• 52°

Moms Help Birds Protect Their Nests

Mothers of all stripes help each other. That’s why no black snake is going to eat a nest of bluebird babies without a fight from a human mama.
Our reporter Beth Cassidy, petite and normally very polite, grabbed an invading black snake bare-fisted and flung it away from the bluebird box in her yard last year. She had watched the nest daily. Flinging snakes is out of character for her, but the bluebirds were special.
Ignoring the risk of being bitten, she gave the snake a flying lesson.
Earlier this spring, Nancy Cherry of Kinderton grabbed a hoe and dispatched a similar snake as it was chowing down on a nest of bluebird babies she had monitored. Only one chick survived.
Nancy was spitting mad at first. Then she cried.
Birds bring out the best in people.
How snakes are so adept at finding the nests is beyond me.
There’s something called the Circle of Life. There’s also the Rule of Mama.

Notice how the days are getting shorter? Well, they are by a minute or so a day since June 21, the official beginning of summer and the longest day of the year. Our daylight is lasting 14 hours 30 minutes — plenty of time to mow the lawn. The extra daylight also allows plenty of time for the sun to heat us up.

June 22 marked the anniversary of the start of Operation Barbarossa, the day in 1941 that Hitler’s army of four million invaded the Soviet Union. I’m still following the fascinating Twitter account RealTimeWWII, a day-by-day chronicle of what happened during the war.
Initially, the Germans overran the surprised Red Army and hoped for a quick knock out blow in a march to Moscow. It didn’t happen before winter befell the Nazis, and they eventually succumbed to a fate that echoed Napoleon’s forces during their misadventure into Russia.
Americans naturally focus on our part of that great …