Off Topic – Unwanted Tenants in Covered Bridge

1-beforeOne of my first construction projects on my backyard layout was a covered railroad bridge where the track swings around the corner where the fireplace juts out from the back wall.



This was one of those spur-of-moment projects where there is more assembling than planning. I am really amazed that it turned out as well as it did.

Since the weather here in the Central Valley has brought early summer temperatures I thought I’d get the layout in shape for running trains. Much to my surprise I found that an unwanted critter had taken up residence in my covered bridge and what’s more will make it impossible in the short term for me to run trains.


Turtle doves are, quite frankly, not the brightest bird in natures’ great outdoors. The local variety tends to nest in the craziest places without any regard to people, traffic, activity, cats, or model trains. Note the dove sitting in her nest just inside the south entrance to my covered bridge.


Not only did she managed to make a nest on the tracks without me or any of the neighborhood felines knowing about it, but she’s laid and already hatched out two chicks.


The dove is quite content to watch me blunder about taking pictures of her and her “kids” (I am, of course assuming it’s the her, for all I know about turtle doves it might be the husband sitting on the nest).




My better half has declared that there will be no running of trains until the chicks have flown the coop, er, bridge, so to speak.

The track where it enters the bridge is in the ballpark of being just under 23 inches above ground level. Me, I’m betting on the neighborhood cats.

Let me know what you think! – TJ

(Originally posted 5/18/2012)

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