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Historical Novels -Bobi Andrews

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

KJ's Robin in the Neighborhood

Just when I thought spring couldn't get any better, three fledgling robins showed up in our backyard.  They can't fly more than five feet at a time, and one got to hopping so fast to catch up to its dad that it almost pitched a somersault  Gotta love it!  --Thanks KJ.  Bobi Andrews
It's funny how sometimes you start talking about something and all of a sudden you notice things you didn't notice before.  We know now that this little cousin was an egg thirteen or fourteen days ago!

Monday, May 23, 2016


The best of life is taking little things and blending them into our larger lives. Jerry B. does an excellent job of this in his thoughts on Rose's robins. Thank you!  -- Bobi Andrews

For Rose's Robin Log (if lucky to make the short list)

The pleasant and ethereal delight of bird chirps, grunts and groans as I lounge on the back deck by the Lake. What goes into the life, or for that matter, the day to day living of a bird, both parent and child? 

As I regale on the back deck taking in the sounds and bliss of the chirps and others of natures beauty, who's scheduling and planning and teaching and mentoring this nature to do  the Right Things?  Who plans out that the Mommy birds know about nests, birth, foraging for food, heck, keeping a Daddy bird happy to help in life's process. We humans lavish ourselves with self help this and self help that.  We boast with pride our degrees, our medals, our trophies, our stuff. We make sure we have training to take the test that measure our training to be admitted to college.  We try to trick the "system" to be better than, maybe, we really are.  We should stop for a moment to gather in what nature does to survive, not for accolade.  

We talk about stopping and smelling the roses, but do we?  When life's human external pressures weigh on our time
and thought and breath, we don't linger to wonder, imagine and regale with intent why this nature thing all works.  We say it's God's plan but shouldn't we read more between the
lines of natures existence.  For that matter, please contemplate a birds very survival coming into the World on  Day 1 and being told to move out of the House (nest) by Day 13.  Who told the baby bird how to forage, fly, live, build a nest, fight off foes and still regale in the place they live?  And in the time half the cycle of the Moon's turn, we take this baby bird from a bliss of existence to its very survival.  We humans are blessed to live amongst such turmoil and success of nature
as we navigate our own paths with a longer incubation of our Mom's and Dad's plying our assets we bring into the World.  

Thank goodness I wasn't kicked out of the house on Day 13.  I'm still struggling to manage all of Life's wonders at 55 years.   

If you're lucky enough to digest Rose's Life Log of the "Robin's  in the Bush", I hope you will have some of these thoughts to stretch your mind.  May Happiness and Joy always lead our Wondering and Imagination to the "What-if" around us!!

 Jerry B.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016


From the first stringy grass for the nest to the last robin sneaking out the back door to fly away, this has been a huge eye opener of learning nature's way for us.  I have tried to have Mrs. Robin sign a contract for her next brood but she was too busy to give me any kind of response. Of course, we'll leave her nest in our bush and do what we can to protect it.  We've been told robins use the same nest for the next brood. 

I spent many an hour trying to get an image of Mom Robin feeding all three of her young ones with their beaks all open.  As I have written before, it must be very confidential to Mrs. Robin--as I only got the "tail-end" of the procedure.  But I DID catch an image of Mrs. Robin with her long sought-after worm in her beak.Unfortunately, it wasn't the long four-inch earthworm being snatched from underground.  During the last few
days, we observed Mrs. Robin feeding her young, and then flying off with some "white thing" in her mouth. At first we thought it was pieces of the broken shells, but we figured they were removed a long time ago.

KJ, a very special friend, informed us that Mrs. Robin was carrying out the "droppings" that were encased in white bags.

Goodness me, Dear Lord, you were close to providing "diaper service" for your creations.  Bobi, my sister, said that perhaps I should have had a paper towel and a plastic bag hanging up close by for her "little errands."  The INSTINCT that these robins showed throughout this exciting adventure is infinitely endless!

Of course, she knew  there's not enough room in a nest for three almost fully grown teenagers and bags of poop, too.

This morning was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When we got up this morning, there was only one robin left in the nest.  Apparently, the other two took off some time last night. (Maybe Nature has a timer since the two that hatched first, flew first, and the last one to hatch, flew last.)

I kept an eye on him/her during breakfast.  Since he/she seemed pretty fidgety, I got out my camera. I watched him/her preen himself/herself a bit.  Then before I could aim my camera, he/she turned around and fluttered his/her wings and actually "snuck out the back door."  THE NERVE OF HIM/HER!  So I didn't get a good picture
except for the empty nest.  Apparently, they followed the rules of what the computer said about baby robins taking flight within 13-15 days of  birth.  I previously was very, very sure when I stated at day three that they would NEVER, NEVER be ready to take off within ten
or more days!  NEVER! Guess they showed me "a thing or two!"

We didn't see any sign of Mrs. Robin this morning before the last flight.  She must have been out to "Palm Beach" and thought the last fledging would finally get the hint and go out and "search for his own worms."

But about mid-morning, Mrs. Robin cut her "Palm Beach" vacation short and was VIGOROUSLY snatching up worms in our backyard.  I should say she was literally GORGING herself!  Was she making up for lost time or was she loading up for a "post-flight" treat for the kids?

(Robins do feed their young for a while after they take flight.) Guess I should give her the benefit of the doubt--fairness goes both ways, doesn't it?

And so I  conclude, on May 21, at about 8:30 a.m. --a day to be remembered --

The REAL WORLD BECAME A REALITY for our "three pinkish-reddish-bubblegum wads of babyhood" for what has been MAGNIFICENT entertainment for us  all.


YES, I sing their last song. "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You."   -- Rose Nuernberger





Sunday, May 8, 2016


For someone like me, unable to travel to all the places I read about, I  mirror the experience through someone else's eyes. When the author is gifted, I am there with him.

Such is Bill Bryson's "In a Sunburned Country." In his amazing book I marvel at the energy and stamina required to walk and travel throughout Australia's vast land.  The excessive heat and emptiness overwhelm me as it did him.  The rich Australian history mesmerizes me.  The traditional contribution of abundant ore beneath its surface was unending and built wealth and a country.

Bryson describes the origins of man as if reported yesterday. Was a version of  man really there two hundred million years ago?  If so, how did such a man get to the isolated island and from where did he come?  Bryson didn't know, neither do I. 

If I were there, I'd be thrilled to find an insect that has never before been discovered, or a plant or tree that never made it into scientific study. The many species of snakes I would try to forget (but would watch every step I took).  I found myself pondering with trepidation the mystery where a fork in the road leads or the identity of the markers of bones from past forgotten explorers. I visually shudder. If lost, how long til rescue with the next town not a few miles away, but many and its accommodations unknown. (However they all seemed to have a pub and coffeepot. Buying beer stock in Australia's financial markets--not a bad idea.)  

In Bryson's travels throughout Australia, I lost count of how many cups of coffee he consumed, but I was ready with him to have one more cup at the next stop.  He rightly related that the settled population in the barren lands were as pleased to see him enter their pub for a pint as he was to quench his thirst. There seemed to be two definitions of loneliness--those settlers who thrived in their independence and those who suffered the absence of community living.   

When visiting the coasts, the world of Australia changes. Starkly contrasted with the raw, sparsely settled interior, the modern cities of Sydney and Melbourne form cultural countries of their own: Cosmopolitan, undisputed leaders in sports and business, ahead of the game in consuming the latest technology, and welcome combatants on our side in western world conflicts.  It was a good feeling to be able to enjoy two worlds within one setting.

A fine book.  A very fine book.   



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Robin Portfolio -- TRIBUTE TO MRS. ROBIN

You may not know it, but . . . 

        Your cheerful chirp and one-of-a-kind chortle
really, really MAKE OUR DAY! 

        Your early morning rising is truly a gift. YOU WAKE UP THE DAY FOR US. 
        You don't complain. Your chirps and chortles help us cope with our heavy loads!
         We notice you can be quite touchy at times with unexpected noises, but today we were amazed that  while Ken mowed our lawn, you didn move a  feather!  We now consider you our family and are pleased  you have learned to trust us.
       Although we look for you as the first sign of   Spring, we occasionally see a group of you in       the winter picking at the bits and pieces of our dried crabapples from the previous fall. Makes me want to put a zip bag of worms in our freezer for you.
        So, even in the dreads of our Iowa winter blizzards, you bring HOPE and COURAGE!
       Now it's spring. Godspeed and God bless.

                                                                                       --Rose Nuernberger


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Robin Portfolio - TOP SONGS


                                           ROSE'S ROBIN

            What are your favorite  songs?
                  Rhapsody in Blue
                  Dont Fence Me In  (I wish) 
                  "Mrs. Robinson"

          As your eggs hatch?
                  Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
                  "Three Is Enough 

          What is your favorite hymn?
                   This Is My Fathers World
                   His Eye Is on The Sparrow
                       (and Me, too!)

         These, for sure.
                    Singin In the Rain
                    Blue Skies         
                     "Tiptoe Through the Tulips

         And, or course, my theme song --
                      When the Red, Red, Robin, Comes
                       Bob _.-._Bob_.-._ Bobbing_.-._ Along
           A song for humans to ponder?
                   The Best Things In Life
                     Are Free        

        A song or two for us oldies to reminisce?
              "Home Sweet Home
             Home On the Nest
             Born Free

                                                 --Rose Nuernberger

Monday, May 2, 2016

The “Kitchen Window”Robin


Sometimes you wish something spectacular would happen within close-eye view.   We see bird life at a distance, and thats usually the end of our viewing.

Bird nests and bird families are quite familiar to all of us, arent they?  We hardly give them a second thought.  Even a knocked down nest buried in a stack of dried leaves doesnt get a lot of attention.  So it was a nest I saw.  Big deal?   

All this changed with my husband, Kens and my observance of an ordinary run of the mill robin doing what only Gods INSTINCT taught her to do.  For her, it wasn't a matter of having a supply truck deliver the dry wall and carpenters doing the finishing work.  The robins BEAK and her SWISHING, TWIRLING body are all the fancy tools she has. 

Looking at her head, she seems to fit the expression, bird brain”—meaning pretty scattered and confused.  Well, her BIRD BRAIN may not have many coiling rolls of intellect, but the term Bird Brain has taken on a new remarkable meaning to my husband and myself. 

We have a deformed, un-pretty upright pine bush near the side of our deck and directly in front of our kitchen window.  I noticed for almost a week, a robin flew into it, pecked around to some extent, and then left. Apparently, she was scouting out the location and surveying the space.

She worked at eye level and seemed very vulunerable to our looking at her, although from the front side, probably other birds and animals wouldnt see her chosen location.  She built her nest showing extreme intelligence and foresight. From the house, she has an awning of protection over her!  Let it rainshes stays dry, and yet she sees out very clearly.   As our friend, Jerry B. commented, Shed be a very good real estate saleslady-she knows how important LOCATION, LOCATION, and LOCATION is! 

After a week of checking the neighborhood and weighing important data as to available space, strength of the branches, availability of nesting materials close by, etc., on the morning of April 19, 2016 she carried her first long stringy piece of dried grass to the space. 

Look, shes gonna build her nest!  (Of course, no sign of DAD around to help or even to give encouragement!)  So, stringy bit by bit (remember, Rome wasnt built in a day) she carried her pickings into her nest with her beak, pecked around to make sure all ends were in, and then did her final swishing and twirling with the weight of her body forming the cup-like depth.  For TWO WHOLE DAYS without interruption, she carried her twiggy-grassy bits with her multitasked beak, tucked them all in, and swished them down to a comfortable circle.

My computer says robins build nests from the inside outI guess we couldnt officially verify just what her building plan was. One of my favorite pictures of her is her finishing touch as she swirls herself aroundshe does so with her tail sticking STRAIGHT up in the air! 

Contrary to us, she wasn't burdened with a building permit, an appraiser checking her out, home insurance protection, ladders, saws, hammers, nails.  To be honest, she didnt even require a helpful husband!  

On April 21, finished with her great masterpiece, she wasn't in her nest all day!  Whats going on? we asked.  Perhaps she instinctively knew shed be a sittin for quite a while, and she sowed her last wild oats and had some kind of wild shindig as a pre-birth prerequisite. 

By 10:00 the next day on April 22, she apparently realized her time had come.  She was off and on her nest for three days.  We didn't  know if she had laid her eggs or not, as the depth of her nest kept us nosey people from knowing the whole truth.   

But by April 27th, she was on her nest most of the time, leaving for less than five minutes to grab a bite and probably go to the potty."  (Dont know that for sure.)  Still no sign of Dad ... 

Well, Jerry B. came over, and he being a tall guy, peered into her nest and saw three beautiful light blue eggs.  When had she laid them?  We dont know exactly but as we sat out on the deck one evening, she made three noticeable chirps…a few moments elapsing between each one.  Had she announced her motherhood? We like to think so.

As we watch her we realize her many talents. Building her nest with the protective awning, gives her a perfect view. When it rains, she  skimmies around and faces the inside with only her long tail perhaps getting a bit damp.  Then, when the rain stops, she twirls herself around as if to be in on any important happenings. 

I emphasize with her long sit.  I have this feeling that the least I could do would be to furnish some background stereo music, or bring her the daily paper, or even furnish her with pencil and paper to write her Birthing Journey.  She seems to have her eyes open all the time in kinda of deep stare.  Is she sleeping with her eyes open to watch for danger and enemies or is she bird-thinking as she sits and sits the long hours with only an occasional shifting of her body in her nest?

I ponder. How does she keep from cracking the fragile egg shells?  How does she know how long she has to incubate the eggs?  Does she feel any wiggling action in her eggs before they are hatched? (As a human mother, I not only felt wiggling action, but right down strong kick the football sixty yards actions.)

Mothers of every species have much in common.  Will she actually think her babies are cute? Will she think their early fuzzy down is unique? Why are there always three eggs?

Mrs. Robin is everything:  

DeterminedDiligentPatient…Knowledgable  CourageousOptimisticCreative

                          --Rose Nuernberger
(See previous blog for a picture journal of this amazing Robin.)