Monday, June 6, 2011

Mr. Furley Lives

This post is a little late in coming, but I feel the need to write today and remembered that I'd meant to write about this...

Spring has sprung. I know this not because the snow has melted and the plants are sprouting. Nope. I know it because my stepfather is preparing for the return of 'his' swallows. According to him, they show up about the same time every year: May 24th weekend. SO, in preparation for this, he stocks up on bird feed (which he has anyway because there are bird feeders out front that he keeps topped up year round...he has actually been known to get out the binoculars and crouch in the window to get a close up of the colourful avians that visit...hence my mother's affectionately dubbing him Mr. Furley from time to time), cleans the birdhouse, and whatever else it entails...I have to admit, I don't keep close tabs on him but he does seem rather busy getting things ready for them. Last year, he tried to put me on birdwatching duty while he and my mother went to Florida for a couple of weeks to visit family. I shook my head and rolled my eyes heavenward, but humoured him a little. How I was supposed to stop sparrows and others from taking up residence before the arrival of his beloved swallows I have no clue. But whatever makes him happy...They showed up and moved in without any interference or encouragement from me so I guess that worked out alright.

This year things were a little different. My stepfather had just started a new job that requires him flying to and from the job site and he was scheduled to be away for May 24th weekend. He didn't let that stop him from securing the swallows for the season, though. No, he went through his habitual birdhouse prepping earlier than normal and rigged up something that made me question why, exactly, he has not been featured on The Red Green Show. What was it, you ask? Well...I really wish I had thought to take a picture. I suppose it wasn't anything too special, but I happen to think it was rather ingenious and hilarious. My stepfather actually put elastics around a rag to fashion a plug for the entrance to the birdhouse. This was also attached to a rope that was secured around the pole atop which the birdhouse sits. He left my mother with the instructions to untie the rope and use it to pull the plug upon the first swallow sighting. There were a tense few days after I had spotted them and she had failed to pull the plug when I teased that she would be fired since the swallows had booked another place when they discovered the hotel was closed...however, they came back and are, happily, now residing in the birdhouse out back...much to 'Mr. Furley's' delight ;-)


  1. What a lovely family snapshot, BG, you stepfather is very special indeed!

  2. Thanks WWW. He is a bit of a dork sometimes, but he is truly amazing. I lucked out there, for sure.