Bonafide Farm

Cardinal tale

March 5th, 2013 § 0

I came down from bed this morning to find a small male cardinal trapped on the back porch. He flew this way and that, banging his head into the glass walls with a trapped bird’s confused panic. I was afraid he’d kill himself, so I opened the door and tried to shoosh him out. That just made him bang even harder. So in one of his moments of postcollision confusion I tried to grab him with my bare hand. He squawked like a parrot, loud enough to bring my dog running from the field in front of the house. Each time my hand approached, the bird opened his surprisingly large orange beak wide enough to swallow a fingertip and threatened to do just that. I have been around enough birds to know to stay away from that sort of display, so I reckoned that I’d catch him up by his tail just like I do the chickens.

Cardinail Tail1AWeb

Well, when I grabbed the cardinal’s tail most of it came away in my hand as the bird shot through the open door and away to the forest. It’s a weird sensation to be left holding half of a speedily departed creature in your hand whist watching its other half take flight. Kind of like pinning a skink only to see it scuttle away, sacrificing the blue twitching tip of its tail.

I hope the cardinal can do okay without most of his tail feathers. But I guess it’s better that than a broken neck.

Cardinal Tail2AWeb

What happens when I forget

March 3rd, 2013 § 0

to take a soil sample for tomorrow’s master gardener class.


As if my neighbors didn’t already think I was a freak, now I am outside at 10:00 p.m. in windy subfreezing weather, wearing boots and pajamas, working by lantern light to extract earthworms from shovelfuls of dirt destined for the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab.

Crazy, yes. But I suspect my teachers wouldn’t be too sympathetic if I claimed my dog ate my soil sample.

March 1

March 1st, 2013 § 0


It’s flurrying under grey skies with peeks of patchy blue. Such appropriate weather to welcome March, which is what I consider to be the last winter month in Central Virginia. March is usually good for a snowstorm around here, though I don’t hold much hope as this winter has been a bust for snow lovers. I haven’t had to break out the snow shovel even once.

Where am I?

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