I worked a long, long Saturday. For some reason, it just felt extraordinarily long and tiring. If I was a drinking sort of gal, I would have cracked a beer when I got home. The hitch is, I only like root beer.
So, I was driving home, looking forward to my next 3 days off, and, in the distance, could see this giant raven in the street. At first I thought it was fighting with a smaller raven. As I got closer, I saw it was a smaller bird underneath, and the raven was killing the heck out of the poor thing. I drove around the side of them and the damn raven finally flew off. When I opened my car door, there was a poor little baby pigeon laying in the street.
With a heavy sigh (and I am not exaggerating when I say a heavy sigh) I leaned out and scooped up the poor little wet, beat up, bleeding bird, stuck it inside my coat to keep it warm and secure, and proceeded home.
The thing is, I already knew what I was getting myself into. Many years ago, while I worked at the clinic, I used to take my coffee break and walk the 1 mile loop around the park. One day I was walking and there was a baby pigeon in the middle of the road. I knew if I didn't pick it up, chances were good it would get squashed by a car, or some mean kid would catch it and hurt or torment it, or some other non-happy fate would befall it. Most folks don't have a very high opinion of pigeons. So I picked it up, and packed it back to work; found a small box in the store room, stuffed it with paper towels, plopped the pigeon in there, and kept the box under my desk til it was time to go home. My boss said, “What are you thinking? A pigeon is a rat with wings!”
Well, to try and make a long story short, I took that pigeon home, kept it in my living room in a big wrought iron parrot cage I borrowed from my Mom, felt sorry for it being by itself, got an exotic pigeon from a breeder so it'd have a friend, then had both of them in my living room. Let me tell you, pigeons are not the tidiest pets to have. Built an outdoor pigeon condo where they (and I) were much happier, started buying 50 pound bags of pigeon feed, and, as luck would have it, the baby I found just happened to be a boy, the baby I adopted just happened to be a girl. You can guess the rest of the story. By the time I (We – dogs, cats, pigeons, and people) moved to my present house, there was quite a flock to tend to. One day I went out to feed and water everyone, and when I opened the door to their enclosure, a huge gust of wind caught my Daddy pigeon and blew him right out the door. He was pretty tame, and I called and called him, but the wind just carried him higher, and higher, and further away. I was just sick, and called my neighbors back at the little house and asked them to watch out for him in case he went “home”, since we had only been at the new house a few months. No sign of him. Three weeks passed, and I thought he was a lost cause. A few days later, I looked out the window, and there he was, walking on top of the pigeon enclosure. He let me catch him and put him back in with the others. I would go out and collect eggs on a daily basis, just like having chickens. The bird's condo was at full capacity. One day, not many weeks later, I decided hey, life's short, be free, and flung their door open. I figured if the Daddy pigeon could find his way back to a new home after being gone over 3 weeks, most of the remaining flock would stick around if I let them out and kept feeding and watering them. And they did. At one point I had about 32 pigeons that slept here every night, and I just loved them. They were really cheap entertainment. Always busy, walking around the yard like little chickens, pecking, gathering sticks for nests,and lots of cute other antics. I tended sick ones, packed babies that had accidentally rolled out of their nests inside my shirt to warm them up, then re-situated them, popped popcorn for a treat for them, and planted lettuce in the garden just because they liked to pick and eat it! My Daddy pigeon died a few years ago during a cold, awful winter, despite having a warm straw filled house and plenty of feed. He was 15 years old. I still had many pigeons left, but the next summer, a hawk discovered my little flock and killed several of them. The remaining pigeons started leaving, a few at a time, after that. I left the condo up for over a year in case any decided to come back. After a full year of living pigeon free, I had Bruce tear down the enclosure and houses. That was a year ago.
Here we go again.
Lord help me.
Declan isn't quite as out of sorts about the pigeon as she is about bunnies, but she'd still like to squeak it like her toys, just a little bit!
We've had some serious talks about how the birdie is nice……..nice birdie……..nice!
I had kept a wooden house my Dad made for overflow housing. Thank goodness. I scavenged in the metal recycling bin at work, and serendipitously found this bird cage right on the top of all the metal in the bin. Bruce jimmy-rigged this together after I had kept the pigeon in the house for a couple of days. It doesn't know how to eat seeds yet, so I was cooking and feeding it mixed grain soup with a syringe, trying to get it back on it's feet. I think it is doing better, getting stronger, so just need to keep it for a couple days and monitor it's eating, then plan to turn it loose.
So I can worry about it.
I need a brain transplant.
The flowers are trying to do their best in this very unpredictable spring weather we are having. It spit snow and rain all day today. The honey bees are out and about trying to work, but it's so chilly they are like they are in slow motion. I even left the dandelions growing in the flower beds because I read an article that said the bees can utilize the dandelion blooms, and I try to do all I can to help them.
My Mom stopped by and said “You had better get after those dandelions, or they will take over all your flower beds and your lawn.” I told her what I had read, and she reassured me that I have enough flowers popping out to get the bees by without keeping the dandelions. So out they came, and they were by far the healthiest crop in the flower beds!
My Great Grandmother used to make salad with the dandelion greens, but I haven't been ambitious enough to try it. She also used to make watercress salad that everyone raved about. I finally got to go to the cabin last weekend (it had been 6 months since my last trip up), and I found lots of fresh spring watercress in several places up there when we took the dogs for a walk. I really want to try it, and I'm sure my Gramma probably still has my Great Grandmother's recipe, so maybe I will give it a shot. I remember the trickiest part about getting it ready was getting all the little water critters out of it before eating it. She would soak it all day in her kitchen sink in cold water with a whole bunch of lemon juice added, and that would bring the bugs to the top. GROSS. Call me squeamish, but I would just as soon not eat bugs as my protein for the day! A couple of summers ago I was at my cousin's, and we were picking raspberries in her yard and eating them. I tossed a big juicy one in my mouth and it felt like I got a shock! I spit in my hand, and there stood a big ol' ant, looking me right in the eye! The bugger had apparently been a hitch hiker on the berry and bitten my tongue! No thanks, I'll pass on the bugs.
Well, this turned into quite the random little story. My intent was to just show you all a few pretty posies. I believe I inherited a blabbering gene from somewhere in my very mish-mashed lineage 🙂 .