For most of my adult life – a vast and glorious amount of time – I have started the day by reading the newspaper and sipping coffee, with cream. I read and mumble about the news and then scan the obituaries, grateful that I’ve been given another day to seize. In all the stories, nothing incenses me more than reports about incompetent and abusive parents who shouldn’t be allowed to breed.
From my kitchen table where I read the paper, I can see the wreath on the front door. Last month, a robin began to build a nest in the wreath. I watched as she repeatedly brought twigs and leaves to create a perfectly secure home, and soon she was perched over four brilliant-blue eggs. And there she sat through storms, wind, rain, and heat to protect her offspring. She would fly away briefly, probably to eat, but then return. Any pregnant female can relate to that urgent need to eat, and during my two pregnancies I personally am responsible for the success of the chocolate chip industry.
The baby birds began to hatch this week, so every morning I enjoy a personal nature show as Mama Robin flies in and coughs up food into the squawking beaks. They would die without her. She’ll push them to the edge of the nest in a few weeks and show them how to fly, and then they’ll be on their own, as it should be. Then I’ll have to go back to grumbling over the newspaper.
It’s a sad indictment on humanity that birds and animals are often better parents than some people. Mother Nature doesn’t come with detailed manuals or instructional videos, but somehow they know what to do. OK, you’ll have the occasional sow that will eat her baby piglets or the male lion that kills male cubs that aren’t his, but for the most part, the parents protect their young at all costs. Think Mother Bear. I may be a bit punitive about this but I advocate sterilizing any parent who abuses a child. And if they kill a child, they don’t deserve the right to live. Rehabilitation, my ass.
So, it’s back to the newspaper and another cup of coffee. I hope Mama Robin returns next year with another brood. I’ll have the bird poop cleaned off the door by then.
Today’s blog is fueled by a 2008 Fraser Snake River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Fraser Vineyard, right here in Boise, Idaho. It’s around $24 at A New Vintage Wine Shop and a little more at A Grape Escape. I enjoy the velvety feel and the rich taste – the perfect choice for some afternoon bird watching.