Tennessee Spring Snow

When we moved here almost a year ago, we didn’t expect to see weather like this during the first week of Spring! In New Hampshire, Yes. But middle Tennessee? No!


Mr. Basketmaker went out in the field to capture this shot of our pretty daffodils, now lightly draped in snow.


The snow squall moved in so quickly we had no time to take the flag down.

tennessee-blizzardChance was ecstatic. He loves snow and I knew he would really miss New Hampshire’s winters. His favorite thing to do was see how far he could bury his head in the snow before hitting the ground beneath.

But this storm lasted about 25 minutes and then the sun popped out briefly and all the snow melted. So it was like it never even happened!


Mr. Basketmaker Speaks: Woodstove’s a Fluttering

A bird in the hand is worth two in the… Complete this phrase. 

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. 

What about two birds in a woodstove?

You see, when we moved to Tennessee, the old farm house became my shop. And in this shop there is a woodstove. This woodstove seems to be a bird nesting magnet. This woodstove has caught more birds than Fisher Price has sold baby toys. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get my point.

Seriously, I didn’t understand moving to Tennessee meant there would be birds everywhere year round. Maybe I should say I never thought about it. Back in New England birds just weren’t around come winter months.

Last May we discovered some aggressive birds had “beaked” a hole into the side of the farm house and built a nest in the walls. These birds were black with two inch long pointed beaks. I thought I was in living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I felt bad for about two seconds then filled spray-foam into the hole and those birds were looking for a new home in no time.

The thing is it wasn’t long before they were showing up in my stove. I go into my shop in the morning and turn the heat on and hear the fluttering in the woodstove (that I’m currently not using). I swing open the doors and sure enough there is one of those long-beaked prehistoric birds in my woodstove. Letting this beast out to fly around and maybe poke my eyes out is not a good option. But keeping the creature in the stove until it dies is not a very good option as well, especially if Mrs. Basketmaker knew I had a choice.

So I let the beast out and duck and watch it bounce into the windows until it finally makes its way out the door. This was the case with almost all of the birds who found their way in my shop.

But on Thursday, two song birds were in my stove when I arrived in my shop. I opened the stove door, they flew to the window but they couldn’t figure how to get out. So I enlisted Mrs. Basketmaker to come out and help me get these birds out to safety. She pretty much chirped orders, told me what NOT to do and took pictures.



This bird is only thinking of one thing… FREEDOM!


The other guy preferred to hang out on the collection of basket molds.


This bird wants to get out! So I grabbed a curtain from one of the workshop’s windows, and carefully bundled him up. Very carefully! Mrs. Basketmaker is behind the camera making sure I don’t hurt him. Then onto the second bird still in the shop.


Freedom at last! And once outside, we really got to see this bird’s bright blue coloring when his spread his wings.


Then soon the bird flew up and reunited with the other bird that was waiting in the nearby tree.


Both are back together again, hanging in their tree. All is good at McSoHo. All is good. Now I need to do something about that chimney to prevent them from getting in again!

Five Questions Friday: Bird Love

Q: First Question is from Tony… what are you going to teach at his workshop in St. Louis?
Eric: We decided on three baskets: Cottage Gardener, Smith River Creel and the Organizer.

Q: How come you have no interest in March Madness?
Eric: I’m from New England. Enough said.

Q: You seem to be doing a lot of research for this year’s garden. What have you come up with?
Eric: I’ve learned that the biggest mistake is being too ambitious with your garden. Start out slow, then learn, and grow a little bigger next time.

Q: Isn’t that what we did last year? We grew tomatoes, peppers, basil and cilantro. Isn’t that starting out slow?
Eric: That wasn’t really a garden. We sort of just threw some plants in the ground and they grew. This year, we are going to plan it out, but still small-scale.

Q: What aggravated you this week?
Eric: All the birds that keep flying into my workshop and into my non-working woodstove! I will expand on this later, not enough time here.
They must really like hanging out with you.