I've watched pair of chickadees make the first nest in a salvaged birdhouse out front in a peach tree. There are other birdhouses with larger entryways, but these two must've been thinking location-location, and chipped at the hole until it was big enough for them. Great Huntress, my cat, watched with feline patience and anticipation.
Nest-building, spring pairings, new chicks exiting, aren't rare to see. But when you reach the age of treasuring life more, it's worth spending the time, like Reyna watches her cocoons hatch. So I watch mine, because I think of it as a privilege.
Watch them toting twigs and other construction material, then him delivering food to her while she broods. Then, both parents making deliveries like pizzas were half-off. Except when Great Huntress insists on lounging below, perhaps dreaming of snacks to come, forcing the parents to fruitlessly hop about branches of the large tree, attempting to lure her off. I often intervene to dissuade her disruption of the cycle.
Chick chirps of I couldn't tell how many. Who obey their parents, make no noise until their return. Baby-bird horns blaring when worm stuff arrives. Like they'd never eaten. This goes on for a couple of weeks. Then nears the day always hard to gauge--today do they fly? Will I see it? How many'll come out? If I'm not around, will my cat have a shot at crunching on wings of one or more? The poorer, novice flyers.
At this point, out on the back patio, death stalks the waters. Taking my goldfish, worst of all, Sandwich--the biggest, oldest survivor of raccoon and egret attacks. Difficult to guess what took them. My poor pond-maintenance; acid rain; disease or toxic growth from a new water hyacinth. Pure conjecture; total recycling burial. In the garden, First American-style.
|Looking before it leaps for the first time|
This week, one morning out front with the dog, I check the birdhouse. A head, peeking, and it's not an adult. I wait. Half an hour? Chick emerges, rests on a twig, staring everywhere, chirping nothing, taking in a world chingos more humongous than the egg or nest.
The chick could be a twin of my new grandson. Both absorbed the unknown new, with their eyes. Exploring, sampling and swallowing who knows how much of the essential that we can longer see or appreciate. Chick watches, fluffs wings, checks its footing.
|preparing for first flight|
A neighbor returning with her four-year-old grandson finds me asking if she wants her kid to see the new chicks. In my yard, I go all-teacher, pointing, explaining, asking. The kid's not as impressed, but I've done my teacherly duty. Something administrators and testing couldn't remove from my blood.
Neighbors leave, another chick peeks, soars out more daringly, until it realizes it can't fly higher, farther than my roof it landed on. The roof Great Huntress stalks on her morning rounds. Checking, I find she's inside, maybe dreaming of birdies.
For the rest of the day, I hear the parents, sometimes the chicks, up in a spruce, maybe arguing about who's bringing home the birds' bacon now. I'm hoping chickadees have more than one yearly brood. And that I, and neighbors, will see them. Even next year.
The cradle for the kid
Last week's saga, and post, about where one fantasy story came from, ended this week. The neo-azteco cradle is completed. I had to add brake-stops so it wouldn't rock too far and the infant's head wouldn't fall off. And wife Carmen made the mattress.
[Materials: leftover, salvaged and recycled cedar, walnut and ipe wood; hemp, wood glue and dowels. No nails, screws or metal; nontoxic, tung oil finish]
Es todo, hoy,RudyG, un abuelo
Here's pics, mostly speaking for themselves.
|Aztec glyphs: lizard, Ollin [motion] and monkey, at the kid's feet; pyramid footer on top|
|Brecas painted on side boards; double-knotted hemp handles|
|Raw turquoise nuggets fill pyramid-shaped, walnut headboard knot, to watch over kid|
|Top view; mattress slats not fixed|
|View from behind headboard|
|Full sideview; cradle weighs a ton|