Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Life is Short

It's been a couple of hours since I last looked in on the house wren babies. I watched them all go through the hole in the screen and heard chirping from outside as the mother fed them. Even the little runt hopped up and out the screen. It's been quiet for awhile now so I went out to look. The mother and the two larger fledglings are gone. The little runt fell to the ground and, unable to fly, was left there alone. He didn't make it. I buried him in the ferret graveyard on the side of the front yard.


An ambitious father house wren came into the screened-in porch on the front of our house this spring through a small hole that a squirrel had made in the screen. He built a nest on top of one of the porch columns, and this nest, unfortunately, was the nest best liked by Mrs. Wren, so they settled in to raise their first brood of the year there.

Four almost-fledged babies popped out of the nest and rambled around the porch over the weekend. Late last night there were only three alive and one sad, still one down on the floor in the corner. The parents were nowhere around, and the remaining three babies were huddled on the cement collar around the middle of the post.

I worried and fretted about them and went to wild bird sites on the Internet for guidance. If all is well, I learned, the mother will be back at sunrise to feed them, and she will continue feeding them every 15-20 minutes throughout the day. I went to bed resolved to wake Jessie early and send her out for worms or maybe to buy mealworms today at the pet store if Mom doesn't show up (shades of the year before last and the blind little sparrow who hatched on the same porch column).

This morning I went out to check on them and they were all in the same place with no Mom in obvious site. When I went over to look at them, two flew away and the third huddled deeper into the corner. I looked at him more closely and one of his wings is either deformed or just not all the way fledged. I hope it's the latter. While I was examining him, Mom flew by the outside of the screen and scolded me so I felt better about their situation and left them be.

Now I sit at my desk starting my day, and I wait for Mom to return to feed them. They have all moved from the column to the porch floor. It's chilly this morning so they are all huddled together for warmth. Maybe the one with the not-right wing fell and the other two flew down to share body heat and hungry cheeps with him.

Mom has been back, but Darwin is proving right. The two more developed fledglings are out-competing the little one for food. I'm afraid he is not going to make it through the day. In the spirit of non-interference interfering, I moved a shred of the nest from the column to the railing by the hole in teh screen and put the littlest bird in it. I figured the nest material would help him conserve body heat--and therefore energy--and putting him by the entry to the porch would make it easier for Mom to feed him. He was quickly joined there by his nest mates who snatched all the food form Mom when she showed up.

Nature is cute, warm and cuddly from afar. Up close, not so much.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

10-Day Detox With Kashi Yoga

Day four of my detox and I am feeling pretty good! No caffeine, alcohol, meat, dairy, salt, sugar, oil (other than the clarified butter I have before breakfast every morning) since friday and through next Monday. I'm basically eating kitchari (basmati rice, mung beans, a little veggies and spices), Moroccan oatmeal (whole rolled oats mixed with dried apricots, dates, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and cloves), and leafy greens soup. I'm drinking herbal tea, water, and more herbal tea. Dinner every day for the rest of the detox is a semi-fast--I get a pomegranate shooter (1/4 c. pomegranate juice, water and minced ginger).

I scrape my tongue, use a neti pot, and gargle with turmeric and salt water every morning. I meditate for 10 minutes after I drink my warm clarified butter (started with 1 t. per day and am moving up to 7 per day by the end) followed by a hot water chaser. I haven't been too good about doing yoga every day yet, but I'm working up to it. It's been 14 years since I did yoga and the simplest poses are now the hardest for me (child's pose, e.g.). Anytime I have to sit with my legs tucked under me it's almost impossible. I think my thighs have expanded too much... But I'll get better, and I hope to start doing it more often--even if only in our basement while Dave works out on the treadmill. Now to work!