Thursday, April 20, 2006

Empty nest

For a couple of weeks now, my backyard menagerie has been going strong -- there's a pair of courting robins who fly in and out, erratically swooping between bushes and pausing so the male can feed the female whatever he finds (it's part of their mating rituals). I have a flock of giant woodpigeons who've discovered the birdseed bonanza and now gobble up everything as soon as I scatter it. I've seen one elusive song thrush, several different kinds of tits (chickadees back home), a cork-sized wren and a smattering of assorted songbirds.

What most excited me, though, was the pair of blackbirds who built a nest in the holly bush. The female was the fattest bird I'd ever see before she laid her eggs, and she and her mate defended the nest rabidly against everything. Yesterday, I saw her challenge a sparrow who strayed too close. It was really fun to watch them and to tiptoe around during morning feedings, listening to her rustling the leaves as she turned around in the nest.

So today I'm feeling pretty low, because there's no bird on the nest. There hasn't been all day, and the three eggs are cold, cold. I wonder what happened. The male was around this morning, but he's gone, too, and I'm afraid that the female must have been hurt by a cat or hit by a car. She seemed too experienced to abandon her nest, and if the maintenance guys and the lawnmower didn't frighten her off earlier this week, I don't know what could have.

It's nature, right? This happens. Still, I was looking forward to hearing the baby birds call as their parents poked around the backyard for food. I hope she's okay, but I sort of doubt it. Crap, crap, crap. With the way the week's been going, I shouldn't be surprised. I really need to stop getting so attached to every feathered or furry thing that comes into my life.

Fat chance of that.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your day has sucked. A lot. Yesterday was my day from hell: locked my keys in the car during class, had to wait an hour in the dark (10pm) for the tow truck to rescue me, did manage to find an open restaurant for food, but then forgot to turn on my lights (how, I have no idea) as I left, and ended up getting pulled over by a police officer. And someone is stealing my mail. I figure, the sooner this semester ends, the better because I'm starting to think that Stanford is cursed.

But on a happy note, when my mom came to visit she left me a book to read, which I've been devouring on the train and during lunch. You just HAVE to read it, if you haven't already. After all, it's written by a lady who lives in the desert who also just so happens to have a degree in Biology or Zoology or something cool like that. It's a good one - maybe for the plane when you're not too busy frantically trying to come up with interview questions or something. It's a collection of essays by Barbara Kingsolver titled "High Tide in Tuscon" and I'm pretty sure you'd get a kick out of it!

Meg said...

Wow, I'm sorry, too. Maybe we'll both have better days - and Cambridge is cursed, although alas, I cannot divulge details in a public forum. ;)

I'll check out the book. Isn't Barbara Kingsolver the one who wrote Poisonwood Bible, which was truly amazing and which Bosmaijian somehow managed to ruin for you? I'd try it again, seriously. Thanks for the recommendation! Miss ya.

Meg said...

I realized I forgot to mention that part of the suckiness is probably transference -- looks like we really are going to say goodbye to Leo next week, before I get home (it's not fair making him wait for me!)...It's been a long time coming, but somehow knowing that doesn't help when it finally arrives.

Expect a fairly dismal post then. Sorry. :(

kristy said...

So sorry about the birdies. I'd be sad too.