Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A hole in the sky

"There's a hole in the sky so the heavens can cry down on me..."

It's raining, in case you haven't guessed. A big clap of thunder woke me up last night, and then it poured. This morning the grass and flowers were all sodden and the leaves sagging from the weight of raindrops. The sky is the color of lead.

A bird flew into the house - I left a window open to air the rooms out a bit. Maybe he wanted to come in out of the rain! He left right away - I guess he didn't like Auguste barking at him. Auguste was Very upset that a bird dared come into the house. It might have been a barn swallow - they build their nests in barns under the rafters.
My daughter found a nest one day that a cat had knocked down. The mother bird was just a pile of feathers - nothing left. The babies somehow survived the fall and my daughter gathered them up (there were three of them - tiny, almost bald, ugly things with gaping yellow mouths and wild eyes) We shoved some bread soaked in milk down their gullets, and then wondered what to do with them. The babies, stuffed full, hiccoughed softly, blew bubbles of milk, and fell asleep.
My daughter and I went back to the stables to search for another nest. We found one that I could reach with a step ladder - & there were already three babies in it. I started to slip the orphans into the nest, one by one, when I noticed the mother swallow not four feet away from me. She was sound asleep, her head tucked under her wing. Thank goodness my daugther and I hadn't been talking or making noise. We finished and tip-toed away. For a day we stayed clear, not daring to hope. Two days later we went to the stall and looked up. Mother and father swallow were busy feeding their brood - of 6 baby birds! They hadn't noticed the additions - or didn't care. Our three orphans survived!


Lyn Cash said...

Aw - what a sweet story. (And loved the Frog tale on previous post - ROFL.)

Liz Wolfe will probably leave a note for you on my site later tonight (her time) - she has internet connection issues and is going to her sister's to compute tonight - lol.

We had that rain you're getting - and I think more is on the way.

Have a great day, girl.

Sam said...

Thanks Lyn,
I'll keep an eye out for Liz's note (I really loved her book Breeding Evil and will get her next one when I'm in the states this summer)
The rain is still raining, lol. It keeps stopping and I get hopeful...and the whoosh - down it pours!

Madeline Hill said...

What a wonderful tale!!!!

Gabriele C. said...

Awww, that's a sweet story indeed. Swallows are said to bring luck to a house so we always allowed them to build their nests under the gable above the garage even though that meant my father had to use an umbrella to get to his car without gathering certain white adornments on his suit.

The neighbours always kicked the nests off in the building stage. Gah.

In the end, we had a veritable colony of swallows under our roof.

Sam said...

I love swallows because they eat flying insects, namely mosquitos and flies. So swallows are my friends!

FeyRhi said...

We have two Robin's nests here. The on in the tree out front is too high to get a look in but there is an unholy racket going on up there today so I think that someone has hatched. *G*

The second was discovered out back in the hedge. My husband was triming the top down to a more manageable level and almost fell off the ladder when a bird flew out at him. I don't know who was more startled. LOL So now I have a nice flat hedge with a stickyuppy patch in the middle. He says he will trim it even after the babies are born and have left the nest. Big tough guys are such softies.

Bonita said...

I have 3 psychotic robins who visit my home for about 2 to 3 months every year. They throw themselves at different windows at my home, bounce away, then throw themselves at the window again. They do this over and over every day at either the library window, foyer window, one living room window, or my bathroom window (and only those 4 windows in a house that has over 20 windows) . At first, I was the only one of my family who saw them, so my family thought I was imagining the problem, then the rest of the family slowly saw the birds doing the same thing.

Wynn Bexton said...

Funny thing, I haven't noticed many (if any) robins about this Spring. Could it be the cold, rainy weather? Yet I hear lots of birdies singing. And now and then it gets mild enough to put my cockatiel out on the balcony where he can get in touch with other birds (he, who thinks he's a person!) I'll be SO glad when the warm weather and blue skies arrive!

Cheyenne McCray said...

Ahhhh. How cute. So glad it all turned out. You have such a way of telling stories, it's wonderful!

Jona said...

That is lovely :o)

Michelle B said...

What a great story! I'm so glad you were able to rescue the orphaned baby birds:)