Our weather of late has been for the birds and that does not apply only to ducks.
I’m not merely using the derogatory expression “for the birds” because often birds embrace this rainy weather.
Of course, after a big rain the Robins seize that opportunity to scrounge around the soggy grounds where they can extricate fat and juicy worms. I interrupted a Robin’s endeavors momentarily yesterday, when I walked out the door, laced up and all geared up for a walk, but, Mother Nature had other plans for me. After running the car and taking out the garbage, it started to spit, then drizzle. But that Robin persevered with his breakfast and afterward was clearly in Hog Heaven. He pulled, tugged and yanked at one poor worm and I imagined the worm inside the ground, trying to hang on with all its might, refusing to meet it fate. Finally it just succumbed, sliding slowly through the moist earth and right into the red-breasted bird’s mouth.
Yup, it’s a cruel world out there sometimes.
But other times, life is like a musical.
First, we have “Singin’ in the Rain” … this is the smaller-sized birds who love to tuck themselves along the back bedroom window ledges where they are protected from the elements because they are under the patio roof. Sunday, and, again early Monday, I heard the birds warbling way before daybreak. It was pouring raining and they were singing right behind my head, not even mindful of the raindrops. At first, I reached over and grabbed the alarm clock, thinking I had somehow overslept, but no, the alarm hadn’t gone off, the sun wasn’t even up yet.
I had to admit that birdsong was melodic, and, by then I was wide awake, so I laid there listening to the peaceful sound. The birds’ sweet song reminded me of the first pair of radio headphones I got from Radio Shack. It had memory settings for your favorite AM and FM stations, but, it also had a “Relaxing Sounds” channel. There were several buttons for relaxing sounds like a babbling brook, singing birds, rain, the seashore and even a train rolling along on railroad tracks. I tried ‘em all – liked ‘em all, and many times I’d put the headphones on to enjoy those nature sounds and imagine I was in a locale many miles away.
I like to hear the pitter patter of rain on the patio roof as it is soothing, especially if thunder and lightning are not in the mix. I even like Eddie Rabbitt’s song “I Love a Rainy Night”, especially if I am hunkered down in the house and don’t have to go out in that inclement weather.
Those birds seek refuge from the weather and feel they have a safe haven, and, I’m happy to provide it to them, as long as they are not building nests in the coach light elbow. So far this year, those pesky Robins have stayed away, but Spring and bird birthin’ season is not over yet.
The other safe haven for birds is next door at Marge’s house. Last month I wrote about the Mourning Dove that built a nest and laid an egg inside an ornamental wire mesh planter on her deck. Marge was excited to see the egg and quickly researched “Mourning Doves” online to determine their nesting habits and incubation period for the egg. She pinpointed the “hatch date” for Good Friday. We learned that Doves mate for life and share responsibilities. The male sits in the nest on the eggs during the daylight hours; the female incubates the eggs overnight. Marge documented their visit with near-daily photos.
Every day she witnessed what I referred to as “Dove love” wherein the parents took turns warming that egg, then staying close to their baby, a/k/a a “squab” after it hatched.
Surprisingly, that baby was not to live a life of Riley for long, however. Within a week, the fledgling was kicked out of the nest, and was photographed sitting on the rim of the mesh basket, having already aced Mom and Pop’s flying lessons.
Sadly, it was only a matter of time before the Dove family was ready to abandon the nest, with their offspring in tow, and, thus “Bye Bye Birdie” was the theme last Saturday.
This onslaught of rain sure has wreaked havoc with my walking goals. I was close to reaching 250 miles walked in 2017 before all this wet weather put a kibosh on my morning routine. Hopefully I can get back on track tomorrow, otherwise Sunday might be the next best chance to walk.
Rain is not always music to my ears, unless it is overnight, so … just sign me “Soggy and Saturated”.