Friday, April 04, 2008

A Housing Crisis

I came home yesterday to find a housing crisis had developed here at Rainbow's End in Livingston. A housing crisis that would result in eviction, tenants fighting to retain squatter's rights, rebuilding, and eventual destruction and relocation.

Click for Larger Image of Mockinbird in HitchWhile it must have been brewing for a while, I first noticed something was wrong yesterday when I returned home after being gone most of the day. As I walked by the front of the RV, I saw what looked like hay in the part of the hitch that is connected to the RV. "What the...?" I thought. As I was standing there staring at it, the mockingbird that was attempting to be my new tenant emerged from his new cozy condo in the sky. I then saw a second one eyeing me from the picnic table. Much as I hated to disturb the new tenants, I obviously can't haul an RV around with a built-in aviary. So I removed the sticks and twigs... and then found that my hitch was actually a duplex.

Click for Larger Image of Finished NestA second nest was already in the hitch, way up high so it was not visible from the outside. There is no way to know how long it had been there. This nest was finished, but there was no evidence of shell fragments so I probably had moved the RV before eggs could be laid. I removed this nest, too, and thought this was the end of my landlord/tenant problems. I was wrong.

Click for Larger Image of MockingbirdThe two mockingbirds came back today, and meticulously collected all the twigs and sticks I had removed from the hitch and put them back. I got to sit back and watch them as they picked up a stick and then landed nearby, usually on my truck, to watch for predators before continuing. Then they would fly up to the hitch, go inside and deposit the stick, and then fly out. They did this over and over until the hitch was again brimming with sticks.

Click for Larger Image of MockingbirdThey will have to be evicted again, of course. Living in my hitch is not an option, even for the State Bird of Texas. But their situation is not really dire -- this is an RV campground after all. And a there are a lot of other Fifth Wheel Loft Apartments available for immediate occupancy.

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