Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All Things Bright and Beautiful

To continue that wonderful hymn--All Things Bright and Beautiful/All creatures great and small/All things wise and wonderful/The Lord God made them all. I always thought this hymn such a quintessential English hymn. I grew up singing this, and thought the melody I knew to be the only one. Imagine my surprise when I returned to the United States to hear a different melody being used! Just didn't sound right.

Anyway, the other day I wrote about finding a dove's nest in the arbor vita by our front door. I have been greeting the dove each time I go out. Since we have had such un-spring like weather here--we have had days and days of rain, and temperatures about 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) lower than normal averages for mid-May, I have been obsessing over the health of this poor bird. There she (or he) sits, hour in hour out every day. When we had a terrific downpour the other day, I marched out with an umbrella and stuck it on the top of the arbor vita. After all, I had removed a fair bit of the cover the wise doves had factored into their decision to build their flimsy nest in my tree.

But I kept worrying about food for her. So, I got the bright idea--maybe I could slowly sneak a small dish of seeds in to see if the dove would eat. I know, I know--don't mess with nature. Of course, she freaked and flew out. Immediately, the other dove came fluttering in--I think he--based on size. The two of them put on quite a display--she doing the broken wing routine, and he strutting around giving me dirty looks.


Of course, I quickly peeked into the nest. TWO CHICKS. Really looks like a pile of fluff to me. But there they are. I am not a dove expert--nor even a bird expert--but I have read that mourning doves will raise several broods in a season, usually laying one or two eggs.


I learned my lesson--I have left the nest completely alone now.

Speaking of things beautiful, I did check out the rhododendron--what a blooming bush this year. All the rain, the cool weather--not sure what--but the blooms are massive. This is one bush.



And Alex the squirrel is back--one paw held curled to his chest, Napolean fashion, coming up on the small deck to ask for peanuts.

12 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

Interesting, I just read that both the male and female doves take 12-hour shifts on the nest.
http://www.stokesbirdingblog.blogspot.com

I'm glad Alex is back, although I would be happy to send you our unnamed squirrels filling our backyard and causing havoc at the feeders.

The rhododendron is lovely.

Femail doc said...

I'm sorry, I just had to laugh at the vision of you marching out there with that umbrella. I'd have done the same!

Ruth said...

The rhododendron is beautiful. We have had rain and cool weather for much of the month, even snow flurries this week. But the birds here are still busy with their nesting activities. I watched robins hatch last year when it was still very cool and they are tougher than they look.

LauraO said...

Sorry, I got a chuckle out of the mental picture of the umbrella too. Don't worry, mom and pop dove will know what to do to protect their youngsters from foul weather (no pun intended). We are having the same dreary rain for days on end. A miserable May.

egretsnest said...

If you leave the seed nearby, they'll likely eat it when they want to. Evidently, with Mourning Doves, both Mom and Dad sit the nest so they are undoubtedly taking turns! I love the umbrella solution, though. :)

dguzman said...

You're a good woman, Donna.

Anvilcloud said...

I used to sing that version in elementary school. I wonder if it was the American or British melody?

Ginnie said...

You live in an absolute fairyland. No wonder the doves chose your location to raise a family !

mon@rch said...

Those fluff balls are soo cute! Thanks for sharing and the many other photos you captured!

JeanMac said...

Great pictures and a nice story.

Mary C said...

Donna, your rhododendron is beautiful. I guess cooler temps and extra rain do make a difference with many plants. I loved your story about the doves. Thanks for sharing it.

Mauigirl said...

Wonderful story about the doves. And I'm so glad Alex the squirrel is OK! I used to have a pet squirrel that I had raised from a baby and she made a great pet. She lived to be 9 years old!