The local bird population has apparently not missed us while we were gone.
When we moved to New York nearly three years ago, we almost packed up and left much as you'd expect people to do during, say, an alien invasion. We didn't leave dinner uneaten on the table or anything, but we'd had planter boxes of flowers on the balcony and the things we usually clean up every winter just stayed there. The chairs and table, the rug, whatever small planting implements I'd had out there, they were all just left to nature's devices. I think we both needed to run away from our life here a little bit at the time, and it was good that we did, because where we are now in life is much better in many ways.
But now we're very happy to have the chance to come home again, even if it's just off and on in our continuing transit life between London and Gothenburg.
And the past week, Lennart and I have been sitting, each with our respective laptops, working at the dining table, him facing toward the hall, and me facing the balcony. Several times now, we've been visited by magpies and little sparrows. At first I didn't see what they were up to. So I stood very slowly and moved to the window to better spy on them. There seems to be a plastic container that sticks out a bit from under the edge of the table. It has, not surprisingly, filled with water. And they would duck down under the table and splash splash splash! And then hop up and sit on the railing, shake their feathers, preen and fluff, and go down for another bath. And then the magpies seem to be eating something from the balcony planters as well. Not sure what, but there are certainly bits of weeds and grasses growing in there.
When I first saw the state of the balcony, I was pretty determined that I'd have to do something about it soon, but now I'm not so sure. The birds are clearly having such a good time, and they can splash around there without any fear of predators or annoying dogs, which they encounter over on Skansen Kronan, the wooded bit a short distance from here where I've seen them fly off to after their bath. And I really enjoy watching them. A big grin steals across my face as I see how much the water splashes! I think for now, I'll just leave things alone. :)