Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Birds & the Bees...and a Dog

Yesterday afternoon I was sitting on the throne, thinking great thoughts when the silence was shattered (as it usually is when I'm sitting on the throne, thinking great thoughts or reading the paper). "DADDY!! DADDY!! BEES!! BEES!! Daddy?"

"I'm in here!"

The door flew open and smacked into the doorstop. It was Kyra. She doesn't knock and I forgot to lock the door. "What are you doing?" she asked, wrinkling her nose.

"Three guesses and the first two don't count," I replied flatly. "Have you forgotten how to knock?" I asked for the millionth time.

Kailey joined her at the door, breathing hard. "Dad. There are bees, lots of them, in the backyard by the rose bushes."

"Can't you see I'm a little indisposed at the moment? I'll be there in a minute."

"What's indisposed?" Kyra asked with that same wrinkly expression. "Does that mean you're pooping?"


They got the hint, finally, slammed the door and ran off. Thinking time over.

This week our house has become a wild kingdom of sorts. On Monday, we inherited Rex, my in-law's ten month-old golden retriever, for ten days while they travel to see my sister-in-law's new condo. Rex is a good dog, as far as puppies go, but he's still a pup, and caring for him over the past few days has been like having a newborn again. Especially in the sleep department. He's been going to sleep fine in the evenings, but he wakes up early, especially since Kyra has been waking up early at the butt-crack of dawn. Rex, at the slightest sign of movement within the house, stirs to life, and if he sees you, it's over. He's fully awake and ready for the day. He wakes up the rest of the house as he slams his huge wagging tail against the doors and walls of the house.

Yesterday, Kyra told me the reason for her early mornings. "Stupid birds," she blurted out of the blue.

"Excuse me?"

"Stupid birds have been chirping in the morning and waking me up!" she explained. It's true that we seem to have an inordinately large population of birds nesting around our house this spring. There are nests on three corners of our house as well as in at least two bushes and a tree in the front yard. When I drive up our driveway and open the garage door, the front of the house explodes with the flutter of wings as birds of all shapes and sizes abandon their posts and head for cover. Cowards. Two finches managed to build a nest right outside of our back patio door despite our efforts to discourage them. We managed to drive them away for a couple of days, but they were persistent little buggers, and one morning I opened the shades to see a pair of beady little eyes peering down at me from a fully built nest. Finches 1, Humans 0.

So I've got dogs going nuts for attention, birds building nests and making a racket that's waking up my children, and now, it seems I have a bee problem. I finished my royal duties on the throne and headed out to the backyard. The girls had the house in full lockdown, and I soon found out why. I made a beeline (sorry, couldn't resist) to the rose bushes in the back corner of our yard, but was soon distracted by movement, a lot of movement, by the small fruit tree to my left. A couple dozen bees buzzed in spastic circles around the tree. I slowly and cautiously moved in to investigate. The Southwest is notorious territory for Africanized bees who will attack for no other reason than you're there. I moved to within about ten feet of the tree where I saw a football-sized collection of bees on the lower branches. That's just great. It was late afternoon, and since I knew bee colonies are migratory, I decided to wait until today to see if they would move on on their own.

This morning I went out to check on the bees, and found they had yet to move on. That brown mass in the upper center portion of the picture? Those are bees. Here we go again. So I got on the phone to get some quotes from bee removal specialists. The first call I made, the guy asked me whether or not they had been in the tree for twenty-four hours. I didn't think they had, and he told me to wait until the day warmed up to see if they would leave on their own and become someone else's problem. He said that if they were still there tonight, they were probably making my little fruit tree their home and to give him a call. I said okie-dokie, thanked him and hung up. I just returned from a trip to the back yard, and guess what? No bees. Whew! I'm kind of bummed though because I really wanted to SEE them leave. That would have been scary-cool. The girls would've lost their minds. And, hey, something's actually gone in my favor for a change! Now if I could only get my hands on some bird muzzles life would be perfect.


The Beast Mom said...

We have stupid bird problems too. And some of them are WOODPECKERS. I didn't even think those were real birds until I saw one pecking our house.
At 5am. Many, many days in a row.

The pecking sounds like a crew of construction workers going nail-gun happy.

Speaking of guns and pesky critters, a certain mutual friend of ours told me that her FIL opens his upstairs bedroom window, points a gun out of it, and shoots birds that annoy him. He lives in a nice, crowded Chicago suburb.
So he uses a SILENCER.

I was LMAO when I heard that.

Obviously I'm not suggesting this less-than-humane technique, esp if you're a decent shot ;)


the battered ham said...

NICE...flame throwers and silencers. I need to live a more exciting life. I contemplated hosing the bees down, but then reconsidered at the thought of sending a bee-ball on a murderous rampage through the neiborhood. I didn't think the neighbors would appreciate that. Not to mention the fact that I'm a complete wuss.