Category Archives: Home & Garden

Mourning dove drop off

Hive mind helped identify the stray fledgling we found in the street this morning — it’s a mourning dove.

Once I knew it was a species my local rehabilitator would accept, I gave her a call. By then we’d already brought the chick inside because it was shivering a lot. I sent pictures. She wondered whether it was sick or injured at all and suggested putting it back out near where we found it. So we did.

Hours passed and nothing much happened, though at one point we saw an adult dove on the telephone wire. I called the Bird Lady again. “It’s either settled down to sleep or to die. I can’t tell.”

She suggested we bring it to her after all. When we went outside to gather the fledgling up, a mourning dove was calling from nearby. What if it was the chick’s mother? Were we doing the right thing?

But north and west we went. It was 6:30 pm so traffic really sucked, but never mind. I honestly was relieved to not be watching the rest of (recorded) Nicole Wallace. Enough already.

I’d been to the Bird Lady’s house once before. Sure enough, up a windy wooded road, left at two forks, across another road and then fifth house on the left with the white pick up truck. She was outside wearing grubby white shorts and a loose tshirt. Eccentric but knowledgeable. She identified the bird’s age (just shy of fledgling) by turning its wings over and examining feather development.

She immediately determined that the bird was sick. It wasn’t warm enough. It had poop stuck to its rear. It was opening and closing its beak as if gasping for air.

Pneumonia? She will warm it up and give it antibiotics. I was almost relieved it was sick because it meant we’d done the right thing by interfering. I hope it survives.

Rescue, repair, and pause

We found this injured bird on the road this morning, then directed her to the curb, where she hop-flapped to this semi-sheltered spot. I promptly researched rehabilitation services without much success.

My Merlin app couldn’t identify her. Does anyone know? I think she might be a starling and that matters because the closest bird rehabilitation center does not take starlings. (why I wonder? Aggression?)

Or maybe it’s a northern flicker — although probably not because the beak isn’t long enough.

I pulled the curb-found birdcage out of the bed of day lilies and equipped it with seed and water and shelter from wind. It’s on our deck table under an umbrella, so it’s sheltered from rain too.

Sunflower seeds don’t seem like the right choice. Will have to research. Also, K wonders whether it needs more warmth?

Any and all advice welcome.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the table: a relic from the insulation in the basement “studio.”

A soggy mess to hear K tell it.

It’s a blessedly quiet morning here. Camp is over next door for the year, all the near-yard crews roared through yesterday, garbage trucks run and done, and many neighbors (I’m guessing) are getting the last of their summer fun on the Cape this week.

I’m on a quilt finishing spree (post coming about them) and also a pause (are the two related?) My summer writing workshop wrapped up on Tuesday, I’m taking a two week break on both the daily haiku and weekly Paris Collage Club responses. The calendar feels suddenly spacious.

I have a dental cleaning next week which I’m dreading with more than usual angst because of this loose front cap (can’t you just hear me — “Don’t polish it! Don’t floss on either side! Leave it alone!”), also a morning of babysitting for a new neighbor’s infant. Otherwise though the days are mine. Completely mine.

1975. Can you pick me out? Hint: earth shoes.

Smoke and grief

That sky is not filled with clouds. It’s filled with smoke. K and I managed a walk around the lake without feeling any harm, but I talked to one friend who has to stay indoors because her chest hurts trying to breathe this air.

We’ve been hard at gardening for the last hour and I think I’m done. It’s hot. It’s muggy. Gardening is satisfying and worthy of reporting but that’s not why I’m here today.

I’m here to say how much grief I feel about the Supreme Court going rogue.

Should I drape the house in black cloth? Wear my clothes inside out? I want to tap “SOS” in Morse code to the heavens.

When we lose a loved one, we cover mirrors, wear black armbands, attend a service, and pray (and by “we” I mean other people). There are many reasons why, but two good ones are to share the burden of it and to signal our loss to complete strangers.

What can we do now?

(What a day for Elmo Musk to institute bizarre viewing limits. Twitter might finally be broken. His timing feels intentional. Sharing outrage with like-minded people online is not nothing.)

There have been conservative courts before. There have been really bad decisions. Really bad. But the level of disregard for law and fact and basic procedure has reached epic proportions. Worse, this flagrant disregard is being wielded in service of Christian Oligarchic Nationalism.

I want to drape my house in black. Wear my clothes inside out. Tap SOS to any angels in the area.

If I were an influencer I’d start the hashtag: SCROTUS.

As Joyce Vance says at the end of her Substack entries: We’re in this together.

Discount equals self-esteem

New rules about apple picture storage meant I started looking for alternatives. I do not want to pay for cloud storage. Period the end.

So I downloaded Amazon pics app yesterday. An Amazon prime account offers unlimited free picture storage (but not unlimited video). I set it to automatically download my images but then wondered, if I exceed the free video storage amount are they gonna automatically subscribe me to one of the paid plans, thereby ruining my cloud work around? So I interrupted it.

Started looking through them. Lots of videos of the dog. And Lila, Billy’s dog.

Mostly though, it’s those collage slideshows that I’m sure you’ve seen. They’re important to me. Even though unsophisticated (I use only a free app and my phone to create them) they provide a record: what I was thinking about, what I was feeling. Attending to the repeated imagery reveals some themes: racial inequity, trauma, the overturning of Roe v Wade, trump’s destruction (ongoing).

I thought of posting a bunch of videos here and then deleting them from my phone but then wondered, what happens when I run out of the space offered by WordPress business (which is decidedly NOT free but which I kind of had to upgrade to after I ran out of the space afforded by the free WordPress platform)?

I’m not adept at this crap and I do wonder why $12.00 a year for the cloud (or whatever) is provoking this penurious response.

Are we allowed our inconsistencies? I spent $250 on annuals yesterday. Boom. And it wasn’t a first trip.

The fact that I get a wholesaler discount and saved $100 does not make the total a penny cheaper, but somehow it feels better? A tad victorious, even, which is a good thing when I am feeling defeated by so much else.

Where am I going with this post?

To the garden.

Garden notes:

** Almost all filling-in around the new patio was achieved with divisions. ** My new copper bird bath has yet to see any action (that I’ve observed), so I keep moving it. ** When I run out of steam, I put divisions on the curb and they are always taken. ** The feeders attract: blue jays, purple finches, nuthatches, sparrows and wrens, cardinals, woodpeckers. Yesterday I saw my first red-winged blackbird.

For those of you with more tech savvy, feel free to educate me. My husband and older son are blasé about this upcoming change. Maybe it only applies to “recent uploads” (1,000 pix) which apple used to automatically upload to cloud so they’d be available across devices — a feature that has never mattered to me because I don’t use my iPad for picture stuff and my laptop is not a Mac. Oy.

So the real limit I need to worry about is the storage in my phone. I guess.

Rain on Father’s Day

Kind of swampy out there.

We took Finn on the short loop and good thing, it started to rain as we rounded our corner.

This purple hoola hoop put me in mind of how vision gets cropped. Also, how random things can be. What’s inside the circle and what’s outside? Who left this here?

I’m working on this ground today and will write #PostcardstoVoters today, alerting Ohio voters to an August special election. NPR story here. First the GOP banned August elections, then they made an exception for this one. This resolution would make it harder to amend the constitution.

Why? Because “a group of doctors and citizens is currently gathering signatures to put an abortion rights amendment on the November ballot.”

On the Father’s Day menu: braised lamb shanks on cheesy grits with green beans in the side.

Instagram story includes K with the boys, K’s father, and three old photos of my father.

Here’s to all the good fathers in the world. I wish my boys could’ve met mine.