Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Moving Experience

Fresh Start: A juvenile Northern Cardinal checks out our new place.

I hate boxes.

I hate stepping around them. I hate taping them together. I hate filling them with stuff, then lugging them down multiple flights of stairs and wondering how I'll fit them into my car.

I hate finding them in odd corners, opening them and finding my life's belongings wrapped up in 10-year-old pages from defunct alternative newspapers, which reminds me how pathetic and old I'm getting. I hate wondering where they are, and once finding them, trying to figure out where to put them next.

And this is all I've done all summer. Moving SUCKS. Glenn has finally moved out to Gainesville to join me, but this meant (1) moving out of our place in California, where 10 years of random crap had prodigiously, yet stealthily, accumulated, (2) simultaneously moving out of my tiny pied-a-terre in Gainesville, which was too small for all this stuff, and (3) moving INTO a bigger place in Gainesville. Orthogonally related to all this was (4) sorting through and discarding tons of stuff from my high school and college years still at my parents' place, in preparation for their possible (but not imminent) move. My heart nearly broke as I shredded dozens of absolutely hilarious letters from my sophomore roommate and my freshman-boyfriend-who-turned-out-to-be-gay. The idea of paying for and dealing with yet another moving box was just too awful.

All this misery came to a head last weekend, when both Glenn and the movers arrived at our new place. Between packing and unpacking stuff, watching poor Glenn do battle with both jet lag and an uncooperative wireless router, and trying to figure out WHY our Florida renters' insurance policy costs four times more than our old policy in California ("This is Florida", was the best answer my insurance agent could come up with), I haven't had much time for birding or blogging. Yup, it sucks to be me.

But the payoff for all this stress is significant: Among the charms of our new place are much-improved backyard birding opportunities. The feeder at my old place attracted a fair number of birds, but was in a thoroughly dismal location:

Here's the same feeder now: near real live trees!

We already have a number of Tufted Titmice and Carolina Chickadees coming by regularly:

A family of Northern Cardinals (an adult male and female and two juveniles) comes by several times a day as well—at my old place, it took about three months for the birds to warm up to my feeder.

There are also a lot of Carolina Wrens, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and Blue Jays in the area that we hope will drop by: we've put up a suet feeder and a hummingbird feeder to make the place more interesting for them.

Meanwhile, fall migration is slowly but surely starting up. We went by Palm Point Park yesterday in search of migrant warblers, and found a Black-and-white Warbler and several Prothonotary Warblers. The Prothonotary was a lifer for Glenn:

At San Felasco Hammock State Park this morning, we saw Yellow-throated Warblers, Northern Parulas, Worm-eating Warblers, American Redstarts, and a Black-and-white Warbler. The park was quite birdy (and buggy); I'm sure there were a lot of good birds in there that we missed.

And back home, there's almost always something flitting about in the back yard. There's nothing like the company of birds to make a random building filled with half-empty boxes feel like home.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick note on your Florida renters insurance: all dwelling insurance costs a lot more in Florida than California due to hurricanes. I know, you're in Gainesville, right smack in the middle of the state, but the concept of risk-spreading means that the whole state's rates are going to be higher. Hurricanes often happen several times a year, catastrophic earthquakes in California happen relatively rarely. Best to you both in Fla!

Felicia said...

Thanks! I thought hurricanes might have something to do with it (it makes a lot of sense), but when I looked at my new policy, it said flood damage WASN'T covered (I'd need a separate policy for that), and warned of an "extremely high deductable" for hurricane damage! I'm still scratching my head about this...

dAwN said...

Congratulations..I am sure you feel lighter now!
looks like you have a great location for birds.
you must be thrilled the birds are migrating your way again!

Sparverius said...

Bla. Moving is crap. But good backyard birding is wonderful!!!

Felicia said...

Hi Dawn and Wendy,

Thanks for your good wishes! My backyard birds are a real treat--anxiously awaiting their companions...

Carol said...

Enjoyed your description of the move..I just helped my sister part with 20 years worth of "treasures" for her move.
Keep your eyes open for Painted Buntings. I have one coming to my feeder now. Usually dont see them until Nov. I am NE of Orlando, and have several of them and Indigo Buntings that spend the winter.