Sunday, 24 March 2013

Amuse-bouche: One Week and One Day - RIP

Sadly, the little fella didn't make it.  I don't know what ailed him but after a day of joyful fluttering  splashing in the puddles, and sunning himself, he died during the night.

I'm glad I stopped for a while on that last day and just watched him.  For a short time, life asserted itself boldly.

A Bird Came Down

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Amuse-bouche: One Week Later

The little fella is doing well...considering he's been stranded in my back courtyard exposed to the elements of an early Australian autumn for a week now.  Not that those elements are particularly harsh, but we do have a plethora of possums at night.  I am assuming Amuse-bouche spends his nights hidden in one of the box hedges.

He's been working on his fluttering and just today I saw him FLY a short distance from a flower pot to the stool where I've been putting his bread to encourage him to flap those wings.  Yay Amuse-bouche!  That was a big improvement from yesterday when he jumped (I had it closer to the flower pot), and promptly fell off in a heap.

His mother visits regularly and has been trying to demonstrate to her stubborn little chick what his wings are for, as evidenced in the below image.  She's a good mum but he doesn't seem overly inspired. 

Ever since I began putting seed out a few days ago, the rest of the family comes-a-calling too.  Maybe their strategy is to eat all of his food to convince him to hunt?  Or maybe they're just being birds and are not opposed to a little free seed and to heck with him.

I look forward to seeing the little guy every morning when I come downstairs.  Now I feed my dog, who is spinning in circles impatiently, waiting for breakfast then I cut up bread and watermelon for Amuse-bouche who is always hopping about impatiently waiting for his, sheesh!

We are leaving on holiday in two weeks.  I hope Amuse-bouche has figured out flight by then, otherwise, I'm going to have to pay my dog-sitter extra.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Amuse-bouche or the Story of a Hippity-Hoppity Dove

I was hanging my washing a few days ago enjoying the feel of it flapping in the breeze.  As I turned to step back into the house, in front of me lay a young bird on its back, his feet flapping in the same breeze and a beseeching look on his small face.  I immediately flipped him over, and he has been living in my rear courtyard every since.

We have dubbed him 'Amuse-bouche', in part because C2 sees everything in food terms, and in part because he eats such tiny quanities of everything I've offered.  Bread? check, watermelon? check, strawberries? not-so-much, fish? definitely not!

We have determined that he is a young mourning dove.  His mother visits him frequently but nothing she or I do have convinced him to take flight.  He's happy to flutter to the top of my flower pots but has a decided preference to hopping everywhere in his explorations.  Hop hop through the low box hedges, hop hop around all of my flower pots, hop hop under the table, and hop splash into the puddles.  I was thrilled to watch him catch a bug yesterday evening!

He's very curious, very independant, very cute, and I'm getting very attached.  I really shouldn't since I know how these things usually end.  Countless numbers of wild birds die every day but Amuse-bouche is just one little bird, and he's in my backgarden.  We are all keeping a watchful eye on him (even C2) and are hoping that soon one morning, he will just be gone...and in a good way.

Watch this space for more on Amuse-bouche.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Apple Didn't Fall Too Far From the Tree

My sport of choice as a kid and teenager was competitive swimming.  I was never going to be an Olympic hopeful by any stretch; but was passionate and lived and breathed it for many years.   I still love watching it at any level.

So I was surprised but delighted when J qualified for a district competition following his school's annual swim meet (or swimming carnival as say in Australia).  This past week, we watched him compete for his school in the boys 9/10 freestyle relay.  He was excited, proud, and full of team spirit.  He faded a tad toward the end of his 50m race but gave it everything he had!

Well done J!

Video 2013-03-10 01.06.46 PM from Christine Hendricks on Vimeo.