A couple of weeks ago our robin chicks hatched. I was so excited. Even though they were not very cute (actually they looked like miniature dragons), it was fun to watch their mama and pops feed them.
I was also pleasantly surprised that Mama Robin didn’t give me to much grief when I would come outside. That was until late last week. Maybe I should have seen it as an omen, but when I came out that morning she was flying around furiously and pooping everywhere. When I got home that evening I didn’t see any activity, and I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I parked the car in the garage and came back outside to investigate. One of the adults (which I assume was the mom) was lying eviscerated on the driveway, no doubt falling prey to a wandering cat or dog. As perhaps a tragically poetic symbol, I could clearly make out her heart lying outside of her body, whole but detached. For my little friends, my heart was broken. The other adult was nowhere to be seen, and still is AWOL.
Still, I had hope. If a dog can nurse rejected liger cubs, perhaps I would be able to take care of these babies. Afterall, I did see two humans and a dog out of infancy. I walked up to the nest and waved my hand over it. The normal response to this would have been the chicks popping their heads up and opening their beaks as widely as possible. Nothing. I was too crestfallen to get the ladder out to make the final confirmation.
Since that time there has been no activity, and I still haven’t looked. I don’t know if they have been snatched or remain in the nest. Soon enough I will take the nest down. I’m not looking forward to it.
This put me in a foul (no pun intended, of course) mood for a few days. The circumstances seemed so unfair for these fragile creatures. Then one morning Lovely Wife, who gets up before I do, summoned me out of bed to share with me the excitement of some other visitors that we had in our yard:
Now, it is not uncommon to see deer in our town, as a river pretty much circles the city and most of the banks and surrounding areas have been reserved for park land. But considering that we are a couple of miles from the nearest point of the river and completely out of the valley, it certainly came as a surprise. In addition, they were pretty small and our back yard is surrounded by at least six feet of fencing or dense bushes on all sides. But, they obviously jumped over to give us our first deer sighting on our property in the five years that we have lived here.
Lovely wife said that one quickly jumped back over, while the other seemed to struggle. She opened the gate and tried to chase it out (a little scary if you ask me–even for small guys I am sure these were very powerful animals) before it made the leap over as well. All in all, I wish I could have seen it. Somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that these two beautiful whitetails found their way into our yard to lift my spirits.