Friday, October 15, 2010

A gross nature walk.

I am relieved to report that I finished my homework and submitted it yesterday afternoon. I don't feel that I did a great job on it though, and after I sent it in I discovered a significant error in one of my scenes. Oh well. What's done is done, I guess. I usually feel like a million bucks the day after I submit my homework, but today I have a bad headache, so I might not get much more than usual done. Too bad, because my house could use some major work. I took some Tylenol this morning, so if it kicks in I will try to go on a big cleaning spree.

So yesterday afternoon I went outside, to water the horses, I think. I found an injured bird on the sidewalk. It was a slate-colored Junco. I love those little birds. I think they are very cute and pretty too. Something a little different from the typical brown sparrows around here. Anyway, I think it was a female. I picked her up because she was flailing around and not able to stand. I was worried the dogs would get her. I say dogs plural because we have my sister's black lab, Magnum, staying with us right now. So I picked up this adorable bird. I could only guess her leg was broken because she could not support herself on that side of her body. She didn't appear capable of flying either, so I wondered whether her wing could be broken too. I wished in that moment that I were a vet. I have tried rescuing birds in our yard before, and I have never succeeded. I prayed for the little bird as I stroked her head. The dogs saw her and Magnum got very excited. I yelled at them to go away. I put her down briefly on the trampoline, hoping that there she would at least be out of reach of the dogs. She started thrashing again and I thought better of leaving her there. What if she fell off into their waiting jaws? So I moved her to the top of the stack of straw bales we have by the round pen. It was high enough that I could hardly get her up there, and wide enough that she should be fairly secure up there. I thought maybe the straw would keep her warm and maybe she would recover enough to fly away on her own. Not long after that I had to go back outside to let Sasha and Maybelline out of the round pen after they had eaten their pellets. I peeked on the bales but did not see the bird. I am short enough that I figured there was still a chance she was up there but I could not see her from my angle. Here are a few pictures of her.

I also found some weird bones around recently. I guess I didn't really find them. Really it was Radar who was toting something around in his mouth, so I had a good look at it, and for the life of me I can't figure out what it is. There is one bone that is about the size of a grapefruit. At first I thought it was a skull, but I don't think it is. I thought maybe a pelvic bone, but I have been googling animal skeletons and can't find a picture of anything like this. So, here it is. Any bone experts out there? What kind of bones are these? 

Any ideas, anyone? I also found some teeth. Here they are:

All I know about these is that they are herbivore teeth, and of course, not human. Haha. A very important distinction to make when you find bones in your yard, which we actually do fairly often. Could be from a cow or calf, could be deer...I don't know. I'd love to know though, just in case. Funny, I have been reading Kathy Reichs books, so when I found these I thought of her and wished I could email them to her to get her opinion. The weird bone has squiggly marks all over it too. I wondered what those meant. 

So yesterday was an interesting day for nature around here. Sadly, when I went out this morning to feed the horses, I found the bird. It was barely recognizable, but I saw a leg that left no doubt in my mind that it was the bird I had hoped to rescue yesterday. It made me sick, honestly, and I was so mad at the dogs. I don't know which one killed it, but either way, I find it tragic. I know, it's only a bird, but it was beautiful to me, and that was her only chance at life. Now it is over for her. The circle of life, right? Well, sometimes that is depressing. Did I mention a mouse also drowned in the dogs' water pail yesterday? Sheesh. Situations you don't often encounter living in the city but we see often enough around here. 

This is getting long, so I'll sign off. The two older boys are playing outside and Micah is hanging out in here with me and the cats. He is cuddling with Cricket right now. It's very sweet. Bye for now.

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