Another thing I haven't spent as much time on lately is my garden. But I got caught up this weekend. I even took out the worm bin and harvested the (really incredible mound) of worm casings. I like to harvest the casings the lazy way: tip out the bin onto a sheet of cardboard and leave the mound of casings out in the sunshine for a while. The worms crawl down to the bottom, leaving a top layer of uninhabited poopy goodness.
I was puttering away, planting some fall kale and waiting for the worms to settle, when I realized I needed to refill my watering can. Coming around the corner, I startled a number of sparrows from the bird feeder. It put a big grin on my face. Oddly enough, the sparrows didn't fly up into the trees when they saw me--they landed on the neighbor's roof, lining up on the rain gutter and staring down at me as I worked. The sound of their little claws on the metal gutter made my neck hair prickle.
After a few minutes, the birds went back to the feeder, and I finished with the kale and chard. And a connection fired in my beleaguered brain. Why had the sparrows been watching me so carefully? And why were they chirping so happily on the other side of the house, as if they were eating something especially delicious? Something uniquely tasty and squirmy?
I darted around the corner, startling seven sparrows from the mound of sunning worm poop. One fluttered around the inside of the actual worm bin, scooping up one last red wriggler who'd been hiding in the corners. The sparrow at least looked embarrassed to see me.
I hurried to return the worms to the safety of their bin, begging Sweetie-Pie & the Midget to help with the refilling process (I needed a lot of shredded newspaper). The birds settled onto our roof in the hopes we would abandon the delicious worms, and after a few minutes began to protest mightily. I felt a moment's remorse. After all, the worms might be my very useful friends--but sparrows are adorable!