Guess what? There were two eggs in that precarious little nest on my patio. Little Mama hatched both about three weeks ago, and for the first two weeks I was quite worried. They never moved, never peeped, and she never seemed to be off getting food for them. Were they dead, I fretted? Would she sit atop dead babies hoping they'd revive? She looked, after all, very young, and she must not have had much nest-building experience to pick a flimsy rosebush twig on a patio where three big dogs and one ornery cat live.
Then last week, a growth spurt happened and suddenly Little Mama was half hanging off the nest, half sitting on baby backs. Over the course of three or four days, I watched their gnarly baby feathers get replaced by sleek adult feathers with their characteristic mourning dove stripe. Saturday morning, one fraternal twin tested the feathers by flapping around the rosebush. Five minutes later, both took off and no one, neither baby nor Little Mama, has returned. I sincerely hope they made it and are flying free. And I am relieved nobody got eaten by a dog or cat I own.
This morning's backyard birding:
a different mourning dove
I rejoiced when you started playing havoc with my fertility. Hooray, I cried! Goodbye, cramps! Goodbye, unexpected visitor! Goodbye, monthly expense! I happily traded it for the long white hair that randomly popped out on my chin, because really, that's much less of an inconvenience.
It was sort of sad that my chin and my waist started to disappear. I accepted that, because you can't fight genetics. And who's looking, anyway?
I only whimpered when you took away my favorite vegetable, broccoli, which I ate 3 or 4 times a week, and which is so chockful of good things for you. I tried to eat it again yesterday, boiled to death to see if that altered the outcome, but alas, no. I merely sighed and wiped away a tear.
But this morning, this?! No, I protest, Madam, I protest!
I should not wake up at 48 to find a zit has appeared overnight on my nose! You are not playing fair! And I, I who have been actively trying to convince my fellow middle-aged women that all is good as we slide in to 50 and silverdom, that we should embrace the natural rhythm of life and the universe, that we are wise, not hags--I now have decided that you are mean. You are mean, Mother Nature, and I don't like you right now.
Click here for today's hilarious City Room Metropolitan Diary by Gordon Beachamp. The dog walkers win.
On a more introspective note, we early morning dog walkers form our own little band of intrepid urbanites. We rise impossibly early in the summer, to avoid the heat so our pooches don't suffer. Our pockets are stuffed with treats and bags of all sizes and sometimes an extra leash or flashlight. The fittest among us might even have a pedometer on them. Some of us walk slowly, ambling along at the pace of our senior dogs, savoring the companionship knowing that our time together is limited. Some of us walk quickly, or even run, with our young turks, killing two birds with one stone as we both battle the inevitable creep of middle age around our waists. Some of us walk in fits and starts, overeager pups pulling with all their might to engage with a world that is so fascinating and exciting that they cannot, simply cannot, walk nicely and heel and sit when you stop because, look! A leaf! Look! A squirrel! Look! A plastic bag! Look! Garbage that might taste good! Training walk, human? What's that? Or we walk in fits and starts because our sidekicks have to stop and mark every post and curb and tire and recycling bin. Mr. Big currently hold the I Can Mark It title, with 19 pit stops one morning to let everyone know He Was Here.
Regardless, for me, a walk with my pups is the perfect way to greet the day.
Thank you for the hours and hours of joyful, funny, heart-racing reading. They alone would be enough for you to pass the Tuat and Weighing of Your Heart. May your abydos sail you to the Field of Hotep.