have a taste for slugs but alas my garden is still over-run with the slimy plant eaters. What do you use in your garden?

      • A few of my gals like slugs but baby or mid size. Won’t touch the big slugs. And some f my girls just won’t touch them at all. guess its a food preference thing.

    • my hens like them more and more the older they get. They have actually helped a lot.

  4. I have a window box outside my kitchen window – nothing planted in it this year – but several days ago when I was baking cookies, I kept hearing scuffling out there and the cats were quite interested. Then, there it was. A grey squirrel scrambling around and peering in through the screen. The squirrel visited all afternoon and hasn’t been back since. Fortunately the cats didn’t jump up and land in the middle of the cooling cookies. I checked the dirt in the window box later and it was undisturbed so the squirrel wasn’t burying anything. No idea what the attraction was.

  5. I love the birds in my back yard; they love the black raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. In fact the only thing they aren’t interested in eating are the gooseberries! Any suggestions Terry, other than lots of gooseberry pie? On an entirely different topic, I just turned my Chicken Calendar page and was greeted by Pearl, looking like a glamorous June bride! Oh, and re the slugs Lesley, you can fill shallow pie tins with cheap beer, and the slugs will gallop to the bar, consume and die, altho this will be an endless adventure, since all of the neighbor’s slugs will be eager to join the party…

  6. Beautiful nest! We have a few robins in my Pasadena area, but I’ve never gotten to see a bluebird in person–how fortunate! Glad your girls are safe from the hawk.

  7. Several years ago a family of robins prevented us from using our back door all summer. They nested on the porch light. Those four robins glared at us every time we came to the back screen door and terrorized & dive-bombed the dogs. Every year since the summer of the mean robins I block their access to our porch light :-)

  8. In my neighborhood, a neat and tidy lawn is expected. If it’s not, then one neighbor will bring your attention to it. My hubby is a worker and has always had a well kept lawn. One year, he was weed-eating the creek and he kinda ran over a baby rabbit. It affected him deeply. He quit weed-eating the creek-bank. Sure enough, several neighbors have inquired about it and he won’t tell them what happened. He just says he doesn’t have time anymore. Terry, we also plant vegetables with our flowers in our gardens. I’ve always thought it very attractive. I love the way Little Pond is layed out. So many wonderful things happening. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • That’s very good that he’s not trimming the creek bank! There are likely amphibians and other important creatures that need the cover. Ignore the neighbors!

  9. Just this morning I discovered that the mourning doves have made a nest in one of my hanging staghorn ferns!

    • I love mourning doves! A pair that visit my porch throughout the day along with two squirrels are the only “pets” I have since I left my house and had to move to assisted living here two and a half years ago. At home my late father would always take a cup of wild bird out to the doves who waited for him in the Chinese Magnolia tree every morning. They were the first birds in the morning and the last to leave at night even in near darkness. In the room here, I can always tell they’re out there by the distinctive whistling sound of their wings. (Just now!) The babies are so tiny and fragile. Like pigeons, no more than two eggs.

  10. That’s a beautiful home, but yes, location is everything. :(
    I have a little wire device meant for filling with nesting material and hanging in a tree. The birds have emptied it twice this season. It’s fascinating to see each bird decide which will be just the right thing with which to line its nest. Time for another refill. I use cat fur (funny, huh?), dryer lint, short lengths of yarn; anything soft. I’ve seen hummingbirds, house finches, titmice and nuthatches pick from it. So much fun to watch. I’d love to look inside the nests in my neighborhood to see what these birds have come up with, having used the lovely colored materials I’ve supplied.

    • I used to use dryer lint too, until I was cautioned not to as it completely dissolves in the rain and can result in weak nests. Never tried dog hair!

  11. Off Topic – I see goats in the Little Barn area! hee hee hee

    • I close the pop-door so they can’t try to squeeze in and get stuck. They like to scratch on the outside roosts and break them… but this way the hens can get out into the fenced, grassy paddock. Nice for them on this hot day.

      • CRAZY weather, huh! Heaters on one night, air conditioning on the next!

  12. I’m enjoying watching Owly eat from the top of the feeder this a.m. So nice to have your flock as your own now and we all get to know them better.