Monday, May 19, 2008

No killing the killdeer


Mama Killdeer near her nest


Amazing how nature provides cover and camouflage for these eggs! Finding them is a bit like playing "Where's Waldo?" The mother, when she's sitting upon them, is virtually invisible, too.


Enviro-Girl believes in keeping hardened criminals off the street--especially those prone to recidivism. For a couple weeks she'll be warden to Lady Violet, Semi-Stray Cat and Huntress Supreme--much to the feline's consternation and to her own annoyance.

Last year a killdeer cleverly established a nest in Enviro-Girl's Eastside Flower Bed. Anxiously Enviro-Girl waited for the dappled eggs to hatch out so she could admire the fluffy babies. For eight days she and her family waited for The Big Moment. On day nine Enviro-Girl swung by the nest and saw a pile of feathers and no eggs--no shells--just the signs of carnage and devastation. The poor killdeer, her mate and her unhatched eggs were the victims of a crime so heinous, so reprehensible, Enviro-Girl was speechless with horror.

Lady Vi has a taste for fresh blood--Enviro-Girl has watched her lurk beneath the birdbath, shaded by a lilac tree. She has seen Lady Vi gulp down songbirds and spit back a few feathers with as much pleasure as Guy Fieri munching a chili dog at a Topeka drive-in. (Oh yeah, another Food Network crush--she'd totally go for a wax-paper-lined basket of deep fried food and a beer with him--doesn't he seem like the most fun?) What's to be done? Lady Vi also takes out mice by the truckload, rabbits and, most recently, a weasel. She's like a bounty hunter--sometimes the target is what Enviro-Girl wants taken out, other times, not so much.

This year another killdeer took up residence in almost exactly the same spot. Enviro-Girl and Mr. D conferred and reached a unanimous decision: Lady Vi will be in lock down until the babies hatch. To soften the blow, Enviro-Girl bought pouches of special cat treats, but Lady Vi will have none of it. She prowls around the fortress looking for a weakness (she's even considering Mr. G with a wary eye--might she convince him to set her free if she succumbed to his affections?). She yowls and meows, stands at the door urging us to open it. No dice, Lady Vi. You're staying in the Big House until the Probation Board meets in two weeks, so shaddup already.

In other news, Enviro-Girl saw her first hummingbird this morning, dipping into a tulip with swift grace. The lilacs just started to bloom and dandelions abound. She foolishly potted her annuals and had to cover them last night because of a late-season frost, but nevertheless, the glory days of springtime are here. Enviro-Girl even took a tentative step into the Back 40 and didn't sink up to her knees in mud, so she'll learn how to take soil samples later this week--stay tuned!

5 comments:

  1. Coming here always makes me feel more hopeful about our planet!! Good luck with Mr. T's tests, too. . . .

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  2. Hi GG

    Here are some fellow cat owners suggestions to prevent carnage -

    1 Have Lady Vi de-toothed
    2 Send Lady Vi on holiday
    3 Buy a savage dog and leave it on guard duty!

    No cats were harmed blah blah....hehehehe!

    Hope you have more luck this year - looking forward to seeing the babies!

    Hen

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  3. Killdeer! I can never remember what those birds are that bitch at us every time we walk by!

    We have 3 robin babies in one of our nests...the eggs from the other nest were destroyed.

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  4. I can't wait to see photos of the babies after they hatch.

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  5. Killdeer are so cool-they are really loud too. Do you have a big bell on Lady Vi's collar?

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Spill it, reader.