Monday, April 23, 2007

The One Where I Mess With Mother Nature

There is a reason that people aren't supposed to interfere with the process of how things live, the natural process that God established in the beginning of the world.

But God also created Mothers.
Mothers who put the word nurture in the "Nurture vs. Nature" concept.

So there I was, looking out my window at the pouring rain-the April shower that was not only bringing some serious cold to our otherwise warm April but keeping ALL MY CHILDREN INSIDE. Let me tell you, 3 kids under the age of 5 cooped up in a small house all day? THAT is NOT natural.

Outside my window, I look at our newest (albeit temporary) family members. Over a month ago, 2 Mourning Doves started their family in the outside hanging planter. The babies hatched about a week ago and I see our poor mama bird, sitting in the POURING rain protecting her babies from the cold water. My toddler-soaked heart went out to her. She's just trying to be a good mama and here she is sitting in the rain!

I couldn't let it happen. Knowing full well I'd probably temporarily scare Mama from the nest, I got David's 6-foot ladder and the big camping tarp out of the garage and carried everything outside. I waited till all the kids were down for a nap so I wouldn't add chaos to my heroic rescue.

As I set the ladder up, I saw something fall off my kitchen counter. I figured the ladder had caused my giant stack of magazines to fall. I'd pick it up later. If ever. I went up the ladder and wasn't surprised to see Mama gone. I configured the tarp to hang over the gazebo the hanging planter was under and dashed back into the house.

When I got inside, the parakeets (a pair-a-whats?) we have on loan from Nathan's school were going CRAZY in their cage. I walked into the kitchen and found out why.

There was a bird in my kitchen.

Well, actually there were THREE birds in my kitchen. But only 1 of them wasn't authorized.

Somehow, in the shock of a ladder and tarp coming towards her nest, Mama bird hopped right up out of fear and instead of flying out to the big tree she usually watches me from when I am paparazzi-ing her babies, she flew INSIDE MY HOUSE.

So, there she is. Sitting on my kitchen floor.

I called David who suggested opening the kitchen window so Mama could fly out. Easy enough. Uh huh. As I headed over to the window, Mama once again mistook my help as a threat and instead of waiting patiently on the floor for me to finish with the window, she took flight once again but this time she encountered something we inside creatures call a "ceiling." Poor confused bird was crashing into the ceiling, the lights and I was doing my best to not get my eyes pecked out. (A good goal to have I think.)

She landed on the curtain rod for my sliding glass door. OPEN sliding glass door. THE door that caused this problem in the first place.

I decided the best thing to do was to be still.
I sat in the chair furthest away from Mama and I was still.
I was still for about 15 minutes.
That is often my limit.

I heard my neighbor's daughter come outside to get her brother off the bus and seeing how the stillness hadn't worked in getting the bird out of my house, I decided I might as well laugh about it with someone. She couldn't believe it and we both stood there staring at the bird which didn't make her leave either.

Seeing how sitting still and staring at the bird wasn't causing her to leave, I took further action by photographing the bird with my camera phone and sending an e-mail to all my friends and family.

THAT didn't work either! She was still in my house!

So by now, my neighbor's daughter Kenna has told her mom, Kim, all about the National Geographic going on next door and Kim had to see for herself. More staring and laughing happened (with no success) and Kim says that her ex husband will be over soon to pick up her kids and seeing how he's kind of got a farm and knows animals and stuff, maybe he will know what to do.

After spending 30 minutes of quality time with this bird, I was ready to have her leave. I haven't mentioned it yet here because this is a family blog but I did have a big concern about my houseguest.

Birds POOP!
They poop wherever they WANT to!
And if left in my house much longer I had a feeling the poop would be showing up in my house SOON!

Kim's ex husband came in, had Kim and I stand in the kitchen while he took his baseball cap off and "herded" Mama off the curtain rod. She flew a circle around the living room and tried to go back but his hat was still there and then she flew right out the front door.

It was extremely anti-climatic.
But it ceased all my poop fears.

However, the poop fears were quickly replaced by "Birds Baby Mama Hasn't Come Home Yet" fears. Hours and hours passed and our sweet baby birds (2 of them) were huddled up and all alone. It was 4 hours later before I was able to relax and feel like, in the looooooooooong run, I really HAD helped our little bird family survive the wilds of my backyard.

When retelling the story the next day to Jeff (husband of Kim, the Halloween fall-er) I told him that I was now VERY concerned for our baby birds. When it was time to teach the babies how to fly, what if they didn't get it the first time? The nest is over CONCRETE! They could fall and break their little birdie necks! Maybe I should get some crash pads so they won't get hurt!

Jeff dropped his shoulders, shook his head, looked right up at me and said:
"They are just birds! Stop mothering them!"

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