Mama Robin rejects first try at nest

Published 10:12 am Thursday, March 17, 2016

The mama robin spent an entire day building her nest outside our kitchen window. Air-lifting bits of mulch and grass into the crook of a crepe myrtle, she patted down the building materials into a nest and had it looking like home.

That’s the same spot that has held a robin’s nest for the past two years.

Something happened a day later. I found the nest on the ground, tossed off the building site.

Maybe she didn’t like that fellow looking out the window at her and is looking for something with privacy.

Also, bluebirds have been staking out the boxes I’ve prepared for them. Tulips are popping out of the ground. Chickweed is growing like crazy. Maybe the long winter really is coming to an end.

• • • • •

What was all the fuss?

Showing my license on Tuesday to the elections official before I voted didn’t seem like an unusual request. The Democrats and Republicans in the General Assembly fought long and hard over that issue.

Harvey Draughn of Clemmons noted last week that he had to show his identification before he could buy a can of spray paint so why not to do something as significant as voting?

The new regulation did trip up Sen. Richard Burr when he discovered he had lost his identification last week.

But for the rest of us, the new regulation did not seem unreasonable or unworkable.

• • • • •

We went to see the little boys in Illinois over the weekend, driving through some of the states involved in this week’s presidential primaries.

I was amazed how few political signs we saw.

The television was filled with ads bashing or praising candidates. In Ohio, some TV spots belittled Gov. John Kasich. We seemed to be in the wrong places to actually see the candidates.

Sen. Ted Cruz appeared in Decatur, Ill., the day after we left. Donald Trump was in Dayton, Ohio, the morning before we got there.

Closer to home, Trump’s appeared in Hickory on Monday at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Only those who arrived hours early got inside, however.

We stopped at Champaign, Ill., on the return trip and visited an engineering fair at the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana. One pair of engineering students had  made a miniature hydroelectric dam. A five-gallon bucket of water served as their reservoir. Over and over, they released the water through a tiny turbine for visitors to see.

They did it so many times that their glued joints had begun to fail and water was spilling onto the floor.

The John Deere tractor company had a wonderful video game exhibit that allowed children to pretend to drive a monster combine in a field of corn. I wanted to drive it myself, but the line was long …

• • • • •

Traveling on the open highway, Elizabeth and I habitually read Internet postings about the towns we pass. In small towns in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, we repeatedly read about trouble with the Ku Klux Klan there in the early 20th century. In the movies, the South gets the black eye for Klan activity. Based on the history of the towns we crossed, there may have been just as much — or more — trouble in the Northern states.

• • • • •

Joanne Osborne of Mocksville says she was sweeping off the back steps with a broom this week when her clever hubby Karl warned, “Be careful not to let that thing take off with you.”

He’s in the dog house at last report.

— Dwight Sparks