Hoping for Spring

Spring had a false start in December confusing things a bit because then we had some serious snow and cold as you might expect it here in Virginia. It was as short lived as promised by my daughter a few years ago when we were deciding whether to move North from Texas. You know the story, “it’s only a light dusting of snow Mom,” stretching the truth about winter in Virginia. We might be below the Mason-Dixon but we do have winter.

Bob Shovels

Does that look like a “light dusting” of snow? Look close. That’s my husband pitching a shovel full of snow from the driveway, about 15 feet from where I’m standing to take this pic.

So we’re ready for Spring. The time has changed. March 21 is Monday. Easter is next week, the robins are returning along with other songbirds. Let’s get going on the Spring chores. So, my husband, always anxious to use our pole saw, decided to prune the pear tree. He cut off the water sprouts and I trimmed the Crepe Myrtle. The pear trimmings are so nice and straight and last year I kept some for wherever I needed a sturdy support, and I wove some into protective twig collars around tender plants. So, we have a wagon load this year saved for whatever.

bird swing

A gardener friend posted a link on their Facebook that included the pic above. Isn’t it cute? What fun! Why didn’t I think to make a birdie swing before? I’m pretty sure those must be millinery flowers attached and not real buds. I checked the link provided but there were no instructions and in fact with all the social media buzz about “click bait” I was hesitate to try too hard to get to the original pic. I thought it was easy enough to figure out how to put one together just from the picture.

Today is the perfect day to try this. Look. It’s cold, rainy, and it’s now snowing.

snow march 19

I pulled out my pruners, twine, a few beads, and a couple of rubber bands today.


After selecting 4 twigs, I turned two one way and two the other then tied them together in the center. This is important so when they bend, it’s a more symmetrical bend. From one of the fatter twigs I cut the bottom twig to serve as the rest. Now bend them and shift a bit to get them to for a U shape. Well an upside-down U or arch.


Construction tip: Use a rubber band wound around to hold things together. This is left on because as the twigs dry, you’ll want them to stay together.


Next, I wound jute twine around the joints. Not quite scout worthy lashing but it will do.

Warning: Twine is very attractive to resident cats.


VERY attractive to resident cats. Wilson came to inspect my craftsmanship.


Wilson wonders why I want to work with twigs when I could be rubbing his chin? Oh look, my arch is a U and you can see how the rest is lashed at the bottom. He’s so irresistible though and of course I rubbed his chin.

wilson rests

I attached a bundle of twigs to the top as the original had and wound the twine around and around to make a strong package of twigs. When they dry they will probably loosen up. Remember these are very freshly trimmed but they need to be bendy so it’s a good thing.

The original had a glass looking heart hanging to catch the light and red is very attractive to hummingbirds, right? I checked my stash and whilst I could have used a pretty marble wrapped in wire, I decided on using some beads from an old necklace. Please excuse the blurry picture. I was jiggling as I giggled at my cross-eyed cat.

wilson checks

Does the bead move? Why yes it does. Cat tested and approved.

wilson approved

Very easy project, it took twice as long with a cat though. Nice use of twigs. I’ll probably make some more but I’ll wait for a sunny day to photograph them. I have every hope we’ll have a sunny Spring day soon!


About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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