Build it and they will nest

My blog has been woefully neglected. I've been a busy boy, but that is no excuse. The last post was in November, and here it is spring going on summer. I resolve to make this a weekly thing, no matter what. Today I'm sharing a column about Nice Nests written by Sally Gracie.

She has been covering happenings in Twisp, WA (pop. 980+/-) for the Methow Valley News since approximately 1890. (Just kidding Sally!) She's a sweet curmudgeon with a taste for vodka martinis and an appreciation of birds. I've worked with her at the paper and am honored to call her my friend. She asked me to install a nestbox for Tree Swallows at her place and wrote the following the next week:

"Build it, hang it, and they will come. And aren’t they the handsome couple!

Patrick Hannigan hung my Nice Nest for swallows on the side of the outbuilding last week. By early Sunday morning (April 19), several pairs of tree swallows — deep blue iridescent backs and white fronts — swooped and swallowed over the yard, coming close to the birdhouse to case it out. They inspected the front door and scanned for threatening neighbors. Finding the house acceptable, one pair of tree swallows had taken possession of their new home by late afternoon. Patrick knew just which space would be most comfortable for the birds and be close enough to allow me a great view of the action.

I’m bewitched. I sat on a milk crate in the grass. Holding camera and iPhone, for an hour I waited to grab a photo of my winged tenants at their front door. Once I had my picture — it took the birds a while to ignore me — I returned to my porch table. My eyes drifted away from my book. My swallows are much more entertaining. I can read at night while the swallows rest."

(Published in the Methow Valley News, April 22, 2015)