The last few weeks have been busy! Mother nature has put buds and flowers on the plants. Our local pair of Eastern Phoebes have started their nest and are sitting on, a few eggs.
Did I mention that it’s Camp Season?
Of Camp Season and Subtle Hints
Can you tell I’m excited?
This will be our fourth summer at camp. We had looked for a place in the woods for several years. Part backwoods retreat. Part fortress of solitude. Part disconnection from the world.
As it turns out, that is pretty hard to find these days. We looked at camps big and small for about 5 years. This one had too little property to buffer it from the local junk depository. That one had water straight from the beaver pond.
And then this one came along. We took a trip, fell in love, then walked away. It was just not the right time for us. I spent the winter regretting the decision. This was genuine regret. Fitful sleep with dreams of loss. Days where I’d look down and find that I was sketching a new layout for the living room.
One day I was at peace. I concluded that since it was off the market, that was a signal from the Guy above that it was not for us.
Fast forward to July of the following year, I was on a business trip having lunch at P. F. Chang’s In Tysons Corner, Virginia. I get a text from Lady Grey. Five words.
“It’s back on the market”
Nope. Nope. Nope. It’s been decided… Nice try, fate… Not gonna hook me one more time.
Then I opened my fortune cookie.
“A Change Of Scenery Will Lead To A Great Transformation”
I’m not a smart man, but I know when I’m supposed to take a hint.
Ok, back to business. Here we are about 5 years later, and this weekend I opened up our little corner of heaven. This is a weekend of both excitement and a wee bit of terror.
Once we close camp, we rarely visit. A mile of class VI road and several feet of snow make sure of that. So when we lock the door, we make sure that we’ve covered all our bases.
This is the weekend to see if we did.
Turns out we did ok!
Camp greeted me with the usual assortment of dead ladybugs and flies, as well as one fat spider. Bugs were swept up, the spider was thanked and placed outside. Cupboards and counters were wiped down and the new solar system was inspected.
Normally I would fully stock the cabinets, however this year I only stocked them lightly. We plan on remodeling the kitchen with new cabinets and knotty pine boards on the walls.
Our stocking plan includes food for 30 days for the three of us. This includes the usual staples of rice, oats, flour, yeast, and seasonings. We augment these with canned soups, stews, and meats galore. This year we will add a few packs of cured pork and some salami that we just put up to cure.
Due to the pending construction, we packed light. Only a quart of each soup and stew with a little extra corned beef and potatoes (our favorite breakfast).
Normal volume or not, camp is ready to receive us. The good Lord willing, as you read this I’ll be knee-deep in Fiddleheads and ramps!
Of Uninvited Guests And How To Handle Them
One of our spring traditions is sharing our house with a nesting pair of Eastern Phoebes. They are back like clockwork this year and have topped off the nest with fresh moss and a few new tufts of hair courtesy of the Great Grey Puppy-Beast.
Also, like clockwork, they have had another visitor. Cowbirds!
Our Phoebes have been with us for about 10 years, and every year there’s at least one Cowbird egg. For those new to Cowbirds, they are a brood parasite. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
When the young hatch, they often arrive earlier than the other chicks and therefore monopolize the food supply. Often to the detriment of the host’s natural offspring.
(See featured pic of an Easter Phoebe nest with a brood-parasite Cowbird egg.)
Apparently, there is some debate over whether the parasitic eggs should be removed. There are also some legal concerns as Cowbirds are migratory. Along the same lines, Cowbirds are not above vengeful nest destruction if someone (bird or human) removes their egg from the nest.
Coincidently, one podcast I listen to this week raised this very prepping topic. What to do about uninvited guests.
We all plan for the worst, and often that planning includes charitable giving. Giving of our abundance differs greatly from having extra mouths to feed and personalities to manage that have been thrust upon you rather than invited. More so, it’s a topic that deserves thought well in advance of any actual decisions.
For now, the cowbird egg remains as we mull the moral, ethical, and legal ramifications of sending the uninvited guest to a new location.
Ever get that unmistakable hint? What was it for and did you listen?
What have you been prepping all winter that you are pulling into service now?
What are your spring opening procedures?
Do you have a plan for dealing with uninvited guests?
Thanks for joining me on this prepper’s journey. I hope to see you in the comment section!