We're an adventurous family, taking all opportunities to travel and get out and about as much as possible. From our quick day trippin' to weekenders to week and even month long trips I hope to capture as much as I can in this Blog.

Please enjoy our photos and my words and feel free to leave a comment at the end of the post; I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shanghai Quail

Bump in the night day. Have you ever heard a small bump or knock on the window and simultaneously seen a few feathers flying. You rush to the window and see the tell tale signs that a birdie has tried to fly through your home, to only unceremoniously get a zinger of a headache (or maybe even a fatal broken neck).

When I was younger and living at my parents home, any commotion like above would lead to a race. The mad dash would be between myself and one of our family cats. They could have been dead asleep in a small sunny patch on a comfy sofa, but the sound of a bird hitting the window would launch them like a catapult straight into the air and have them scrambling to the door to get outside so they could feast on it's little lifeless body. I on the other hand was sprinting to the bird to save it. Hoping that the glass didn't break it's neck and praying I could gather the fledgling in my hands and snuggle it away in a warm blanket inside a shoe box where it would get it's strength back, shake of the shock, and fly back into the blue sky.

Many many birds were handled with care this way in my youth, and many more were D.O.A and informally thrown over the back fence where they would no doubt end up dinner for any of the neighborhood cats. It wasn't the D.O.A ones I was particularly fond of, obviously. The ones that needed my help benefited from the fact that when I was 3 I decided I was destined to become a Vet, marry a Vet, and have a house full of animals to tend to.

I do have one vivid memory as a child, and for those who know me and my quasi-Alzheimer's like mind this is quite unique: me remembering anything at all from my childhood. This specific memory takes me back to 1984 or there abouts. We had 2 family cats, brother and sister, Smokey and Ginger. They were gorgeous, long furred, loving, patient, killing machines. Our house looked out onto a big canyon. There was a huge pine tree in our back yard where Blue Jays would nest and rear their young. One spring morning there was a brouhaha of sorts out back below the pine tree. Blue Jays squeaking, cats meowing....this could only mean one thing. I charged out back and to my horror witnessed my beloved Smokey crouched low on the ground with a teeny tiny featherless baby Blue Jay in his jaws. I screamed so violently he dropped the baby and ran off. I was able to collect baby, featherless and trembling and inspect him for any puncture wounds. He looked intact. I placed him in some bushes and appealed to the Cat God above to help his mummy find him and get him back to his nest.

The memory terminates there. Maybe it does so because I want so badly to NOT remember little featherless fledglings don't magically swoosh back up to their nests, get fed and cared for my their mummies, and fly away all healthy and peacefully a few weeks later. A case of self inflicted amnesia? Maybe. Most likely I really DID think that miracles happened and went on my merry 10 year old way to play with my hamster and patch up my friendship with Smokey (after giving him a huge lesson on what-not-to-eat!)

This all brings me back around to things that go bump. I'll start by saying that my flower pot in my rock garden just underneath my living room window has sprouted the most stunning orange flower a couple weeks ago. I had all but given up on flowers as it was cold, Fall, and getting to be the time to discard soil and plants, and tuck away the pots until the Spring. So imagine my surprise when I saw this new floret.

Most mornings when I open the front drapes, I peer down to his little orange head, shining up toward the heavens, and say hello. This morning I was a little late in saying hello. I was already firmly attached to the living room floor playing blocks with the kids. I glanced outside to the pot to say my usual (in my head of course) hello, and gasped instead. Little B wanted to know what was wrong, Big B looked over questionably. I quickly diffused the situation by telling Little B that I was just gasping at the beauty of the morning. Before I go any further, let me show you my glorious little flower in all his beauty.

Now from a bit farther away so you can get an idea of his lonely but majestic existence in my flower pot.

But wait...what in the world!!!???!!! Could it be???? I surely don't remember planting any seeds that would eventually sprout feathers and legs.....especially of the upside down Quail variety?

Oh wait, so the bump that Brent heard yesterday is making more sense now. The simple, brainless Quail must have thought he could fly through glass - walloped his head, snapped his neck, and spiraled downward until he landed softly in my little flower pot THANKFULLY keeping clear of my dear fiore.

Now I'm no funeral photographer, but I think I did him justice, don't you?

No comments: