Sunday, April 25, 2010

I am heartbroken. 

After last night's bad weather, I went out this morning to check on our little bird family. *See Our New Neighbors* Mommy Bird's nest was somewhat askew, but she and her little eggs had survived the storms.  Later, however, I heard her chirping loudly and looked out the window to see what was going on.  Mommy Bird was hopping around on the bushes a few feet from her nest.  I went out onto the porch to get a closer look, and to my horror saw a large black snake curled up in her nest.

The snake had already swallowed one little egg while Mommy Bird looked on helplessly.  Don and I tried to intervene.  He grabbed a broom handle, and I grabbed an umbrella, and together we attempted to get the snake out of the nest before he ate the rest of the eggs.  It was no use.  We couldn't uncoil the snake without upsetting the whole nest, so we were forced to just turn away.

We left for church, and when we returned, Mommy Bird and her eggs were all gone.  I think Mommy Bird is still around.  I thought I heard her a few times, but I'm still very sad.  I had adopted them all in a way.  I checked on the eggs when Mommy Bird was away.  I left birdseed around the bushes so she wouldn't have to go very far to find food.  Most of all though, I looked forward to seeing the tiny little baby cardinals when they hatched.  I wanted to see them break out of their little speckled shells.  I wanted to witness Mommy Bird feeding and caring for them. 

Now instead of chirping little open-mouthed hatchlings, there's only an empty nest.  I can see it from the front door, and it breaks my heart over and over again.  Perhaps I'm silly for mourning three little unhatched birds, but I felt as if they were neighbors.  I sympathized with and related to that new little mother.  I don't know if birds have any concept of love or loss, but I hope Mother Bird is all right.  I hope she knows that I cared for her and her babies.  I hope she knows that I tried to save them.  I hope she forgives me for being unsuccessful.  I'm sure she'll lay eggs again.  She'll be more experienced and a bit wiser.  I hope though, that she'll still see fit to make our home her home too. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

 We have some new neighbors.

This little family of cardinals moved in not long ago.  Initially, I think Mother cardinal built her nest on our front porch in an old helmet Timothy had left out.  When she realized that it was in a less-than-ideal location, (little boys going in and out all day) she abandoned that nest and built a new one in the shrubs just below our front porch.  She seems to be a bit inexperienced, so I've come to the conclusion that she must be a new mother.  Been there, done that.  Wrote a whole blog entry about it.  *See Let's Hear it for the Mommies

I've become fascinated by our new little feathered friends.  The mother cardinal, who we have lovingly dubbed "Mommy Bird," sits patiently on her three little speckled eggs even as we come and go.  Occasionally, she's startled enough to flit away, but she doesn't stay gone for long.  She quickly returns and resumes her vigil. 

I know from experience that waiting is the easy part.  Once the little blessings arrive, Mommy Bird's days will become a non-stop feeding cycle.  It was difficult enough for me to feed one mouth at a time.  I can only imagine how exhausting it must be to feed three hungry mouths, especially when it involves going out and hunting for food.

I hope all goes well for our new little family.  I know God looks after His creatures great and small.  I plan to keep up with the progress of our little birds and post updates here.  Stay tuned! 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

They Say You Never Forget...

Today I did something I haven't done in at least 15 years.  I rode a bike.  Not the kind that's in the gym where you just sit and pedal your heart out and never go anywhere.  I mean the real wind-in-your-hair kind of bike.  It was hard, but fantastic.

I live in the country, so I have a nice little stretch where there isn't too much traffic.  There are, however, an abundance of little hills that are just steep enough to make your legs ache when you try to climb them.  I need those hills though.  Those hills are what's going to take my legs from jello jiggle to va-va-voom

I''ve decided that I am going to try to ride at least a couple of times a week.  I really enjoy it.  The bike in the gym seems counterproductive in comparison.   There's no wind in my hair besides the big fan.  The only scenery is a wall with a bank of televisions broadcasting CMT and stress-inducing news stories on CNN.  On an actual bike, I ride past the cotton fields, greet the neighbors working out in their gardens, watch the cute little furry creatures scampering through the woods...  It's all very serene and relaxing despite the complaints from my jello legs.

I have a feeling my legs won't be jello for long.  Hopefully by summer I'll be a red-headed, fun-sized Heidi Klum.  What?  A girl can dream, can't she?  ;)