The past few weeks featured a good deal of typical New England early spring weather — mostly cool and rainy, and for prolonged periods. But today was quite sunny and warm, with a bit of a blustery breeze to cool things off. Standing before the Mansfield House, I couldn’t help but notice the wildlife (no, not squirrels) making my place their own abode, and apparently enjoying it as much as I do.
The little guy in the photo above was singing away merrily, and building a nest behind the angled trim piece where it meets the hanging barge board, just above the service drop/drip head.
There were also at least a half-dozen bees buzzing about. Their behavior was a bit more difficult to decipher; they’d hover in stationary positions for long periods of time, while facing the wall, then take off in pairs or threes, disappearing over the roof. But every so often, I’d spot one entering or exiting any of a number a tiny holes in the soffit.
These are eastern carpenter bees, and they’ve undoubtedly been living here a very long time. My guess is their nests are just above the soffit and under the large top plate, which overhangs the wall slightly. They’re a relatively docile bee (the males don’t even possess stingers), and usually a significant pollinator. So I’m not too fussed by their general presence.
However, their colonies also tend to inhabit the same location year round, and can cause considerable damage to the wood they burrow in. So here’s yet one more pest I need to figure out how to humanely exclude.
Anyway, all of this timeless harmony inspired me to engage the universe a bit in my own way. So I took advantage of the unobstructed midday sunlight and set about calibrating (or more precisely, determining the degree of calibration of) a small, handheld sundial of mine.
Have I ever mentioned I’m obsessed with all manner of primitive time pieces, especially sundials? More on this, perhaps, in some subsequent postings…
With verdure, the wide earth’s overspread, and trees adorned with blooms; the paths in May bow sweat to tread, mid forests of perfume — Farmers’ Almanac