Sunday, July 3, 2022

Barn swallows and wrens and other news

I looked up from my knitting the other day and through the window saw a tiny house wren on the rail, looking at me. Fascinated, I held its gaze for many long seconds. I blinked and it was gone. Here's a picture I borrowed from the web:


I picked this picture because it looks like my railing and my wren. Why do I like them so? That perky little tail; the stance, ready to take on the world. The little fledglings, as jaunty as their parents. And, I've missed them. After a steady diet of sparrows and the occasional chickadee, it's good to come back to a variety of birds. Sadly, there are not so many varieties without the feeders up. But apparently there still is a male wren, supervising half a dozen nests.

This past weekend was the third Peninsula Flea. The weather was perfect. Low eighties, good traffic, decent sales, good company with Beth, my daughter and wing man. 

At the show last weekend I saw a barn swallow enter a nest on a beam. There was a long twig hanging down, but I could not direct Beth's eyes to it.

Yesterday the swallow flew into the barn, circled a couple of times, weaving through the rafters like a stunt plane. This time Beth saw it and where it entered its nest. Later in the day I saw the swallow fly from the nest, but only clear a couple of rafters before it settled on a rope and stayed. Fortunately it was between exhibitors, because as it settled and surveyed us, there were the inevitable droppings.

I've never seen swallows except at Ann's. Those were dark, front and back, so that was a swallow, as I understood them. Suddenly the barn swallow turned around to face us, and I was dumbfounded by its pristine waistcoat. Here's another picture borrowed from the web:


I'm doing five shows this summer. Three are done, two left, one in August, one in September. I agreed last January to do all five because I expected to be in much better physical shape by summer. Though I've been able to keep up my inventory, I have not defeated the arthritis in my right hip. I will overcome, the question is when.

With that in mind, I've made several decisions on going forward. First I will not do shows next summer unless I am as pain free as last year, when I did the final couple of shows alone. Beth does not want to do this next year, and I don't blame her. She has sacrificed five good Saturday's to help her mother, and I appreciate it more than I can say.

Next, I will improve my web site. It has begun well enough, with Blake's help, but he's busy with his life, and has been stumped by a couple of my requests. To that end, I have an interview Tuesday with a recommended web designer. We'll see what happens.

And finally, I will not increase my prices this year. I probably will not increase prices until Covid is controlled and all fifty states have women's rights on their books and/or in their constitutions. That includes my state, Ohio.

Have a safe and happy July 4th celebration. Get back to redressing the past and improving the future on July 5th. 

35 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness~I've never seen a barn swallow! It's beautiful! Wow. Good on you to take time off from the sales events. I know from personal experience how much work they are. Hoping your hip settles down and quits hurting. Healing hugs...

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  2. I love wrens. We regularly see Carolinas, in fact I heard one a little while ago. That white shirt front makes me think it's a tree swallow. Beautiful birds. We see them and barn swallows and martins a lot, because of the
    waterways and marshes with plenty of insects!

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    1. I wondered if a tree swallow had found the barn easier to deal with. It certainly was interested in all the activity down on the floor yesterday.

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  3. Hari OM
    I caught swallows in the lens a couple of weeks back - not brilliant but proof I saw them. The are very agile birds so always a challenge! I am glad you had them for entertainment and that this week's show was better. Your decisions seem wise to me and wish you the best for improvements/updates of your site. Plus many more bird sightings! YAM xx

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    1. Thanks. I hope you publish your wren capture.

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  4. Separate comment about your business plans. I'm impressed you've done as much this year as you have. Can't blame Beth for wanting to reclaim her summer though. Maybe ramping up web sales will be the year round answer, yes.

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  5. I used to be able to keep up with the web site technology but now not so much. My poor website needs better help than I can give it but those web page designers want more money than I'm willing to pay. Sorry to hear your hip is still paining you.

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    1. And I meant to add that I love the wrens, so curious and fearless.

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    2. "Fearless" is the perfect descriptor! I think that's why I am so attracted to them.
      Jan and I built and maintained out first web site. This is so simple I could do it, but I need shown what to do.

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  6. We have one local wren. He used to frequent our garden, but our birdlife is depleted with magpies going after nests and youngsters.
    Well done on the fairs... I wish I was that organised!

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  7. I guess that you will not increase your prices then...
    Not in this lifetime.
    The tux wren is a fancy bird! Dressed for dinner!

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    1. You know, Linda, I don't need the money. I use it all to buy CD's for the grands. Sort of my hobby. With interest rates going up, they may even earn some money. Brassard, my thread supplier, has made very modest increases, and I'm sure they are facing supply issues, too. So, I won't change. 24 is an easy number to work with.

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  8. I really think you have shown remarkable determination to do the shows this summer even with your pain. You are absolutely indomitable. I admire you so.
    And I would have loved to have seen that swallow! Cozumel is called The Island of Swallows and they come out in the evening and dip and dive, hunting for the insects they love. They make my heart happy.

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  9. I have never seen a wren, so thank you for this treat, Joanne.

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  10. When we lived in West Seattle, we had posts that supported the roof overhang on the porch. We would find young swallows sitting on top of the posts resting at night. There were many swifts/swallows out in the agricultural areas, they're such good flyers. The bird with the white chest is really pretty.

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  11. Joanne, we had a little wren fuss like crazy at DH once. He had put the smoker right under a hanging fern on the back porch where she had made a nest... and she was really upset with him.

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  12. Lovely to see a variety of birds and have successful sales. My sister-in-law gave up doing the Farmers Market because my brother and a friend had to give up too many weekends. Good for you for not raising prices!

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    1. When I was a real weaver and earned our living at shows, I did them solo, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic. I made sure I could handle every piece of equipment before I bought it. My chief complaint was the sheer weight of what we sold. Cotton is heavy. I used to say in our next life we would weave with feathers, until my brother pointed out the old saw, A pint's a pound the world around.
      Some major shows were too much to do alone, and Ann would fly down from WI to help me. What a blessing.

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  13. Thank you for sharing the feathered enchantment in your neck of the woods. I do hope that your pain can be managed and admire your level headedness and determination.

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  14. Wrens are some of the sweetest little birds. Their song is so happy. Next in line might be chickadees. We had swallows build their mud nests in our carport one year. They dive bombed the cat every time he came out of the house. -Jenn

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  15. Not a great variety of birds in our Belfast garden. Plenty of magpies, a few seagulls straying from Belfast Lough, the occasional blackbird or robin. Plenty of bees, I'm glad to say.

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  16. Few birds here. We have the red tailed hawks which control much of the airways. There is a good gathering of hummingbirds who will stand up to anything. And that's about it. Darn it. I sure like your wrens

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  17. You do see a nice variety of birds. We had a sparrow nest in the magnolia and watching the newborns take their first flight was amazing. While mom sat on the nest she became irate if anyone walked by the magnolia. All have taken flight now. 5 shows is quite impressive undertaking. A robust website should support sales nicely.

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  18. Wrens, chickadees and barn swallows are among my favourite birds too!

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  19. I don't know if we have wrens here in Australia, I could check my bird book but I'm too lazy to get up and get it right now. I know we have a type of swallow, I have seen them flitting about in the olive tree garden section of the parklands, superfast and unable to be caught on camera because of it. I see an occasional willy wag-tail on my lawn.

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  20. Well done, Joanne. Your membership to the Venerable Society of Bird Nerds will be on its way soon!

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  21. Speaking of birds, Sue tells me that there was a robin sitting on the bath yesterday while Sue was roaming around the backyard doing this and that. I found that strange as they are usually so skittish.

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  22. Beautiful birds, what a gift to see them. I miss my feeders and how they would all line up, all different breeds, to eat in their turn. And good decisions there Joanne, but I know how difficult this is for you. Facing the reality. Same with me. We are not used to limitations, whatever the cause.
    XO
    WWW

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  23. There comes a time when finding a new way to do things is the wise course of action. Good luck with your web designer.

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  24. I love wrens too, such tiny little birds, and here in UK the smallest. I read you're still plagued with arthritis, it is so inhibiting isn't it, I'm the same, I don't do or go places sometimes because of it. I wondered of there was a big research into it, its causes and remedies. I must look it up.

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  25. I remember seeing the odd swallow when I was growing up.

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  26. We have a tiny wren nesting in a vent.

    Eating lunch today, by sheer luck, I discovered that I can watch two bank swallows from the window.

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