January 2006

…birds. We love birds. Well, we love them now. The turning point came two years ago when, despite having two bird-chasing cats guarding every window in this apartment, a mama bird made a nest on our balcony. We noticed one day that a peaceful creature was quite busy flying back and forth from grass to our balcony carrying twigs and nesting materials clutched in her beak. After waiting for her to leave on her trek for more twigs, we admired the nest she was building in one of my flower pots.

A short time later she had laid 4 eggs. Cute little white speckled eggs that immediately touched the mother in not just me, but Martin and Alexander as well. Then those wonderful little eggs hatched into little helpless babies that chirped and opened their beaks wide when they heard their mother was around. Discreetly we watched from the comfort of our living room sofa how the mama brought them treats from the backyard. Oh, it was as if we had given birth to 4 babies of our own. The first thing we did after getting out of bed every morning was to check on our babes. They were growing and eating and growing and eating. And we were watching.

I don’t know how to end this story, it’s so sad.

You see, we don’t just have little sweet mommy birds (to be exact it was an Amsel or blackbird in English), but we also have large monster carnivorous birds (Elster or Magpie in English) here that at one terrible point found the nest. We watched helplessly as the big bird did what nature told her to do and our babies were soon gone. I was furious and sad and hurt and mad. How could this happen?? Those were our babies. I felt so helpless.

Since then, birds have been an obsession of ours, or shall I say of mine. We have two bird feeders-one on the balcony and one on our kitchen window so we can watch them come and go and admire their gentle beauty.

bird feederbird nest
click to see a bigger view of the birds nest and bird feeder-unfortunately, both unoccupied.

We haven’t touched the nest since our bird family ‘left’. In fact, I planted boxwood around it in hopes that it would make it more liveable and protected, in case that mama, or any mama for that matter, wants to find a home with us. The nest has been empty for two years but I’m not one to give up hope.

I’ve joined Anne’s ABC-Along and I will be posting a letter of the alphabet every two weeks and telling you what each one means to me. Sound like fun? I think so.
A is for Alexander and Alida. Or as Alida says: Amama and Adaddy. Everything has an A on the front of it. Maybe we should have named them Dick and Jane, then she wouldn’t have had this confusion with the A’s.


This is our Christmas card photo taken in front of our church on Christmas Eve. I was good this year and sent them off in the first week of January. That’s an improvement over last year. Aren’t you proud of me??

Just some of the fun we’ve had in the snow Berlin has gotten over the past couple of days. What a treat it’s been for us to be on vacation during a snow storm!!



Our thank you cards are done, thanks to Alexander and Alida. They just need to be sent, along with our Christmas card. Ok, correct that, January card. This happens every year, so I hope our friends and relatives aren’t too upset.

cardsthank yous

Update: Sorry about the tiny thumbnail pictures. I just updated my version of WordPress and lots of things have changed, so now I’ve got to figure it all out. ugh In the meantime, just click on a picture to see it bigger.