Home Turf

The block across the street is made up of yellow brick bow-fronted row houses which are, thankfully for my view from the 4th floor, only 2.5 stories high. One of these houses has a cage frame for an air-condidtioner in its second story window. There’s no air-conditioner, but there is what looks like some kind of plastic sheeting, perhaps for insulation purposes. A local squirrel climbs up the forked garden birch two houses over, runs along the brick edging of the intervening building, leaping across the gaps, then upwards to the cage. The plastic within looks like it’s getting crowded with leaves and, I’ll wager, foodstuffs. Here’s where it gets more complicated. The underside of this air-conditioner cage is favored by House Sparrows, who do not have a Good Neighbor policy towards the squirrel. They dive at the mammal at almost every sortie. Nesting season is still weeks away, but the birds are already fiercely protective of their space. It’s just another day in nature city.

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