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 :) ).

19 Comments:

Blogger Melantrys said...

Digital zoom sucks. I never use it. :P

Hm, I've got fluffy chicks pictures somewhere as well.....

5/16/2006 2:14 AM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

A true naturalist U've become & quite a unique one with your photographic talent.

Rabbits sadden me as I remember my rabbit eaten by a cat :-S

I was here two days ago when the provisional post came & then yest to read both your new posts but couldn' comment due to the stupid slow connection speed :-S sorry for the delay :-)

5/17/2006 2:25 AM  
Blogger David said...

Mel, as a general rule, when one has fluffy pics, I believe that one should post them! :)

Omid, you have discovered my secret ambition in life: I am reaching for the laurels of Sir David Attenborough himself! You should have seen me chasing butterflies for my collection when I was a kid! ;)

Sorry about your rabbit. I hope you don't hate all cats now. I enjoyed the company of cats for many years, but they are like very naughty children sometimes!

No need to apologize! I am glad to have you visit both sooner or later. :)

5/18/2006 12:38 AM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

lol. yeah I bet you are :-)

Well David I was never fond of cats U know :-) maybe because they are just so plenty in our streets. I am a dog fan :-)

5/19/2006 2:19 AM  
Anonymous sayoko said...

Enjoyed the pictures. Wish I knew the nature better.

5/19/2006 11:20 AM  
Blogger jarvenpa said...

Beautiful photos--thanks especially for the one of the dogwood tree, David! And the surviving robin babies were very cute--I hope they make their way safely. My mom once took care of a tiny robin I found..once it got big enough it flew away, but would come back (at least we thought it was the same one) from time to time.

5/19/2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger David said...

Omid, do you have lots of beautiful long haired Persian cats roaming the streets of Tehran? That would really be something to see!

I had a pet dog as a kid. She was a beagle, very friendly, and a natural hunter too. I was a very sad teen when she died!

Hello Sayoko, welcome to my blog! I am glad that you enjoyed my pictures. :) Do you live in a place far away from nature?

You are welcome Jarvenpa! I was once sort of acquainted with a wild bird too. One day, years ago, I was trimming a hedge in our back yard. After lopping off some branches, to my great surprise, I found a nest with three tiny chicks in the middle of the hedge. They had been very well protected before I came along, so I was a little worried that a wandering neighborhood cat might get them. However, things turned out well for them. At first, I didn't know what sort of birds they were, but after a while, watching from a distance, I saw a Mockingbird land on the top of the hedge and then duck inside to the nest. I looked at the chicks up close every day and watched them grow for the next several weeks. I never touched them, as I knew that the parents might reject them if I did. While the chicks eyes were still closed, they would stick their heads up, chirping with wide open mouths, when they heard me approach. However, after their eyes were open, they would huddle deeper in the nest when I peaked at them. They seemed to get used to my daily visits though. After a while, they would just stare back at me when I approached. Eventually, they successfully fledged and left the nest. For the next several years, a Mockingbird would fly near to me and chirp at me from branches in the yard. I always assumed that it was one of the hedge chicks that had so greatly entertained my curiosity.

5/20/2006 1:44 PM  
Blogger Nyx said...

Lovely pictures! Like dr02, I get a little sad by rabbits too - my father ate mine.

5/30/2006 1:46 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Nyx, thanks for dropping by! I'm glad you liked my pictures. :) I certainly didn't intend for this post to stir up any sad memories. Its beyond me how a father could eat his child's pet! However, I think this must have been a common occurrance in times past (and still in many parts of the world) when people lived off the land and kept animals for various purposes including food. Those of us living in highly developed countries are really out of touch with where our food comes from. We just go to the store and buy a package. If I had to look into the eyes of the animal that package came from, I'm not sure that I could eat it for dinner!

5/30/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger Dr O2 said...

well we got many sorts. The fluffy ones are in minority but they do tend to walk along the streets :-)

nyx - my condolences :-(

5/31/2006 12:38 AM  
Blogger Newsha said...

Hey David ,
Thanks for your lovely comment; I almost forgot that I have a web log.
It was nice to read someone’s web log that used “Iranian” word as a good subject.
Regard your question, we do have Desert Museum at Tucson, and unfortunately I never had enough time to go there.
if u are fan of science or astronomy you should check out Kitt Peak, it is an amazing place to go and enjoy what human can do!!
Anyway, I don't like Tucson so much, as u said it's a good place for retirement and old people but I think, standing slow drivers and warm weather will be worth when I will be done with school here. We have a good university here.
Long comment!!
Have a nice summer, and nice pictures man

6/02/2006 3:48 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Newsha. I'm glad you liked my pictures. :)

Your mention of Kitt peak is quite a coincidence, I almost mentioned it to you! I have actually been there three times. I even have a small piece of granite that I took from the very top as a souvenir. I also bought one of the beautiful little horsehair baskets woven by the local Native Americans. The last time I went was for a night time program during which there was a lecture, a delicious box dinner, and some star gazing through the 16 inch telescope on the top of the visitors center. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for reminding me of some great memories, and it is a pleasure to know someone interested in astronomy. :)

P.S. I hope you will remember your blog more often. :)

6/03/2006 2:12 AM  
Blogger Jamak said...

Nice pictures David. You could start a career with the Discovery channel:)
Glad to hear that you've nurtured the Robins to the point of independence. I'm sure they'll remember you for a long time to come

6/06/2006 7:44 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks Jamak! :) Hmmm, I wonder if Sir Attenborough has an opening for an intern? ;) Actually, I haven't seen the robins at all since they left the nest. Ah well, expecting gratitude from a bird is probably asking a bit much.

6/06/2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger Jamak said...

One day while you're walking in the woods, you'll receive gratitude from "a" bird unexpectedly.

6/06/2006 10:17 PM  
Blogger David said...

Jamak, I have already experienced the "gratitude" of a bird some years ago. Luckily, I was next to a well chlorinated swimming pool at the time!

6/08/2006 12:49 AM  
Blogger Spooky Witch said...

What a beautiful pictures,and how great you pictured the nature!Good job David

6/11/2006 4:19 AM  
Blogger David said...

Hi Spooky Witch, thanks for visiting and thank you very much for your nice compliment! :)

6/12/2006 2:32 AM  
Blogger Spooky Witch said...

You're most welcome,I meant it,they were not compliments!

6/12/2006 9:10 AM  

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