Constructive Creativity

Monday, May 15, 2006

Increasing Vitality

Last weekend, I was enjoying a leisurely stroll in the bright sunshine (it has rained every day since! *shows very unhappy face*) along a section of a City of Indianapolis bike/pedestrian trail called The Monon Trail after the long defunct Monon railroad line that donated its right of way for the enjoyment of all Indianapolitans. Along the way, I snapped a few pictures to share with my friendly readers. :)

First up, a beautiful living bouquet of daisies.

This rabbit was just sitting next to the trail, munching on a blade of grass (you can see it sticking out of its mouth if you look closely), completely unafraid that some passer-by might fancy a bit of stewed coney (remember the coney and tater stew from Lord of the Rings?) for dinner. I ate some rabbit once. Not bad, sort of like an exotic chicken (for some reason, a lot of animals taste like chicken...its a mystery to me for sure!). However, this little fellow, whether it was tame or just plain daft, was in no danger from me. He was too cute for my stew pot! :)

Here's one for my friend Jarvenpa, who really likes Dogwood trees. :)

This tree is called Redbud. They have really pretty light purple flowers and their leaves have a heart shape.

My friend Koozeh (who is unfortunately not blogging any more *very sad face*), taught me about the symbolic importance of the dandelion flower as a part of the Iranian celebration of Spring. When I was a kid, I used to love picking dandelions and blowing on them to scatter the white seeds. They would gently drift to the ground, or travel quite a distance, if caught by a good breeze. These, I left undisturbed for the enjoyment of a passing child. :)

I have been trying to get a picture of the mother robin whose eggs I showed you last time, but she is very skiddish and flies away before I can get close enough. However, I saw several robins along the trail, and managed to get a pretty good shot of this one. The resolution is not that good because I had to digitally zoom the picture quite a bit so you could see it. Ah, I have very quickly found the limitations of 3.2 megapixels!

Ok, lets get back to the story of the robin's nest! :) On the afternoon of my walk, I got this quick snap of the nest showing three chicks, growing quite nicely, but their eyes not quite open yet. My previous post showed only two eggs. However, the mother robin ultimately laid four eggs! I am guessing that one of the eggs just didn't hatch. Anyway, I have a rather sad story to relate about one of the chicks. On the following day (after this pic), there was a really bad storm with high winds and a lot of heavy rain. Late that afternoon, after the storm had passed, I came to check on the nest. I didn't see the mother robin and the wreath didn't look right. I walked up to it and found the wreath rotated counterclockwise about 45 degrees. The nest is sheltered from rain under a section of roof, but the wind apparently had seriously dislodged the wreath. Glancing down, I saw one of the chicks on the concrete below the nest. It had fallen about seven feet and was not moving. I picked it up for a closer look, but it was clearly dead. Concerned about the other chicks, I looked into the next and saw two shivering and rapidly breathing survivors huddled closely together. The mother was no where to be seen, but even if she had been nearby, with the nest tilted by 45 degrees, she couldn't have sat on it. Strongly desiring to save the two remaining chicks, I gently rotated the wreath back to its original position. Then, I secured it from any further rotation by tying a piece of string to its lower right portion and then anchoring the opposite end to a heavy metal chair. After that, my main concern was whether the mother might have abandoned the nest out of fright after the storm tipped it. It was going to be a cold night, and I knew that the two chicks probably wouldn't survive without their mother's warmth. I worried about that for a few hours until it was dark outside. Then I carefully peeked at the nest from about thirty feet away. For the previous couple weeks, I had been using a pair of binoculars to view the mother at night when she was not as likely to be spooked by my presence. To my great relief, I found the mother robin once again sitting on the nest! What a good mother she is! :)

Today, while the mother robin was away, I took this quick picture of the two remaining chicks. I was really amazed by how much they had grown in just a week! :)

May 18: Robin's Nest Update: Today I discovered that the nest was empty! The two chicks have left to make their way in the wide Robin's world. I wish them well. :)

Note: I have updated my Apolitical Deconstruction blog with a post that may be of interest to my Iranian visitors (of course, all my readers are welcome :) ).