From the Publisher’s Desk: Backyard follies


By Bruce Schlabaugh

After months of quarantine inside my house, as spring turned to summer, I began to notice there’s a whole new world in my backyard. I know this because I sit out on my deck almost every day.

In our scrub oak tree there sits a young robin. He has short tail feathers and can barely make it from the ground to his perch-branch of choice. Every once in a while, his dad brings him a worm for lunch. Young robin otherwise hangs onto his small branch for dear life, hours at a time. I worry that he won’t make it out into the open skies on his own.

Then yesterday, I saw the neighborhood black cat sneaking around robin’s tree home. I’m convinced she had bad feline intentions. When she saw me, she ran into the bushes – probably plotting robin’s demise. Only after I flipped a rock into the bushes, did she exit my yard and escape over the fence!

We also have a resident rabbit. She loves the clover grass and eats lettuce that we toss out.  Unbeknownst to us, we found out she was pregnant. Our next door neighbor Mary said she had burrowed a hole under their driveway to give birth to some teensy kits – baby rabbits. We can’t wait to see them prancing about!

With all this rainfall the grass grows fast but our vegetable garden grows slowly. I check it out every single day. Urging the tomatoes to grow doesn’t help. The squash plants have blossomed but no zucchini yet. Being from Indiana, this Hoosier needed to grow some corn. A few small ears look sad but I’m hoping for corn on the cob at a picnic before summer’s end.

There’s a running duel between the squirrels and the magpies. Lots of noise, lots of scampering, and lots of magpies dive bombing. No idea what the squirrels are up to but the magpies are having no part in it.

Backyard work while quarantined includes sanding and staining our deck. Some carpentry as well. Half is done, half to go. I am beyond tired of sanding this monstrosity – but soon it will look great.

Despite some of the rainy days lately, I much prefer nature shows, witnessing backyard changes and working outside. It’s infinitely better than watching the talking heads on T.V. droning on about COVID statistics. Color me distracted from bad news, still pretty healthy and loving the peaceful, sunny Colorado days in my own backyard.

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