It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

La Paloma

There was a bird in the plant in the window box. She was just sitting there, looking very Zen Dove-like.
The bird left.
The bird came back, this time with tiny twigs.
I knew what this meant. A nest was being constructed in my plant . A baby dove was on the way.. or perhaps more!

One day a month or so ago, I discovered a sloppy nest in the plant and then there was an egg and then the egg disappeared and that was the end of that. We cleaned out the nest and watered the plant.

Now each day , the dove works on her nest with such quiet expertise, one would think this is all they do, but is it ?
Is this her first?
Nature just thumps me on the head sometimes and reminds me of how wonderful it all is !

She is a small perfect dove. Not as my son says , a pigeon, this is Paloma.
She and her mate ( who mostly just watches over the proceedings) are busy each day working on the nest.
Now she is just sitting there. I had to look them up .. the male will sit days and the mama nights and they don't move, unless it is to turn the Evil Eye on you for peeking out the shade to look at them.

I also read that if you scare them away, they might not return, leaving eggs and or even babies abandoned.
I don't think I could cope with that sort of burden on my conscience so the shade went down and we only peeked by looking through the tiniest of spaces between the shades.
It worked, I could see her or him, sitting calmly .. rain or shine. Of course, the poor things were there when we had an amazing summer storm, wind, rain, hail .. the window box is sheltered but the rain still came in and they were soaked. Rain beads up on the feathers, but that those two little eggs were warm and dry. I also read that doves heat up really hot and I was glad to know that those eggs were always warm and dry, I had already named the babies.
Paloma and Evita were the names. The eggs had this translucent pink glow to them, they were undoubtably Girls.
One day the mama flew away for the entire night and I was unable to sleep. Every few hours I would look out there, those 2 little eggs, cold and alone. I worried.. I took full responsibility for her flying away, I moved the shade. I was my fault, the fate of 2 little doves is on my head.
In the morning, my husband woke me up with the good news that mama or dad, was back on nest duty. Now I just had to worry that both eggs hatched.

On Valentines day, we had a baby !! well, A baby dove hatched. She was immediately named Valentina. She really didn't look ready to be out of an egg. But as the days went by, you could hear Mama Dove cooing ( they are "Mourning doves" , that sound is what they do when happy, content, ready to make babies or cooing to their babies) .. About a week later, Baby Valentina was being fed and sticking her head out to look around, wobbly but there she was ... with the tiniest bit of feathers ...Evita never hatched.
This past week, Valentina was left alone during the day and she started exploring the window box, checking out the other flowers, probably very impressed with my Green Thumb and hopefully not looking down at the distance that she could fall.
I did that for her and worried.

Yesterday, I looked out there and baby was nowhere in sight! I looked everywhere. Well, almost, but then I saw Mama Dove on a ledge on the building looking over here at the window. hmmm..
So I grabbed my husband, saying we must go to the garden and look for the baby ! and dashed down to the garden courtyard in the back of our building.
Pedro the Porter came with us, no doubt thinking these Americanos are totally bonkers.

And looking up, there she was , our brave little Valentina, sitting on a little piece of metal that held a pipe to the side of the building, next to the window box. She flew ! An hour or so later, she and Mama were gone.

I just read that doves return to their nests 4-5 times. I threw the nasty empty nest away but they are welcome to come back and do it again if they wish. Although I wish I could put out a flower pot just for nests.


  1. Good morning, Candice! You made me laugh...can't imagine Pedro's face!!

  2. Pedro is a gentleman. No matter what he thinks , he is always polite and sweet. He sometimes seems as if he cannot figure us out, but then, he goes out of his way to help us so I think he just liked that we were excited about the baby bird :)
    We must supply so many people with good stories to tell their friends !


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