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Dad and His Deal With the Martins

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

This Introduction has

nothing to write home about, some people are prone to say. Maybe so. But allow me the argument that "who," in my works can be just as important as any celebrity that pops to mind. My dad is the "who" that I am sharing something about him and his other "who," his year-long fascination with Purple Martins. Thanks in advance for reading. Kenneth.

Baby Purple Martin.

Baby Purple Martin.

The Purple Martin

for those who watch them with eyes of appreciation will agree with me in when these particular birds start coming to a home, be it a gourd, (see below), or maybe a Purple Martin house that you can buy from any home improvement store, will always find the time to make sure that your gourds are cleaned, repaired, and ready for occupation by the owner's Martins.

Aside from being a beautiful bird, the Purple Martin sings almost every day while it is feeding upon the millions of insects (mosquitoes, dragon flies, and flies) who fly around the air, the Purple Martin stands alone as being one of the most independent of the Bird Kingdom as well as being loyal to the clean, dry gourds that they visit each season in early Spring.

My dad loved Purple Martins. But he loved them to such a level that he studied their scouting patterns to find out when it was time for an entire flock of them live and raise their babies from spring to early summer. I have seen my dad sit by himself (at any place where we lived) and I believe that he was taking mental notes to know how many Purple Martins were in the flock that had took over the clean gourds hung with such care that I felt ashamed of myself for being so impatient.

I know that in the past I have shared my dad's self-taught talent of playing the fiddle and how at age seven, took this iconic musical instrument and made it his own. But when he started preparing his gourds in the latter days of the winter, he does not stop for anything or anyone. Oh, he would take time off if my mom needed him to take her somewhere, but other than that, his focus on the Purple Martins was so amazing. His cleaning the gourds from the season last spring always took his week or so when it was Martin Time, he would say. I would stand by and watch his hands work so delicately as to not harm any part of the gourds. And if his inspection found one or two gourds that were not good for the Martins to raise their young, he simply discarded them from the Martin Pole and redesigned them for other birds who lived near our home.

I know that I am bragging, but my dad was a work of fascination. And it was fascinating for me to see him talk to me without looking at me--for I knew his work for Martins were very important. He never said that his love for Martins was considered a hobby, he just said that he loved them and let it go at that.

I can tell you with a clear conscience that each year when spring time rolled around, my dad was out of the house each evening after work to prepare our produce garden that he and my mom would plant and reap the tasty harvest of cucumbers, corn, peas, and green beans each summer. Plus the gardens that he would plant were always watched by two, small-but-precise eyes. Those of the Purple Martin who kept the harmful insects out of his garden.

I think back now and believe that my dad and the Purple Martin had an enduring deal: he took good care of the Martins and they took good care of him and my mom.

Thank you, dad.

____________________________Feb. 25, 2018

 Gourds can be used for Purple Martins' homes.

Gourds can be used for Purple Martins' homes.

© 2018 Kenneth Avery

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