Wednesday, May 17, 2006

mourning dove

Today, as I was working in the vegetable garden (the soil was quite heavy, but I'm impatient) I heard an odd flapping sound, as if Tasha was playing with one of the deflated soccer balls she loves. But when I looked up, Tasha was right beside me, without her ball. I heard the noise again and noticed a mourning dove trapped in our basement, flinging itself against the basement window.

Going inside, I was able to come right up to it. How long it had been trapped in the basement is hard to say. We did have doors and windows to the basement open before the rains started about a week ago, trying to dry things out down there. If it was there all that time, the poor bird must have been starving and exhausted. That was probably why I could so easily place my hand over it and grasp it gently. It's feathers were so soft, it's tiny bones so fragile in my hand.

I took it outside, placing it on the concrete wall of the external stairwell to the basement. (The deck outside what we call the "back door" is visible overhead in the photo. It's an odd arrangement where a part of the deck is meant to swing upward like a trapdoor to access the basement stairs.) The bird looks quite stunned with shock in the photos, doesn't it?

When I touched the bird again, thinking to pick it up and place it out of reach of the dogs, it revived enough to fly off into the lilac. I like to think this mourning dove will remember and know I would never mean it any harm.

That reminds me of another bird story. Many years ago, I was digging out a new perennial bed for my friend, Alice. As I came upon one earthworm after another, I noticed a robin nearby, also busily excavating earthworms. When I came upon another worm, I tossed it the robin's way and he hopped on over and picked it right up. He flew off, but came right back and looked at me, cocking his head, as if to say, "Right then, let's have another one!" I tossed another earthworm his way. He picked it up and flew off, coming right back to wait for more. It went on like this for an hour or more until I had finished digging! This robin's version of a fast-food restaurant ?

"One earthworm, to go, please!"


Blogger Naturegirl said...

I loved your dove story! I have written two dove stories in past posts.This is my first time visiting and I will surely be back!!

9:46 p.m.  

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