I was so excited when I first spotted these eggs in the Rhododendron out in front of my house. I checked the eggs out every day for a while and couldn’t wait to show my Grandsons, who, at the time were about 5 and 7.
I took them outside, lifted them each up high enough to get a good look, and then we went back in the house to have the inevitable discussion about the problems of keeping the nestlings as pets once they hatched.
The next day, the youngest came running up all excited…”They HATCHED, Gramma!!”
Uh oh. I knew they couldn’t have yet, but when we went outside to check things out, there were the broken egg shells all over the ground.
I lied. Well, I agreed with them when, already heartbroken about the whole “no pet” thing, they concluded the baby Robins had flown away to a happy life in the sky.
I felt awful, for the tragedy (though as an adult, I can almost grasp the whole food chain thing in Nature) but also because I had lied.
A few days later I was reading about the habits of our local Steller Jays, about how smart they are. These cousins of the Crow have figured out how to watch other animals, especially human ones, as they discover and then repeatedly return to, a nest full of eggs….
Not only did I lie to my grandsons. Apparently I was also responsible for the discovery and destruction of those beautiful eggs!
Now I REALLY felt awful!
No Gold Star for this Grandmother today!
I have my own photo of Steller Jays somewhere but can’t find them right now. The above image was listed online as free.
Bright and early on the day before we were to leave Natchez, Mississippi for home, we took the Toyota van in for an oil change and return-road-trip check up. We expected this to be a quick, hour long process as we were booked solid with last minute wedding preparations for my cousin’s nuptials and reception that evening.
After some time waiting they came and told us we needed a new radiator, that this one was shot and that it was leaking coolant everywhere. News to us as we had seen no leaks and had had no problems. They showed us the huge puddle of coolant under the car and the supposed damage to the radiator.
There’s a saying that applies to men, about certain body parts being held in such a way as to trap said man.
I don’t know what the comparable saying is for women…”they had me by the ovaries“???
But anyway, clearly the radiator was NOW hemorrhaging fluid so we had to agree to a new one…which they of course, had in stock, right? So they said anyway. After waiting a few more hours of crucial wedding errand time, they finally informed us that the new radiator had to come from Vicksburg, a mere hour and 25 minutes away. So they gave us a loaner car.
Right up until their closing time, which coincided exactly with the wedding start time, they still had not received the new radiator. This was no small deal. We had to make the trip from Mississippi back home to Washington to arrive on a very specific date. This delay could mean the difference between safe driving each day of our 4 day trip, with a nice sleep over in a motel…or driving straight through, pretending we were in our 20’s when we could actually pull off that sort of thing!
It all worked out but was definitely touch and go, and very stressful.
Even though it felt like we were in a hidden camera episode of 20/20 or 60 minutes, busting unethical mechanics who break your stuff and then make you pay, it was hard to be mad at the place since during the waiting time, the service manager approached me in a panic having just found a tiny feathered intruder that had knocked itself out flying against the huge windows in the waiting room. She asked if I could help her by holding it for a minute. (Did I have a SIGN on my forehead or something? The number one thing on my Bucket list?? “Hold a Hummingbird!”)
When we finally had to go, I put the little guy in a box and set it outside in the sunshine. Sure enough, fortified by rest and homemade nectar, the tiny intruder flew up, up and away! I can still feel those tiny feet in my hand.
Kinda balanced things out, you know?
Sometimes it takes a photo challenge to get me rolling with blogging again so here is my response to Tummy Rub Tuesdays, from Katzenworld.
I have delayed, avoided, and postponed writing this because I wanted to find the words to convey my recent profound experience.
For more than a month, we have had Bald Eagles visiting on our quiet little dead-end street, unusual in the middle of one of the largest, fastest growing cities in Washington state.
I’ve lived in my home for almost 44 years and have sometimes seen eagles circling high above. Twice, I was even gifted with a low fly-by right in my driveway! But I have only seen them land once before. (I wrote a whole story about that dramatic event but I’ll save it for a later post!)
A few weeks ago on my daily walk I just happened to spot, well actually hear some sky activity. A couple of Bald Eagles, apparently cruising our neighborhood for prey or a nesting site (although it seems late in the year for that latter). Not sure why they are hanging out here. (Hope all the neighbors are keeping their pet Gerbils inside.)
It was a really gray day which made it impossible for my hard-working point and shoot Canon to get a good shot when they landed in a tree top.
And then, a few days later, I was at my computer sending a favorite link to my new blogging friend, Lisa, at https://dailymusing57.com/ (a terrific Blog, by the way). The link is to a live camera for the Decorah Eagles. As I was typing, I heard that unmistakable eagle-screaming right outside my window! I ran outside onto my deck (without my camera-Dang!) and witnessed the most amazing thing.
This deck is very large, about 600 square feet, and wide open. It’s actually the roof over an old 3 car garage. Before the trees in my neighborhood matured, from my deck I could see the Space Needle and the Olympic Mountains! And every year, lounging on this deck, I would watch the big fireworks shows in July or the Blue Angels performing in August.
But I had never seen a show like this one! There were FIVE BALD EAGLES circling my above me!! Like a small Convocation! (you gotta be impressed I knew that word!) It looked like two were fending off or chasing the other three. Maybe it was a territory battle or some kind of mating ritual. I don’t know!
The twosome flew very close together in large and then smaller and smaller circles. They landed on the top of the biggest tree right in front of my house. The other three flew off into the distance.
In all these years living in my house, no eagle has ever landed right in front of my house before! Maybe I was just tapped into Eagle Energy on that day or something. I mean, what are the odds I’d be typing away about the Decorah Bald Eagles at the exact moment my local ones appear? I have often wondered if Eagles are a “totem” (spirit animal) for me. Supposedly, if an animal presents itself to you three times, they are yours! So I looked them up.
For the next several days, the Pair that won the turf battle, hung out in some trees right up the street from me.
Finally, a sunny day. I shot so many pictures, I broke my camera…literally. I now have to use glass tape to keep the battery door closed.
Now my neighbors all know about our visitors. I am the longest (and oldest) resident on our street and the self-appointed Wildlife Reporter for our neighborhood e-mail list. When I am in the street with my camera, looking up, they stop their cars and ask where the Eagles are today? There have been many emails of sightings, almost as many as when there is a coyote prowling around. On Easter morning, several households were treated to a dramatic Bald Eagle show during outside Easter Egg Hunts. Great opportunities to teach the younger ones about these majestic birds!
Part of the “show” was a couple of Crows dive-bombing these two Eagles, who seemed to be simply sitting there…but I bet there was a Crow’s nest near by.
This whole experience has totally inspired me to upgrade with WordPress so I can share short videos on my blog. And I think there is a way to capture single frames from a video but I don’t know how. Here is the opening frame of a great video I got of that epic sky-battle. (It’s a photo of my computer screen, so sort of a blurry “screenshot.)
In recent weeks, almost every clear morning and evening this beautiful twosome sits at the top of my tree to watch the sun rise or set. They remind me of a scene in the movie City of Angels (Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage) where all the Angels are lined up on the beach to watch the Sunset. (It’s in this Goo Goo Dolls video)
I have been house and dog sitting for dear friends this last week, so I have missed their visits, but every day I drive the 25 miles back to my house hoping for a sighting. I pay lots of attention to my three cats for a while, pretending that’s why I’m home, but then, I go out on my deck looking for my Bald Eagles. I miss them. (Do NOT tell my kitties that’s really why I’m home. They are so sensitive!)
One morning, at the place I’m staying, I looked up from writing this story to see a huge bird right outside on the fence…some kind of Hawk, I think. Couldn’t get my camera focused fast enough but here he is.
Anybody recognize this pretty? I thought to myself “Hmm, settling for a Hawk? It’s just not the same.” but when I looked up the Native American symbolism for Hawk, it was so close to Eagles I decided I’d better start paying better attention to their message for me.
I have to admit that with all this activity and totem research, I am now taking these Bald Eagle visits very personally. I’m looking at my current life differently and as usual, with a “message from the Universe”, there is a mixture of wonder, awe, and Duh!
If I knew how to thank these birds, I would.
I mean, I’m not going to sacrifice one of my cats or anything, but I am truly grateful for their amazing and persistent presence.