Sunday, 10 June 2012

A Relaxing Day Outdoors

I managed to get four hours of sleep last night between 5 and 9 a.m.  As a result, I was very tired and lethargic today.  That was all right because I had worked hard for the last few days and deserved a day off.  Yesterday, I mentioned that I had hoped to go to church this morning but my plans had to be changed due to the noise level in the neighbourhood until early this morning combined with my husband's snoring and the singing of the early morning birds.  However, I spent my day on the patio watching the squirrels and the birds.  I find spending time in nature is similar to visiting God's house and I connect spiritually with the world around me just as if I'd attended church.  I know that I dozed in the shade on the lounger as well .

My morning started on the patio with a cup of coffee and the crossword puzzle from Saturday's paper.  As I contemplated the clues and worked on the crossword, I could feel the breeze ruffle the small amount of hair on my head.  The hair appears to be a combination of strawberry blond and brown.  I continued to enjoy my coffee and the crossword puzzle in the shade on my patio.  I would look up and see the robins flying through the yard or the grackles hopping around near the bird feeder.

At one point, I looked up because I heard a gutteral sound that appeared to sound like "MAWm"  "MAWm"!  This reminded me of my daughter when she was younger and would repeatedly call "MOM, MOM" until I showed her attention.  Anyway, when I looked up from my crossword puzzle this morning, I saw two young grackles following their beleaguered mother with their beaks wide open.  Even from a distance, I could see the gaping, glistening red of the inside of their throats.  The poor mother grackle kept hopping away and looking on the ground for leftover seed from the feeder.  The baby grackles did not let up their badgering of their mother.  She finally turned and would feed one of the babies and then would hurriedly hop away.  My husband and I watched this panorama with amusement.  It was like the mother grackle was trying to push the babies away and make them accountable for getting their own food.  This scene was played out many times throughout the day today.  By late afternoon, the mother grackle was ignoring the babies and they started to pick up the leftover seeds off the ground themselves.  As I watched, I realized that even human mothers have to teach their children hard lessons when it comes time to become more independent.  Much as it is hard to ignore our children, we sometimes need to ignore and walk away so our children will learn to figure out a problem on their own or feed themselves.  I don't mean we abandon our children.  We do teach them the skills to survive first but at some point we need to give them the opportunity to succeed without our help.  This might mean making a meal for themselves while they still live with us so they have a safe place to learn.  I just found it interesting today to see the parallels between nature and ourselves.

Later this afternoon, my husband and I were watching the antics of two squirrels at the bird feeder.  One squirrel was very happy to stay on the ground and forage the seeds off the ground.  The other squirrel was a little more courageous and adventuresome.  He figured out that he could run up the trunk of the tree and scamper out onto the limb which is holding the bird feeder.  Our feeder is hooked onto a long, thin metal "S" hook.  One end of the hook hooks over the limb and the other end of the "S" hook holds the cable of the bird feeder.  Anyway, this bold squirrel scampered out onto the limb and then down the thin metal rod of the "S" hook.  The squirrel landed on the top of the feeder and then worked his way down to the very narrow ledge of the feeder.  He balanced precariously using his clawed feet and then took the seeds directly from the bird feeder with his mouth.  As we watched, his front claws slipped and he was hanging upside down from the feeder like a gymnast hanging on by his toenails.  We watched with bated breath as we were fearful that the squirrel might fall.  Lo and behold, he looked like was doing sittups while hanging upside down!  He bent upwards and took more seeds and then hung upside down to eat them with his front feet.  He did this repeatedly.  That was until his back feet slipped and he fell to the ground.  It was funny to watch him run way to a neighbouring tree in our yard and watch his tail twitch with nervous energy.  That was the last time we saw him visit our feeder today.  I imagine he will come back to visit us again sometime when the memory of today is a little more distant.

Just before dinner time, we heard the robins clucking to their baby.  It was very near.  My husband saw the baby robin just around the side of the garage near my asparagus patch.  The baby robin was very young.  It seemed to be just getting used to hopping along the ground.  It reminded me of young calves, foals or fawns that are just learning to get to their feet and take their first tentative steps.  This baby robin did not have great balance.  My husband and I saw it disappear into our hedge behind a patio stone and some plastic tubing of our's.  The poor mother robin was beside herself.  She was making such anxious clucking and chirping sounds as she looked for her wayward baby.  The mother robin had a worm in her mouth with which we believe she was hoping to feed the baby.  We never saw her find her offspring.  It bothered me as the mother robin continued to call her young chick.  Eventually the noise she was making settled down and subsided.  I hope she found her baby and was able to feed it.

I finished off my day with a meal of barbecued ribs, french fries and quinoa salad shared with my family in the shade on the patio.  For being extra tired today, I ended up having a wonderfully, relaxing and rejuvenating day.

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