Let’s hear it for the birds and the bees!
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
“What in the world is that godawful sound?” I asked Husband-Head while we were out in the backyard the other day. “Either I’m crazy or I have a buzzing noise in my ears.”
Husband-Head stopped and was quiet for a moment.
“Nah, you’re not crazy, I hear it too,” he agreed.
We stood there for a moment not making a sound, trying to figure out what in the world it was.
“It sounds like that old 1978 movie, ‘The Swarm’ where all these African bees come over and kill thousands of people,” I said, thinking out loud.
“I think that was one of Katharine Ross’s worst movies,” Husband-Head nodded.
Then we both looked up simultaneously at one of the very large trees in our yard.
Sure enough, there were thousands and thousands of bees buzzing around the branches.
“Crap – I’m allergic to bees,” Husband-Head said, pulling his shirt over his head and running towards the door inside.
The bees must have just arrived because a week earlier we were looking at a nest that a pair of Mourning Doves were building in the same tree.
“That’s not a good place for a nest,” I pointed out to Husband-Head. “The cat climbs up that tree and she’ll toss it right out of there.”
Husband-Head was more interested in the birds themselves.
“That’s Ina…and that’s Jeffrey,” he decided to name them,
I laughed because I knew he was naming them after Ina Garten, who hosts the Food Network show, “Barefoot Contessa” and her husband, Jeffrey.
Ina and Jeffrey live in the “Hamptons” – a very upscale community north of New York City on Long Island.
“Why does Jeffrey always seem to arrive just at the right time when Ina has finished cooking this gourmet meal with ingredients the rest of us can’t really afford?” Husband-Head always wants to know.
“Because it’s a TV show and they stage it that way,” I explained. “The better question is why isn’t Jeffrey 400 pounds from eating all that rich food she cooks? And why doesn’t Ina ever have to pay for anything when she goes to her high-end butcher?”
I like good ingredients as much as the next person, but my meat doesn’t usually come hand-trimmed and wrapped in butcher paper, nor do I have saffron at $19.99 a bottle sitting in my spice cabinet.
Nonetheless, the Ina and Jeffrey birds were very busy building their nest, gathering twigs and grass from around the yard.
But after a few days, I noticed a lack of activity and found Ina building a new nest in another tree.
“I think she realized the cat was gonna get there,” I told Husband-Head, pointing out the new nest. “Birds aren’t stupid, you know.. They’ve heard the saying – location, location, location….”
So Ina and Jeffrey settled into their new nest and the bees continued to buzz the backyard.
“Did your parents ever have that talk to you about the birds and the bees?” I asked Husband-Head curiously as I watched the nest.
“No, all they told me about were the huge Wisconsin mosquitoes in the summer and the Green Bay Packers,” he said truthfully.
Which explained a lot…
Over the next several days Ina continued to sit in her nest – rain or shine. And sit. And sit. And sit.
“Don’t you think she’d get bored just sitting there all day?” I asked Husband-Head. “And where the hell is Jeffrey now? How come he’s not helping out?”
I muttered “typical male” under my breath.
“Ummm, I don’t think Ina has the option of posting things on Twitter or Facebook while she incubates her eggs,” Husband-Head pointed out. “And as far as Jeffrey, he’s already done his part. What else do you want him to do?”
But it was when Husband-Head informed me that he and our neighbor were about to embark on their annual tree-trimming venture that I put my foot down. The tree that Ina and Jeffrey had made a nest in was one that was slated to have a bunch of branches cut off.
“You are NOT going to disturb Ina and her nest!” I insisted to Husband-Head. “That poor thing made a nest for the second time and her happy bird butt has been sitting on those eggs for days. You will rot in hell if you freak her out by cutting off all those branches with a chain saw.”
Husband-Head, who is actually a total animal lover, agreed.
“I know,” he sighed. “We’ll just have to wait until the birds and the bees are done doing their thing.”
Then he got a glimmer in his eye.
“Speaking of which…”
If you enjoyed this Fried Rice column, visit http://www.heidirice.com to buy the book collection, “Skully Says Shut It!” Heidi Rice is a columnist for the Post Independent and her column appears every Friday.
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