Unfortunate Change of Subject

We had some new feathered friends move in a week or so ago. Momma-Peaches, Dixie, Darrel and Jethro made a cozy little nest in the Jessamine vine above our grill.

20140515-131703.jpgI carefully took a few peeks to see how the babies were growing.

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20140515-131832.jpgA few days later I took some more look-sees.

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20140515-131929.jpgThese baby robins are really growing! Momma sure knows how to feed her young’uns.

20140515-132027.jpgSo, today, about a week or so later, I wanted to make sure everyone was ok after the rainstorm we had last night. And what do I see? But Dixie all feathered out and perched on the side of the nest! She got me thinking about my own children and how they are leaving my nest. I thought to myself…this will be a great life analogy to share on the blog…learning to fly or drive…leaving the nest, graduating college, so on and so on. Oh, it was going to be a happy, thoughtful post about loving and letting go.

20140515-132534.jpgWatching these babies grow has been fun for not only me, but Thomas too. It’s so cool to see God’s handiwork up close.

20140515-132713.jpgSo, like I was saying, today it looked like Dixie was ready to take her first flight. I just had to take one more picture. I climbed back up the ladder, when all of a sudden, birds came flying out of nowhere!

20140515-132904.jpgI about fell off the ladder.

20140515-133044.jpgCardinals and Robins were flapping and squawking! (Please ignore the pile of overgrown carrots I pulled two days ago and have yet to dispose of them. Geez.)

20140515-133216.jpgThe alarm had gone off in the area that Momma-Peaches’ babies were being threatened!

20140515-133342.jpgMy shadow, Sam, got all excited in the ruckus and snagged Dixie when she landed on the ground. I was screaming at the dog to let the bird go, (which she did immediately), birds are still chattering away….it was crazy.Dixie was fluttering her wings as I grabbed Sam to put her inside.

20140515-133716.jpgI sat and watched as Momma Peaches flew in to check on her baby.

20140515-133802.jpgShe would see me somehow, (ya think that maybe the color of my shirt stood out just a little?) and fly away.

20140515-133906.jpgSo I kinda, sorta hid behind the bushes. I could still see her up on the hill surveying the scene.

20140515-134014.jpgJethro and Darrel were still in the nest chirping away, which she could hear, but it seemed almost as if she didn’t know which child to help. Oh, goodness.

20140515-135655.jpgI sat there. I waited. I tried to be as still as I could. I really wanted to watch Dixie spread her wings and take flight. But, the longer I waited, I noticed some large black birds flying overhead. They made me nervous for Dixie, so I decided to put her back in the nest. I’ve read that, contrary to popular belief, a momma bird will not reject her baby if the baby has been handled by a human. I went to Dixie.

20140515-140216.jpg And this is what I found. Poor Dixie. I feel awful. I know I caused her to fly out of nest maybe before she was ready. I know that Sam may have broken her neck.

I feel awful.

20140515-140513.jpgSo today’s post may not actually be about what I originally thought.
Or is it?
Just like Momma Peaches raising her young’uns, I, too, have done the same. I know I’m not quite through, but I feel like I’m on the tail end of this season. Momma Peaches and I have worked hard preparing safe homes for our children, cooking or finding healthy food and loving our babes every second. I’ve been careful to protect my children from poisons, accidents and pain. Peaches had her nest smartly hidden in the vines and kept a watchful eye on anyone who might harm her kids.

And yet, even after all we do as parents to raise our children to be healthy, skillful, wise, God loving creatures, there is no guarantee that they will live forever. No matter how tight the seatbelt or snugly fit the helmet or heart-to-heart discussions we have on safety issues with our children…accidents and worse….tragedy happens. As parents, we do the absolute best that we know how, but in the end, we have to let our children go. They are not ours to keep. We must let them go in complete faith that God will protect them.

20140515-142622.jpgMy baby graduated from college this past weekend. As much as I would love to keep her safely hidden in my nest, I know I must let her fly. There are lots of bad things that she might encounter in this big world, (like overly enthusiastic humans who wear bright green shirts and big dumb goofy dogs), but there are also wonderful, exciting, brilliant, loving experiences and people who will make her life richer.

20140515-143135.jpgIt is time to go, Mary Claire, and live! Take a leap of faith, jump into new opportunities, love with all your heart, trust your Father in Heaven to guide your steps. Momma Mary loves you!

Nat-Geo Girl Meets New Feathered Neighbors

Nat-Geo Girl here again to report on some new feathered neighbors. Last week I introduced you to Helen, Frank and their chicks, Georgie and Louise.

20140508-112939.jpgAs you may remember, Frank was a handsome fella, who glided in and out of the nest bringing the bacon home to the family. Ok, maybe not bacon, per say, but food non the less. I thought things were going well.

20140508-114018.jpgThen one morning , I went to say hello and I saw this…an empty nest. Did the kids grow so fast that they were ready to leave the nest? Did a hawk have some finger lickin’ chicken for dinner? Maybe they were part of the A.W.P.P. (Aviary Witness Protection Program)! Whatever the reason for their leaving, I wish them well.

20140508-114617.jpgSo, a day or so later, I notice a momma robin dart in and out of the Jessamine Vine on the other side of the column. Hmmm…Nat-Geo girl can’t let that go unseen, she must have a look!

20140508-114813.jpgOh My Doodness, More babies! I love his fuzzy mohawk he’s sporting there! Say hello to these southern, born and bred youngsters, Dixie and Jethro. Poor momma, just can’t keep enough food in the nest. This boy is hungry!

20140508-115558.jpgBeing the professional that I am, with my professional photography equipment-my iPad, I waited.

20140508-115705.jpgAnd I waited for Momma Peaches to come home from the supermarket.

20140508-120249.jpgI saw her next door gathering worms. (It was actually kinda funny with me on my belly, peering into my next door neighbors yard, trying to get a picture of this bird. But you know…us professionals have to go to great lengths to capture great photos!)

20140508-120539.jpgWhen Peaches flew away, I knew she was on her way to Dixie and Jethro, so I scurried back to my chair to wait. I saw her! There in the grass with a worm in her mouth! I didn’t move a muscle. (If you know me, you know hard this is for me! I’m a twitching, dancing, wiggling, spastic human being!)

20140508-120921.jpgPeaches is fast! but I got her!

20140508-121033.jpgIsn’t she beautiful? I think she’s pretty amazing. Building her nest, laying the eggs, and feeding the babies constantly.

20140508-121448.jpgI know, I know….birds since the beginning of time have been building nests…but you know what? I still think it’s amazing! Lookie here at some of the materials the cardinals used…sticks, leaves, paper and plastic bags.

20140508-122022.jpgI think I need to help my feathered friends with some nesting materials, like this one from Birding About.com.

20140508-122519.jpgMomma Peaches, don’t you worry girl, I won’t hurt your babies. I’m going to stay out of your way. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to sit back and watch with amazement as you care for your young’uns.

20140508-123056.jpgThey sure are a rowdy bunch!

Thanks for dropping by,

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