The phoebes are back in the nest they built last year just inside the overhang of the front porch roof. I'm glad they're making do with their old nest, because when phoebes build a nest they make a mess you wouldn't believe, and every time somebody comes to the house you have to explain about the mud and poop.
On a less felicitous note, another bird--I don't know what kind--tried to build a nest directly opposite the phoebes, between the carriage lamp and the wall next to the front door. This bird had made such a haphazard-looking nest, mostly out of dried-out iris leaves, that I thought it had abandoned the project--until we found a bunch of nest materials and two little blue eggs broken on the slate floor.
Speaking of birds, the hens spent their first night in the chicken tractor. This morning, when I let them out, the four older birds rushed out as if the grass and its inhabitants had literally been calling for them. The three pullets, however, stayed in the little upstairs sleeping loft, in the dark, peeping. I forced them downstairs and outside and they wandered around on the grass, peeping, trying to figure out how to get back in. Which they eventually did, and rushed up the little ladder, back into the dark.
It rained a little this morning, which is good for the roses I planted yesterday. I've never planted roses before, so at the nursery I asked for the toughest climbers they had. Climbers being the toughest of all roses, mine should be just about indestructible. I got two "New Dawn" pink ones, which sound hopeful, and one "Blanc De Blanc De Corbe," which sounds like a wine.
In the rain, the two little apple trees, which have been blooming their hearts out, started shedding some petals. I'm concerned because I checked them yesterday morning in the sun for pollinating insects and found one wasp, one common housefly, and a couple of ants. Where are the bees?
On a happier note, the giant hostas that I purchased at the Rupert village library benefit last year, and that I had given up for dead, have been thrusting their scary-looking spikes out of the mulch, clearly enjoying the rain.
Who says that nothing happens at our house?