Friday, June 24, 2011

I know!

I know. I know. I know!
Enough with the bird already!

I can't help it!!
He's always doing something cute!
He lives here...

We are lucky enough to have a neighbor with a little forest right along our fence line.
Mo (as Ivan has nicknamed him) likes to sit in the branches of these trees.

if you are late with the food, then he will sneak through the fence railings and head over to our house.
This is not good because of Pounce.

Today Hannah and I went outside and the bird was in our yard making a racket!
I'd had a sprinkler running which had quickly filled up the edge of a future flower bed.
We couldn't believe it when he decided to take a bath!

See why I had to post about him again?

I've been trying to figure out why this is so cool to me.
I think its because, really, is there anything more wild or free than a bird?
And yet, this little bird treats us like family.
He recognizes the sounds of our voices and we know his (hers?).
He runs across the grass to get to us.
He absolutely trusts us.
He is a perfect example of when the ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The day started out with me putting the bird into the trees.
He spent the night outside in the yard, under his makeshift birdhouse.
He wasn't happy to be trapped in there all night.

It was a chilly morning... somebody put on their puffy jacket.

If you don't really believe that it could be that chilly, take a look at what we ran across only 1 1/2 hours outside of town.

Even the restrooms were still snowed in.

This is the snow level on Chinook Pass.
They only just opened the pass today for the summer, but unfortunately, the hiking areas we would love to have gone to here are, well, not ready to be hiked on I guess.

Just a few miles back in the direction we came and the snow was completely gone.
We wanted to hike Union Creek Falls, but because of the heavy snow melt, the bridges that cross the creek had been washed out.
We had to settle for a short walk along the creek instead.

We still had fun although our next outing will be a bit more planned out.
Ivan did the usual - pick up large sticks as soon as we step out of the car.
He's got his Cabo hat on - ready for action!

A thinker on a rock

and a 'moss'stache...get it!?

We're having a great start to the summer!
We've made our summer list (an idea I found on this fabulous blog last year) and are ready for all our adventures!

Dollar store was not my idea...just saying.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bird Update - Day 9

The wild world is calling - that is for certain.

Mohawk was very impatient this morning.
He hesitated in his basket for only a moment today.

He flew (flapped) straight over to me. 
I lifted him up to the fence line and he took no time at all to hop onto the fence and fly (leap?) straight onto a branch of the trees in our neighbors yard.
He landed safely...much to my surprise, but probably not his.
It's a pretty good even has a pool side view.

And lest you think he's nervous or anxious sitting there in the wide wild world...

Pure contentment.

As best I can figure with lots of googling, he is a blackbird species.
A run of the mill bird to most...but most amazing to us!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Certain Death on a Pile of Pasta

With the amount of butter in this recipe, there's no other appropriate name for it.

I decided to mash up a couple of recipes for shrimp (possibly best food of all time) to create something with the best of both worlds...buttery AND spicy!

So here it with abandon!

Spicy Scampi and Angel Hair Pasta
(also known as CDOAPOP)

2 pounds raw, peeled shrimp with tails off (51-60 ct)
1 c butter
3-4 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp. Original Old Bay Seasoning
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
16 oz angel hair pasta

  • Pre heat oven to 450 degrees F.  
  • Prepare shrimp and spread out evenly in a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan.  
  • Add garlic and remaining seasonings.  
  • Heat on low until butter is melted.  
  • Mix well and pour over shrimp.  
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked completely.
  • Serve shrimp over pasta...with the killer butter sauce on top!
  • Pretend to care about health by serving with steamed broccoli
  • Get your butt to the gym ASAP!

Oh yea!  Enjoy!!


I think that's what I would describe Mohawk as now.
He wants his freedom, but not quite ready to go too far away.
He wants to spread his wings (literally), but likes to feel secure.

Today we gave him some supervised time out of his "cage" while Pounce waited patiently in the garage.

First step, take a peek around.

Next, make sure the coast is clear...

Take a leap of faith...2 inches or so anyway...

Balance yourself and then...

...flap over to the next closest available perch!

He's definitely not ready to fly yet - his feathers are not all completely out, but he does like to get out of the basket, so we took him to the shady part of the yard and let him move about a bit.

Once he flapped to the ground, he ran straight towards our legs and stayed between them while he checked out the scenery.
First he went to Ivan...

Then visited Hannah...

Jenelle was content to watch from a distance.

I don't know what the days ahead hold.
I know that he may be at a disadvantage because we've raised him instead of his bird family.
I hope that his instincts kick in when they should and he can feed himself and keep himself safe.
I hope we haven't doomed him.

But I'm glad we didn't choose the alternative.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Alive and Cheeping...Loudly!

Tomorrow will be one week since we found the helpless baby bird we named Mohawk.
I've never seen anything change so fast!

Day 6

Day 7

And the crazy thing is...he's changed even since these last three pictures were taken this morning!
He's getting more and more fidgety just hanging around.
I moved him to a smaller...and shorter nest - a long ago retired Easter basket.
He doesn't need a lot of space to move around, but he sure wants to see over the side!
Tonight he even took a little jump up onto the edge of the basket.
And also...ah oh!
What next?

In other news around the home, I forgot to mention we have a third member of the family who is capable (with some assistance) of mowing the yard.
That's not a scowl of anything other than excertion, but...
Does she love it?
Does she still have to do it?
Do we pay her?
Can I believe how fast SHE is growing up?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bird Update - Day 5

Today is the 5th day that we've had Mohawk.
I guess it makes sense, but its really hard to believe how fast these guys change.
Two days ago, we took some pictures and noticed that his feathers were starting to appear.
Look closely.
Do you see the tiny paintbrush looking things?
Those are the feathers slowly growing out of the...I guess you might call them quills?
(reminder to it later)
Not his most flattering side.

Today they are even bigger and more visible.
See his little tail feathers?

This little bird is amazing really.
I know he's a dime a dozen - whatever he (she?) is, but to get the chance to see it all "up close" is fantastic!

l've decided that we should be feeding him mostly worms now.
And this is a sign of true love for the bird because I HATE worms!

I mean tell me...what's to like?
But, this bird LOVES them!

He likes to be held in our hands outside of the box and when we do that, he goes quiet and looks all around.
There is a pattern to his cheeps and chirps.
Just like a baby, he has a hungry cheep cheep and then later, a contented chirp which point, he likes to get under the material in his box and go to sleep...awwww...

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Two days ago, I was sitting in my kitchen with the windows open.
I heard a commotion and recognizing the sound, I figured he was at it again.
Yes him.
Bird killer.

The sound was typical...a frantic cheep cheep cheeping!
I don't usually get involved, but when I looked out the window, something looked different.
He sauntered up the driveway with a mouthful of something and plopped it down on the grass and proudly sat beside it.
IT turned out to be a helpless baby bird!

Jenelle and I went outside to get a closer look and our neighbor joined us.
Amazingly, the bird managed to make it from wherever he was captured all the way to our Pounce's mouth...unharmed.

So, we have adopted a baby bird - of what sort we don't know yet - for the next 10 days or so.
He started out looking so fragile...

We put him in a little box with some straw to make him warm and comfortable...then...

Now what?

After a little online searching, I found that you can feed them boiled sliced egg whites and mash the yolk with a little milk.
Ivan frantically pointed out that this was a sort of cannibalism.
Hadn't thought of that.

After more reading, I understood that the bird had a very little chance of survival with us.
I would have loved to put him back in a nest (it's a myth that the mother's won't take them back...they can't actually smell our human scent), but after searching - and not really knowing where he came from in the first place - we were unable to find a nest.

Anyway, he made it through the first night in the garage and the next morning I decided to try and call for help.
I called the animal shelter, but they have no resources for birds.
They referred me to the Fish and Wildlife department.
I found the name of the person who takes in small birds.
She told me that she wouldn't take any hatchlings or nestlings (of which he is one) as they are too much work..."not worth the effort".
She told me that if I wasn't going to keep it, then I should wrap it in a newspaper and hit its head with a brick!


Jenelle was in tears when she thought I might kill the bird.
I will not kill the bird.
I cannot kill the bird.
He has a face only a mother could love but...

He has made it through two nights and two days.
He spends his nights in the garage and his days on the back porch...under a weighted laundry basket much to Pounce's frustration.
He chirps and chirps like crazy when he hears our voices.
He gobbles up dried cat food that has been soaked in water and today he ate fresh dug worms!
He closes his eyes, chirps softly and falls asleep after a tummy full of food.
He's already bigger and stronger than two days ago.

I know he still may not make it.
But I would rather teach my kids this lesson than the other one.
I'll keep you posted!