Thursday, June 12, 2008

Week of Babies

The week started out with my husband finding this little guy in our front yard. This little painted turtle was very active, unafraid and FAST!! He could move!! His tiny feet and toenails felt good against my hand. We spent possibly 10 minutes with him taking a few photos. He never pulled his head in but was visibly happy to be back outdoors and happier to be let down onto the grass where he quickly disappeared.

The lake is full of turtles and we see them stick their heads out of the water all the time. They sun on docks and fallen logs.

To go back a few weeks, someone asked me about painting birds nests. I told her I would fit it in this summer and let her know. She mentioned it again about a week later and that afternoon I was directed to a nest that had fallen out of our tree during a recent storm. I found it empty. No signs of birds anywhere near it, so I picked it off the ground and propped it into a branch and photographed it for use as a model in the painting.

Yesterday my husband discovered a baby Robin in the driveway. We got the empty nest from the backyard and went to find the Robin. I picked him up and found he was unhurt but too young to be out of a nest. He had very few feathers, wasn't able to perch and he opened his large baby Robin mouth for me to feed. I'll always remember that image in my mind and probably remember the feeling of immense love and frustration at not being able to give him what he wanted right away.

I knew from experience that I had to figure this out quickly. There was no time for cameras or enjoying his company. He needed to be fed quickly and he needed to be kept from stress. The nest seemed to be a huge help. He settled down and napped out on the deck in his new nest while I quickly went to the internet to find out what to do. I found a site that said the best thing was to tie a basket (or in this fortunate case) the nest to the tree under which we found the bird and the parents would find the baby and care for it. As I carried him back to the trees he scolded me pretty good and opened his mouth for me to fill. (I'm SO in love right now!!)

We were not sure which tree to leave him in. The Blue Spruce or the Oak. Very different trees. I was concerned about not hiding the baby from the Mother, who I kind of figured was watching us from nearby. We put it in the Spruce first and went indoors. I watched and saw no activity for about 10 minutes. The baby needed to be fed every 20 minutes and I knew it had been longer than that. I noticed then that an adult Robin was hopping in the low branches of the Oak tree so I got some rope and went and tied the nest to the highest branch I could reach, then went inside anxiously hoping his mother would respond.

It seemed like a very long time and nothing. I left the window knowing the mother would take care of it's baby. I went back to the window repeatedly seeing no signs of the mother. I REALLY needed to actually see this work out so I could go back to living my life. I prayed to see and as I finished that prayer, I walked to the window with my binnoculars and saw the most beautiful sight. The mother Robin was at the nest and the baby all but stood up to greet her. My prayer was answered.

This morning I was again blessed with the same sight when I got up and looked out. The baby had made it through the night by itself in the nest and it's mother was feeding it at that moment. I was relieved.

But this nest isn't done...

Around lunchtime my husband came inside from walking the dog and said there is another baby bird on the ground at the street. We went outside to investigate and sure enough there was a baby Robin on the ground almost in the road. It had a few more feathers than the first baby, it gripped my fingers with his feet but didn't perch and was again too young to fly. He had no wing feathers. He didn't open his mouth to be fed but remained calm as I talked to him. We decided to put him into the nest with the first baby bird. As we did the first bird stretched his neck and opened his mouth wide for a feeding. We weren't a few feet away before a mother (or father) Robin showed up at the nest.

I want to tuck them in at night, hold an umbrella over them if it rains.... but I have to have faith that their creator is watching over them. (I'll still peek in)

1 comment:

Art by Ronda Juniper Ray said...

What a sweet, sweet story, and you are Earth Mother of the year for taking care of God's weeist creatures.