baby birds

Baby robins  looked so barely finsihed when they hatched. Now they have voices and eyes to watch with, they even have begun grooming the feathers that fledge faster than I can imagine on the wings that will one day, soon, make of each small heart a soaring dragon as each finds flight.  I wonder as I look at the one series of baby robin photos I took last summer. It was of one baby who d fledged out onto our deck. S/he roosted beneath our gas grill for two whole days. Mama brought worms and fed the baby there. By the evening the baby was disappeared. Found the next morning snuggled among hemlock fronds. Until I came too close with my camera whereupon s/he launched from the boughs and without skill to steer, simply went straight into the neighbor’s juniper bush. I wonder if that novice pilot is one of the parents of this year’s quadruplets.

Remember bringing home chicks, the cat crate we first kept them in and the heat lamp. How amazing it was that tiny as they were, they d peck at the feed on a bare hand. I loved watching them grow into hens and roosters until, of course, there were too many roosters so several moved on. I was especially fond of Papi a barred Roc. He was very gentle and a good guardian of his girls. I d leave the house with treats in my hand, and within moments a thunder of small dinosaurs rounded the house as he brought them excitedly to see what morsel I was carrying. And when the girls grew old enough to lay eggs..the alarmed call at sunrise, and no wonder! Ouch! then I ‘d go fetch fresh eggs. And as much as I fed them scraps and leftovers plus, I also kept tending my compost pile. Until one day I noticed the chickens tended it, too. I think they ate everything but coffee grounds and tea leaves. I looked at it as one step further along the break-down, compost process. They ‘d sit around its confines in winter, no doubt feeling warmth rising from within as chemicals did their dance.

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