Sam said the Saints game would be over in 5 minutes 29 seconds and then we could go for a bike ride but I’d been around that block before and I knew that a televised game of 5 minutes would be at least another 30 so I headed out to the lake.
It was about as beautiful a fall day as you could imagine so I sat cross-legged on the dock. I leaned back on the kayak and closed my eyes. I knew my face in the sun would disturb my dermatologist but it would only be 5 minutes and 29 seconds and I was sitting at the epicenter of an incredible fall day.
My head lolled back and I opened my left eye to see two deer passing near the sedge field. Then a bluebird landed on the bottom of the Jon boat that was lying upside down beside the lake. The sun shone on the bird’s back as bright as a neon light. That got me to thinking about bluebirds and whether or not they migrate or if they’d stay the winter.
About then I saw Sam getting the bikes and helmets out so we went for our ride. Sam rides fast and I ride slow and look for persimmons and edible things. Sam stops every now and then and lets me catch up. I told him I saw persimmons, mushrooms, and sumac fruit for sumac-ade. Sam said, “I didn’t see any of that.”
We rode down to where the pavement ends at Joe Shelton’s cabin, turned around and headed home. I positively hate riding on gravel even though we have to ride on our own gravel road up and down two hills. Lately we’ve taken to cutting through an opening in the fence and riding along the dam to avoid the last hill. It works out better.
Once home I was back to thinking about the bluebirds and decided to clean out the bluebird houses in case the fellas wanted to stay the winter. The first house was so full a gnat couldn’t squeeze in there.
The second house opened on the top and was too high for me to reach so I got Sam. Sam opened the top then jumped back. “Something looked at me,” he said.
In the hole we could see pink shreds of insulation and more insulation now hanging out the slightly open top. Sam mustered his nerve and gingerly lifted the top again revealing the beautiful brown eyes of a flying squirrel along with about six little ones hanging from the roof. One fell out. We had just wrecked the whole setup.
With gloved hand I returned the little creature to the nest. We closed it up and left.
It seems quite possibly when the squirrels leave the nest, the Eastern bluebird might stay around as long as there’s adequate food, water, and a housing vacancy.