Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tinted Windows

About a year after we were married and still living in my father-in-law's basement the first time, he had tint put on the windows of our bedroom and kitchen.  Why would you need tint on basement windows you ask.  Well, since the house sit basically on a hill the front of the house is at ground level, but then it slopes away downward from there so that at the back of the house where you enter our apartment it looks like it is at ground level and that my father-in-law is on an upper story.  Thus the windows at the back of the house are western and southern facing, larger and fully exposed to that lovely, hot sun.  In the winter I'm sure this is partly a god-send, as it probably helps to keep us warm, but during the summer it can make things miserable.  So yes the tint does help to keep the heat down in our home during the summer. Unfortunately, the drawback is that the amount of light is greatly reduced.

One really funny thing about having tint on your windows is that for some reason it affords you a lot more bird watching opportunities, provided you are on the inside of the glass.  I'm not sure why, but we get a lot of birds that like to perch on the brick sill outside the window and look at themselves.  More often than not this random introspection turns into a fight or an outright dominance battle royale, dependent on the particular bird.  It's so funny though to be on the opposite side of the glass and watch a bird peck at the window.

So far we've had come to visit (that I've seen that is):
- the male of a breeding pair of Gabel's quail that lives in our cul de sac (he's come back at least two or three times at either one of our bedroom windows)


- a male American robin (though I'm sure he's come back a few times too and always to our kitchen)


- a Chipping sparrow


We've also had at least one casualty to our tinted windows (but he could have flown into the tinted windows upstairs at my father-in-law's) and that was a male Broad-billed hummingbird.  It was really sad, we just found his little body dead on our sidewalk.


What with our woody area beyond the back fence that lines the banks of the canal we get a lot of animal and bird life, on a regular basis.  I've seen jays, sparrows, robins, hummingbirds (thanks to the chestnut tree particularly), all sorts of bees, chipmunks, and I think we occasionally get racoons (though thankfully they only leave poop behind instead of property damage).  It's actually kinda fun to think what kinds of natural visitors we get.  I can't wait to see what other bird species I can identify.

Happy nature watching!


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