The Sad Saga of Poor Mr. Robin.

Mr. Robin

Mr. Robin

There was this robin, and what a handsome fellow he was, all puffed up, bright red breast, big time  robin. He wanted to show his spouse that he could build her the house of her dreams. He had high hopes and yeah, big ideas.

His first choice of a building site was this tree, this crepe myrtle right outside my daughter’s bedroom window.

Right here, y'all!

Right here, y’all!

Unfortunately the two times he began to build I happened to be in the bedroom putting away laundry. He stared at me, I stared at him, and his mouthful of building materials fell away. Truly, I felt terrible. He flew off despite my plea– “No, come back, Mr. Robin. I swear we won’t bother your babies. This is a great tree for a nest.” But my plea fell on deaf ears.

His next choice was primo, shaded, safe, secure, views beyond compare.

The top of the drain beneath the eves.

The top of the drain beneath the eves.

Unfortunately he didn’t realize how slippery a metal drain pipe is. He built a humongous nest. Oh, it was a site to behold! We were in awe. But just as he completed it, the entire nest slipped right off the downspout and landed in my garden.

For an entire day, Mr. Robin studied the situation. He studied and he studied and he studied. He decided he needed to better build a platform on which the nest could rest.

So the next morning I found him carrying long sheets of toilet paper. Clean toilet paper in case you were wondering. He’d obviously found a house that had been tee-peed. He dipped that toilet paper into our birdbath, then flew with it up to the downspout and squished it against the house. Mr. Robin carried sheet after sheet of toilet paper and did his best to provide a stable platform for the nest. And then, splat. Off it slid into my garden.

Oh, the humanity!

We have so many trees in our yard. Usually this particular robin builds a big nest in the huge maple tree. I think this year he wanted to try something new. I felt awful for him because he encountered an engineering problem and it seemed to me he was determined to figure it out. He failed. He flew off with an angry squawk. I’ve since seen him in the birdbath and at the feeder, hopping around the yard. I don’t know were he finally decided to build. But he left his mess for me. I cleaned up all the toilet paper.

But all in all an impressive attempted feat at robin engineering.

We may be in the midst of a drought but it’s been a great year for violets, figs, quinces. My garden is amazing. I’ve got fields of violets. I’ve harvested and dried jars and jars of herbs. I have so much cabbage and celery I can’t give it away. My potatoes look incredible, as does my kambocha squash. My onions and garlic, chilies and eggplants are doing well. The apple tree is full of apples. Two plants are struggling this year – my asparagus, which was so prolific last year we couldn’t keep up with it, and my sour cherry tree. I’m nursing the asparagus along and I’ve cut the cherry tree way back in the hope that I can keep it going.

I’d post photos but you’d be jealous!

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16 thoughts on “The Sad Saga of Poor Mr. Robin.

  1. anny cook

    Wow. Not only do you have a fabulous doggie, but a tricky robin, too! You are sooooo lucky! And a garden. I have a dead hen n chicks, a so, so ivy, and a mother-in-law’s tongue that’s three feet tall. The Christmas Cactus and Aloe are on the critical list. Thanks for posting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Anny – my grandmother had an antique baby buggy filled with plants – an aloe, a mother-in-law’s tongue (a plant I’ll love forever!), I can’t remember what else she had. I inherited the buggy, but not the plants!

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  2. Jaye

    I would be jealous. 😛 Around here I do a happy dance about every leaf that makes an appearance. My gardening efforts are sad, sad, sad.

    Failed Engineer Robin reminds me of the juncos. They like to nest in holes and hideaways, away from the trees and bushes where the jays and ravens can get their eggs and babies. If I leave my garage door up for any length of time, I’ll have juncos trying to build nests on the garage door opener or on a shelf behind a can or jar. Sometimes they’re bringing materials in faster than I can clean it out. I’ve considered cutting a hole for them to go in and out of the garage. I hope the robin gets over his pride and builds a nest in a proper tree.

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    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I hope he does too, Jaye. He’s been around but I haven’t yet figured out where he’s decided to build. Hope his wife didn’t leave him!

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      He was so determined, Roberta. I’m sorry he failed. He put a lot of thought into the engineering of his nest.

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  3. Marylin Warner

    And every Bobbin’Robin has a lesson. Not quite sure, my guess is that, despite our previous prejudices, toilet-papering house is actually a very good thing. Right? 😉
    I will change the lesson if/when you show us pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I can’t show a picture – the hubster cleaned up all the toilet paper way too fast! Sorry, Marylin! If I find his nest I’ll snap a photo.

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  4. Diana Stevan (@DianaStevan)

    Julia, I’m impressed with your powers of observation. You took time to note what the robin was doing, just like you did with the spiders in your yard. Yes, poor robin, but lucky, too; he got noticed by a human who cared. So much of nature goes unobserved.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Oh I love nature, Diana. Animals are way smarter and more thoughtful than we think they are. 🙂

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