05.06.09

Bluebird Babies

Posted in Events, Life in general at 7:56 am by Marion

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It’s been raining now for two days. How nice to see it. God sends the rain. Especially in spring.

Though it was tough yesterday to muster the needed energy to get the house ordered and focus on my writing assignments. After my weekend trip out of town, and meetings all day Monday, I was drained.

So today, a bit of good news. My bluebird babies turn 12 days old today. They are fat little ones, with their blood feathers (pin features) forming. They’re beginning to have the beginnings of a wound-up look, the raring to go drive that will eventually force them out of the box and into the world.

Bluebirds are distinctive when it comes to flying away. They don’t flop around on the ground. They stay in the nest until the morning comes when the mama and papa, perched on trees about 50 feet away, will coo at them until they make the leap. One year, there was a lagging baby, who couldn’t make it out of the box, and spent the night alone in there. The next morning, however, it escaped to join its siblings.

So now the countdown begins. The parents are almost overburdened keeping them fed. With five babies, the task of providing food is a constant activity. All day long they come and go. I try to keep worms for them all day. I check every day or so to make sure there are no blowflies nesting in their down, or ants trying to make their home in their nest.

One year there was an invasion of mites so bad I had to remove the nest, clean off the little babies, make a new nest and place them back inside.

As you know, bird mites are horrible for humans, so I doused myself with a hose then showered for a long time in extra hot water. But I couldn’t stand the thought of those little ones being tormented by bugs.

For the past several years now, we’ve had full seasons of bluebirds. In a good year, we’ll have three batches. Not every baby survives; some eggs don’t hatch, some babies don’t thrive.

Yet this year, there are five, fat happy babies. They are warm and snug in their waterproof box.

As I look outside, I see the day is dark, with hard rains. The neighbor’s ducks are stumbling around blissfully.

Ah, spring.

The servers at Yahoo are working again, so I hope you will check out yesterday’s post with these photos from the trails at Stone Mountain State Park.

05.05.09

Stone Mtn. Hike

Posted in Events, Life in general at 12:19 pm by Marion

Welcome back!

It’s a rainy day here in Fiction Dailyland, but I’m still enjoying the inner glow of a nice, long, solitary hike at Stone Mountain State Park. I grew up having picnics there with my grandparents long before it was a state park. These days, there are additional trails leading up to the majestic rock faces. You can actually walk quite a ways out on these rocks, which resemble the face of the moon.

Two pictures today from that hike.

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This large gray place is Wolf Rock. That’s brave Geppeto to the left. Before us are the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can actually walk quite a big along this rock face, and it’s deceptively flat.

One time I learned, though, that unless you’ve got your rock climbing gear, you don’t walk too far. I was out on this rock in December, when I came on a dark area. I walked past and continued, finding more of these dark areas. As I neared an area where the rock face thinned, I realized these dark areas were ice. At that point I was quite close to the edge, with my beloved Geppeto. We carefully and s l o w l y made our way back to the trail.

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This photo shows a quiet moment when Geppeto and I were descending from Black Jack Ridge. During our trip down, it began raining and the air was damp and cool and smelled of the mountains in spring.

Though we only spent two hours on the mountain, when we got back to the car I felt myself a different person.

These holy wild places give us our souls back.

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