Post Title: A Box of Beaks
Post Date: July 8, 2014
The birds around our home are losing their minds. I understand that the birds and the bees go bananas in the springtime, but this level of intense courtship just seems desperate.
Owls are hooting all night long, and our mockingbird starts his scales around 2 a.m. and doesn’t stop until past noon. The redheaded woodpeckers are fighting over territory. Sweet little hummingbirds are dueling to the death in my purple duranta flowers. Our red-shouldered hawks finally stopped screeching all day and are setting up house in the oaks. Flocks of crows are raucously chasing the hawks. The noise is unreal.
Although I firmly shut the windows and retreated from the mayhem, spring decided to ooze in under the door and get right up in my face anyway. My soft-hearted daughter rescued a four-pack of baby sparrows and brought them home in a box. [She found them] on the sidewalk, fluffy and dazed. And trusting. With great big Bambi eyes....
No. Wait. They have great big beaks. Beaks that open wide and chirp loudly when you make eye contact with them. The pet store would not take them in, but she was able to get a supply of baby bird food and a container of meal-worms and instructions. Once they were settled in at my daughter’s bed-and-breakfast resort, aka her dresser, reality set in. For me. My daughter, of course, goes to school and works full time.
“You’re gonna make an excellent Gramma!” encouraged my daughter as she started to sidle out the door.
And then she was gone. And I was left to serve meal-worm sushi rolls to four hungry chicks every 45 minutes…All. Day. Long.
The biggest one practically jumped out of the box at feeding time. The littlest guy needed frequent naps. I was never so glad to see the sun go down. I had a talk with my girl when she got home.
The next day she sat sadly in the car with her fluffy little wards, heading for the wildlife refuge center 20 miles away. They gave her a number to call for progress reports, if she wanted to follow up on their fledging.
She still carries a little resentment about my lack of grandparenting enthusiasm. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I will be retiring to Tahiti. They can Skype me. But they can’t reach me.
Post Title: Sunflower Psych
Post Date: July 18, 2014
Picture 800 giant Mammoth Sunflowers planted in row upon row in a corner of the elementary-school lot. This was one of my quirky ideas back when I was a volunteer. I come from a gardening family and raised my own kids around dirt and plants and tools of the trade. So, while the sunflower project was actually tied to an art lesson, the agricultural aspect of it turned out to be a real eye-opener for me.
Each class was led out to the garden area where I explained that we were going to plant sunflowers and spend the next weeks monitoring the plants until they bloomed. Each student had a popsicle stick with their name on it, which would help them find their own special flower during the wait.
I carefully handed each student a sunflower seed. They looked at me blankly.
“What do I do with it?” one asked.
“You walk over to the row and plant it,” I patiently explained.
One little boy stared at his seed very hard. “Do I eat it?” he asked.
“Well, you put it in the ground and bury it,” I said, “Then you stick your name beside it.”
They stood there staring at me as though I had suggested one of the stupidest things they had ever heard. It was obvious they had never planted a seed before. They could not fathom how putting something that had edible value here and now would be improved on by sticking it in the dirt and walking away.
I can’t decide which of us felt more crushed.
Over the course of the eight-week experiment, students came out and toured the expanding garden, searching out their own plants, measuring them, petting them, and encouraging them to Jack and the Beanstalk heights.
Title: The Forgetful Files | Address: theforgetfulfiles.wordpress.com
Author: Jolie | From: Escondido | Blogging since: February 2014