Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fun with Nature, #17

Nature study is such a natural activity when we become absorbed and drawn into our personal surroundings by simple observations from day to day. No matter what you think, we all do it. A few suggestions we can become absorbed in easily are;
  • the simple changes of the season
  • changes in the weather patterns
  • aromatic fragrances wafting in the air from new buds and floral beauties
  • the lapping of waves along a seashore while discovering washed up treasures
  • what lay in our gardens or along walking trails
  • changes in the geographical landscapes
  • bountiful harvests in colorful droves of beauty
  • observations made within our own neighborhood
  • mammals on the land, nests in springtime and birds in the air
  • exploding nutritional fare in gardens
  • accumulations of wonder our filling our eyes, minds and hearts
Unless you are visually impaired, without any uncertainty, our world is a painter's canvas, eye candy, simply awaiting us to notice the beauty held within.

I can't say enough about the book in the photo selection for my "Fun with Nature" topic series. Named with the same title, it has become a valued addition to much of our nature observing and a beautiful book in general. There are a few subjects not included inside, so our nature book basket includes a few others to glean information, photos and ideas for further study.

I found a new book while glancing quickly down the book aisle at Costco. It's another treasure from the people at "Lone Pine" books by Krista Kagume. It's a definite "keeper" and so far, a real handy reference guide, a real gem for our new provincial nature finds near to us.

The contents include; mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles,trees, shrubs, and herbs, grasses and ferns. No more sifting through natural reference guide books any longer to find something in my own specific area, nope, it's all here in one spot, so handy and easy to use. And besides, it was really difficult to resist the 7.00 savings off the regular price in addition to the 224 colorful pages held within. Perhaps the "Lone Pine Publishers" have a book in print for your own Province or State. I'm sure it's worth a try to find out. Here's the link to their website.

American Robins

American Robins are our familiar friend. They are found here on this Eastern part of Canada after we came to know and appreciate them well from having lived on the Westcoast most of our lives.

I love the friendly orange breasted robins found tugging away at worms in our garden and for being prolific bug eaters. I love to fling open the doors early in the morning and listen out for their lilting musical whistles.

One drawback for enjoying them here in our new home was finding many nests located inside of our eavestroughs, which in turn began to clog up the drainage of rain along their runways.

We noticed immediately before purchasing our home the amount resting in eavestrough corners near to our front and back door areas and one of the first things our son was assigned was to climb up the ladder resting in three feet of snow to yank them out so the ice drooping from the area could melt sooner so no damage would result from the expansion of the nest against the eaves.

The birds like to return to their familiar nesting grounds, much to the dismay of my husband who isn't at all happy about today's robin report because he knew where they came from once the mystery was solved.

Our daughter noticed a wee bird on our brand new deck, laying there motionless, perhaps dead. The curious gathered and together we witnessed it move a wee bit, dropping its goodness onto our NEW deck. The nerve...LOL

Our little fledgling mustered enough energy to wiggle to and fro until it flapped off the deck, through the opening at the back of the top step, and onto the ground below. It appeared he had a broken wing when dropping so suddenly, but then it jumped like Tigger until it sat hidden in the nearest window well.

So sweet, had fallen from our roof onto our new deck

With the longer grass nearby, there it stood squawking its little head off with no mother Robin bird in sight. It was so cute! We all felt badly for it and wondered if/how we could help out, or if we should even make the attempt to interfere in the patterns of nature.

Our youngest daughter had the idea she could set out some bird seed in a plastic lid with a bit of water close by. Of course the wee birdie preferred a juicy regurgitated worm, a conditional meal we all preferred not to offer it ourselves.

Stuck in the window well, the afternoon wore on and the sun blazed its heat on the feathery baby. Our daughter in law used a frisbee to assist it to the area under the deck where it was cool and shady. And then we left the rest up to nature and how it would take its own course within a short period of time.
Later on we noted mama and sibling on the roof

Shortly after though our younger daughter alerted me to our roof where mother robin and another fledgling squawked near to it. It occurred to us the likelihood this wee thing fell from our roof and that's how it ended up on our deck near the door to the house. Wow, what a drop! It had to be hurt. And then with the swiftness of being spotted as good prey for another on the food chain, this hawk in the photo below began to fly in circles while dropping in height toward our property. He never arrived while we were nearby and it was time for us to depart for the rest of the afternoon.


When we arrived home again and drove up the driveway, everyone wanted to know if our baby bird was still hovering under the deck but it wasn't found. Assumptions began as to what could have happened to it. Where did it go? Where can it be? It wasn't later on when my hubby took out his newly installed BBQ (only seven months waiting for the gas T to happen!), when he discovered a rather large feather deposit under the covering. Dinner for one hawk was now the certain ending for this cute thing.

It was such a sad ending to our little excitement of the day, but such is nature's way. Just in case it ever happens again, I'm prepared with information from many sources, one being eNaturalist's website. Under no circumstances should a human interfere in a fledgling's separation from its mother. Apparently the mother will eventually find its young. It may appear no one is tending to the young birdie but the mother will upon occasion swoop down to feed it her naturally regurgitated nutritional fare saved specially for him. This is great news for the children because they no longer have to worry about "worm hunting" now.