We tried to discourage this nest. Three times we knocked it down, four times the phoebes built it back.

Little unfledged chick twitching on the cement Saturday evening; not good, but not dead, so we pushed her back into the nest. Sunday, evolution reiterated the case. Weakest of the four, end of the road for one phoebe; phoebe-hood for the other three still on track. Species go!

Saved for a day.

Rescue butt.

90% sleep, 10% eat. Soon they will fledge and trade sleep for twitch: the phoebe cry and the jerky tail. And they will in turn make nests, in inappropriate places.

Just asleep.

Between meals.

Two inches of headroom, apparently, is enough.

Head room.

Good choice.

We used to run a halogen par-38 in this fixture. Way too hot to touch: hard-boiled bird. Compact fluorescent, barely warm, like a substitute mother. Good, because mom has to fly off for a while every time we go in or out the door.

Site specifics

CFL bulb. Imagine the hard boil of a halogen.

Someday one of the series: knitted shawls taken from moth wings. We’re building a portfolio.


Shawl template.

When good outhouses develop attitude. Past using now, but you can’t knock it over. Suffering from a structurally enfeebled right edge on the ground, that’s the problem digging with a back hoe. Shovel and bucket, you can get hospital corners. Probably a tea party thing, didn’t want to be seen supporting something that got half its stability from the left. A shame: sealed joints, screened crescent, heat lamp, reading light, vent, front porch, full roof overhang. Fine work.

Lit, heated, vented.

Right leaning.

The white birches in the middle were six-inch seedlings when we planted them thirty-six years ago. The house grew for a few years, too. But the birches kept on.

Loom center/center.

The house stopped, the trees kept on growing.

Appalachia has briar patches, too. But the signature entanglement is the laurel thicket. It’s just 10 yards from the road. But it’s half a mile deep. Deep woods woven shade. Easy to get in.

Mountain laurel.

Innocent edge of a laurel thicket.

The committe assembles on the 600-volt feeder. Good place for watching the blueberries (we’ll be finished soon) and safe from the return line or the ground. But can they feel the pulse between their toes?


Taking a meeting.

In a bucket on the porch, all stages, up the curve and down, are beautiful. Power flowers.

Staged beauties.

Consider the lilies. Or the marigolds.

That was a good break: fifteen storey climb and back. But I’ve got the final 148 pages of edits to process. Ghost Walk isn’t going to finish itself. But there is an end in sight. Press self firmly into chair, lift your hands, and wrap it up.