Will No One Think of the Birds

I know the entire world is burning down but I spent a considerable amount of time worrying about when I need to get a fern hanging on my front porch just in case ma and pa bird from last year come back. It would be very upsetting if they came back and their condo was gone and the neighborhood had been gentrified, and I found them to be quite lovely tenants so I would like them to come back. The problem is that it is too early to stick a fern out there because it is still freezing and I will NEVER remember to bring the damned thing in every night. I think what I have decided to do is to just hang a pot of dirt there, and then when the weather becomes fernworthy, I will put a fern in if they have not come and laid any eggs yet.

38 replies
  1. 1
    Fred Fnord says:

    Don’t ever change, John. Please.

  2. 2

    why not put up an artificial fern plant?

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    You are good people, Cole😏😏

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) Tweeted:
    Abrams is one of the most effective communicators in politics today because she has complete command of the facts. She is emphatic, often witty https://t.co/eSxbdImGMx https://twitter.com/JRubinBlogger/status/1115343134656028672?s=17

  5. 5

    Only you would spend time worrying about this, John. And that you do says good things about you.

    I blogged about books I found helpful in improving my writing.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:

    I always wanted the mockingbirds to come back and build a nest in the rhododendron right outside my living-room window, but they never did. I loved watching the babies in the nest.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    I am not a bird fan, but this post is so you, Cole. It’s why we love you.

    I’d like to second the fake fern suggestion.

  8. 8
    kindness says:

    John’s going to have a hanging planter of weeds by his front door. Hopefully with tenants.

  9. 9
    debit says:

    Maybe you should preemptively install the chick guard.

  10. 10
    joel hanes says:

    John, they were house finches.

    They’re named for their ready use of birdhouses.

    They’d love a birdhouse of the right size and configuration.
    (for bluebirds, so too deep, but gives you the basic idea)


    If you put another one on a pole in the back yard, you might could have two families.

  11. 11
    stinger says:

    I believe it is possible to search this blog for past posts (never done it myself), which could provide the date you are seeking. But if it’s still that cold at night, even from time to time, they probably aren’t going to start building a nest yet.

  12. 12
    raven says:

    What the fuck does Katy Perry have to do with the hoop?

  13. 13
    laura says:

    John Cole, your self-actualization into a super-mensch has been a lovely thing to behold. Your heart has grown so much and your caring and empathy is reaching Oprah levels.
    The most charming bird watching up close that I got to see was at my dentist’s. The dental group had an indoor atrium and it had several ficus. For a couple of years hummingbirds made a tiny, tiny nest -like the size of a half apricot. The chicks were infinitesimally teensy. And when they fledged it was a whole thing.

  14. 14

    Has anybody seen Werebear? She was going to send me something and didn’t. I hope nothing’s wrong.

  15. 15
    randy khan says:


    It’s fascinating to see what’s going on with Rubin. I’m curious if she’s going to turn all the way.

  16. 16
    Mary G says:

    @randy khan: Not on Israel. She’s not going to come out and say Bibi is doing a great job, but she thinks participating in something like BDS is beyond the pale.

  17. 17
    ZeeLizzee says:

    If you keep the fern under the roof, even if the temp goes down to 25 it won’t die.

  18. 18
    MomSense says:


    I told my lawyer acquaintance who is moving to Athens about Boo le Bark on the Boulevard and she is so excited. They have a 1 1/2 year old golden and she said the parade is on her calendar already.

  19. 19
    hells littlest angel says:

    It might feel freezing to you, but the forecast for your area has lows in the 40s.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    Martin says:

    We’ve got a hummingbird nest just outside our front door, so twice a day I get angry momma hummingbird jousting my head until I get about 20′ away. It’s even parts adorable and terrifying.

  22. 22
    Another Scott says:

    Some grackles built a nest in the overgrown holly outside our upstairs bedroom window a few years ago. A pair of cardinals didn’t like them being there – one or the other of the cardinals would basically camp out a foot or so from the nest for weeks. I don’t think I ever saw any babies…

    Nature isn’t kind. Your birdy friends will do what they need to do to try to survive. Put your fern out when it’s good for the fern. Maybe you’ll get lucky again. :-)


  23. 23
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I usually scan through the comments. I don’t remember spotting her name lately.

  24. 24
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Another Scott: Grackle! Grackle! Grackle!

  25. 25
    Gvg says:

    Bird house is possible. Also some other kind of plant that is more cold hardy, maybe pansy or petunia? Grapevine wreath, pinecone with decorative bow hung on the wall beside a door has sometime had birds nest in it at my parents house.
    I always found out I had a nest by watering the nest, sometimes causing them to leave. Then I couldn’t water plant till it was done causing plant death. Next time I will sneak in an automatic watering drip tube.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Will No One Think of the Birds

    Two words: Alfred Hitchcock.


  27. 27
    Origuy says:

    Two of the chicks in the peregrine falcon nest at San Jose City Hall have hatched. Here they are having breakfast this morning. There may be a third hatching soon. Live Falcon Cam.

  28. 28
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @NotMax: And Daphne du Maurier and Evan Hunter.

  29. 29
    catclub says:


    It’s even parts adorable and terrifying.

    neat! Tiny, angry F-16’s

  30. 30
    Kattails says:

    Best of luck to you. I think just about any plant would do, but Christmas ferns are cold hardy, grow wild near me in New England, not sure if they’re local to you. I think it’s probably the off-the-ground, out of the weather thing. I am eagerly awaiting the return of my phoebes. Years ago they built a nest over the bedroom window–I have knee walls upstairs, so the windows are low casements. It can’t be seen from above. They land on a branch on the close-by oak, then dive down & then up a bit to the nest. Fabulous bug-catchers. Every year I’m like “Oh please please come back kids, you can have the run of the garden!” The clothes line is strung from said oak & one year a first-flight fledgling landed on it and clung with a rather horrified expression as the thing swung like crazy.

  31. 31

    @Origuy: The eagles of San Gabriel Canyon have two eaglets and they’re getting bigger.

  32. 32
    Raoul Paste says:

    Think globally, act locally

  33. 33
    jl says:

    Excellent plan, Cole. If neighbors or the frat kids complain about a hanging pot of dirt out on the front stoop, you can put in plastic plant, or buy a preplanted crocus or tulip bulb pot and plop that sucker in there. Carry on.

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: The last thread I can find with a were bear comment is March 27.

    Steep’s google fu is better than mine, so maybe he can do better, but that’s what I found.

    edit: contact us on her blog shows her email if you wanted to try to communicate with her and you don’t have her email address.

  35. 35
    Aleta says:

    @Kattails: That’s a great idea. Prairie Nursery site has lots of native ferns and plants. It shows areas where Christmas ferns live (by county and by state). They’re north, central and south all through the east. https://www.prairienursery.com/store/advanced-search?btnSearch=&k=fern+zones+
    They start shipping April 15.

  36. 36
    dww44 says:

    @rikyrah: I, too, am a fan of Abrams, but, alas, Erick Erickson, who writes frequent op-eds in the local paper is not. His piece in yesterday’s paper was anger inducing. . If the guy had guts enough to publish his email address as does the other local guy who writes a piece on occasion, I’d encourage you to email him. The nerve of this so called rational conservative.

  37. 37
    dww44 says:

    @dww44: So for those of you who may not click on the link, the title of Erickson’s piece is “Abrams is trying to burn it all down so she can rise triumphantly in the ashes” Because Abrams has the nerve to say that she didn’t lose the governor’s race last fall. I know this, if I’m ever in the same room as the installed governor of the State, I will turn my back and leave the room. I will not extend him a courtesy he didn’t earn. He cheated his way into the governor’s mansion.

  38. 38
    dww44 says:

    Realize this is a dead thread, but am venting because of computer issues all day and now my reading browsers have been updated not to my liking. Too much white space and top of the page ads are 3 times bigger than they were before.

    Anyways, I too have a front porch with a hanging basket that the Carolina wrens and/or the House Finches love to nest in. To accommodate them, I leave the basket out through the winter and mostly the plant survives.. This year a Spider plant. We had a quite late freeze (for us) in early March that did some damage, but the plant is there, albeit a little ratty looking.

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