Page Of Buds and Blue Eggs

When setting out for a morning of work in the vineyard, I never know what I might encounter.  I’ve witnessed deer bounding gracefully right between our trellis wires and lone coyotes sauntering about, slyly portraying ignorance yet fully aware of my presence.

More often than not I encounter birds.  From majestic Hawks and rare Bluebirds to annoying Starlings – it runs the gamut.  I especially look forward to spring, when new life in the vineyard is not limited emerging buds and dandelions.  This past week, while tying down canes of Pinot Noir (specifically Row #7 in the Old Block),  I was fascinated as I closed in on one particular vine.

A curious place for a nest

Cautiously creeping closer, it became evident that a determined Robin had chosen one of my oldest Pinot vines as the perfect place to raise its family.  I recognized the irony in this nest full of future grape-pecking Robins staring me in the face, but I couldn’t bring myself to relocate the cosy looking abode.  Instead, I tied down the canes and snapped a few quick pictures as mama Robin chirped at me rather aggressively from two rows away.

Five Rows, Four Eggs

Future Adversaries

This is actually a common vineyard occurrence.  The most interesting discoveries are the camouflaged Kildeer nests dotting the ground between grapevines.  Mother Killdeers are seemingly fearless.  As you approach the nest she will frantically charge at you, feigning a broken wing in an effort to seem more vulnerable to the perceived predator.  In the ultimate act of altruism the mother will then attempt to lead you in the opposite direction of her nest, all the while fanning her “broken” wing.  I always get a kick out of this evolutionary trait and try to vacate the area as quickly as possible.  Inevitably, I must approach the nest as work continues in the adjacent row and the whole dance starts again.

My mind flashes to a vision of yours truly, arms flailing and yelling wildly, as Howie approaches one of my dogs on the tractor.  He is blissfully unaware, and they are all too eager to greet him.  Finally, I get his attention and danger is averted.  My inner Kildeer is satisfied.

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