bunt sign

Sunday, March 18, 2001

Some birds don't know when to quit. I have to hand it to the black phoebe that's building a nest under the peak of my roof. It's created one sturdy structure. I know, because I spent part of my Sunday spraying jets of water in its direction, and the only result was some grass and twigs sliding slowly down the side of the house.

Even after soaking the nest yesterday, the bird was back this morning, still building in the same place. Before I was up and dressed, I heard it. I admire the spirit of this creature, and if it weren't for the mess it makes on the camellias below I might let it live there. But I have to get rid of it before any eggs make it impossible.

So I stood on the ground below, spraying a jet of water that barely reached the nest. I tried different angles and different intensities, but when I finished, after about half an hour this morning, all I had was a wet nest. I tried for awhile again this afternoon, but the bird was back as soon as I came inside.

There's nothing for it, I guess, except to get a ladder that reaches the peak and take the nest down by hand. It'll have to be soon, though.

As I was sitting at my desk this morning, I looked out the window and was stunned to see a geyser in my backyard. A plume of water rose out of nowhere, in the middle of a grassy field, for no apparent reason.

Naturally, I grabbed my camera and went out to take a closer look. The top of the spray was about even with my head at first, and then it slowly receded, bubbled a bit, and stopped. As I was leaning over to take a closer look at the source, water shot up in the air again, this time about twice as high as my head.


I was mystified, until I saw that there were other places water was coming out of the ground, all in a line, parallel to the front of the house, on the back side of the garden. One of these spots had a sprinkler head and was watering the plants as it was designed to do. The others were aimlessly spewing water, making puddles, and doing very little good at all.

So the geyser was just the far end of the dysfunctional sprinkler system. The landlords promised when I moved in that they'd fix the thing so it worked properly, but of course that promise turned out to be as good as any of their other ones. I never know when the sprinklers are going to come on, or where, or for how long. I guess I should be grateful for what little good they do.

Mom and I did some shopping this afternoon. I needed a few things for the office, and she needed to get out for awhile herself. So we hit all the swanky places — Target, Best Buy, Rite Aid — and found almost everything on our lists. We went to lunch, where I ate too much and then came home and slept it off for the rest of the afternoon.

I've been eating like that whenever I go out, no matter where. I must not be getting much satisfaction out of my own "cooking," because any time a meal fixed by anyone else is put in front of me, I stuff myself. And then I pay for it for at least a day or so.

But it was a gorgeous day and impossible for me to sit at the computer and work (or play, for that matter). There'll be plenty of time for all that the rest of the week.

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