The Miracle Grow and the Wren
I love the pace of summer. The speed of life slows down. The long days offer adventures way past usual bedtime. This summer is no exception. When we normally would be in bed, we are now barefooted and sweaty, kids tearing out through the yard and me standing on the front porch hollerin with my hands on my hips. I’m sticky and wet from my sloppy job of watering my hanging baskets, and that my friends, is where this simple story begins. The hanging baskets.
I got them for Mother’s Day. They are big and beautiful and full. I have worked extra hard to keep them healthy and even went the extra mile with my milk jug full of miracle grow. There’s a lot of milk jugs in this story. Hold on to what ya got. One evening, as I stood on my tippy toes splashing blue miracle grow all over the place as my shaky arms held the gallon jug over my head, out jets a little brown wren leaving behind chirping babies. “I declare. We got baby birds and I’ve been soaking them down in miracle grow.” From then on, I very carefully only watered half of the plant, keeping an eye on the babies.
We started painting the house. When I say we, I mean Jon. I mostly just shout orders and clean up behind him, dream up more home improvements and shout out more orders. We’re spending a whole lot of time outside. I left the house to take Jesse to band practice and Mason stayed behind to keep working. Half way to the school he calls me and I answer on speaker phone. “MOOOOOMMMM!! One of the babies fell out!” Only he was breaking up, and I could hear the mad squawk of mad Mama bird in the back ground. “Baby bird *static* fell out *static* trying to put it back *squawk* Momma bird attacking me!” It was quit hilarious. So he puts the bird back, no harm done and we move in with our day.
Later that night I’m walking down our side walk and just as I step my foot down I hear peeeep, peeeep, and down on the side walk is crazy baby bird. He’s out. AGAIN. This time Alyson has witnessed the scene unfold…. Not good. The fact that she is now involved, brings this story to a higher level of fresh and fun insanity. Now friends, if you’ve read many of my blogs you’ve probably learned Alyson is the animal nut in our family. Me, not as much. But as I’m watching this crazy baby bird flop all over the side walk, Alyson shouting frantic orders from the porch, “Lord have Mercy that nest is too shallow!!” (she had suddenly morphed into a bird whisperer), my heart just broke. Little bird Mama is hopping all around her baby, trying to figure out how to save her. Crap. Now I’m committed.
The only rational decision was to make a bird nest guard rail. That’s just what we did. We made it out of Mason’s 9th grade lit folder. Boom. Problem solved. We saved the day. So we thought.
It wasn’t 35 minutes later we go to check on our clever little nest invention. I’m not ashamed to say we were pretty pleased with our resourcefulness. Now, thank God I had an empty milk jug in my hand as I made my way to the porch. Why did I have an empty milk jug? Well, it’s because I had been feeding my chickens and I have one that will flog the dickens out of me, so I whop that joker with an empty milk jug every time I go to feed them. Back to the story. We make our way to the porch and so help me if I’m lying I’m dying, there sits our big fat cat…with a baby bird chirping away from his mouth. You ain’t never heard screaming and carrying on like me and Alyson was doing. Maybe it was the screaming or maybe it was the fact I whopped that cat upside the head with that empty milk jug, but believe it or not he dropped the baby bird right where he stood and took off. Alyson rushes to pick up the baby. I was just certain it was dead. It was like the summer miracle. There in Alyson’s trembling hand was crazy baby bird all covered in cat slobber, but no worse off. His little heart was just a flying, but who can hardly blame him.
Alyson was drawing the line. The guard rail didn’t work. It’s time to start regurgitating our dinner and feed the babies with our own mouths. We should have done that from the get go. How could we be so blind?
I wasn’t feeling that plan much, but I was in a quandary. At this point, we were fully committed. I couldn’t bare the thoughts of walking outside to scattered baby bird parts on my porch. Through the all of the rescues and the fact we had literally saved one from the cats mouth, we had bonded.
Well, milk jug in hand, we come up with another plan. They needed a deeper nest, so that’s what they got. We cut the top right off that milk jug/chicken whacker/cat whacker what have you, and picked the whole entire nest up, slap full of babies. Some of them slept through the move, others flapped and flopped like they were trying to fly at too young of an age. We figure those were the ones that must have gotten the most of the miracle grow.
I prayed so hard that night. “Lord, I have no idea what I’m going to do with a milk jug full of dead baby birds. Please let them live. Please let Mama bird feed them. My Alyson’s heart will be broken if they die. Shoot. It will just about kill us all. Please let them live. Amen.”
First thing the next morning I rushed to the window like it was Christmas. There was Mama bird feeding her babies. She even seemed happy about her new house! I know them babies falling out of the nest was wearing her nerves out. I believe she really appreciated what we did.
So, for all y’all mad because we touched all them baby birds and got our smell on them, let me tell you what we learned. Mama wrens will take care of their babies if they get human scent on them. Heck, they will even take care of them if they got cat spit all over them. Every single one of them babies grew and flew away. Nana nana boo boo. I guess Alyson is a bird whisperer after all.
Have a great summer and enjoy all of your little summer adventures….