Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
It started when I noticed that the Fleabane was starting to take over the Milkweed and the Wild Violets. Should go pull that. Silver saw I was putting on my shoes and sunhat, and began chanting, Wanna go outside. Wanna go outside!" Fine. His wings were clipped about a month and a half ago. There's a breeze but so far he's not been able to gain any altitude. I put him on my shoulder and head for the flower bed.
I grab a large Fleabane, give a tug, it won't come, I pull harder and it jerks out. Silver startled by the jerky movement, leaps off my shoulder flapping. I stand up and turn around expecting him to be on the ground maybe 10 or 20 feet away, having flown safely to the ground. Hmmm. Where'd he go?I look all over the ground that's visible. No Silver.
Could he have gamboled off into the front yard in those few moments? I start to worry. I check the lawn in the front yard, behind the woodpile, and over the hedge. No Silver.
I check the ground between the fleabane and the walking track in the park.
Now I'm really worried.
I start calling his name. Nothing. The Spruce was just a few feet away when he took off from my shoulder. I crawl under the bottom boughs and look up with the boughs backlit. Still nothing. Now I'm coming a bit unglued. WHERE IS HE???
I check the Maple near the Fleabane.
And those near the garage, the whole time calling his name and walking around. Nothing. Okay what about a few of our call and response silly parrot numbers. I cluck like a chicken and then wait. His usual response to that is, "I'm poultry." Nothing.
Did he go AWOL, Over the hill, in order to attract and entertain the walkers on the track in the park? Nada.
I look at the back Spruce and into the neighbors tress. I can't see a thing. I decide to head to the front yard for another look. All the time watching for hawks. Yesterday, I saw a young Red-tail come out of the park with such a chubby ground squirrel that he was struggling to get any lift.
I start heading for the back Spruce, then curve toward the garden. Sharp whistle. I curve back, walk past the Spruce and check the neighbor's maple. I hear, "Want cheese." Look up and there he is, peering down at me. The little jerk.
Oh man, he is really up there! He must have caught the breeze just right under his wings and then flapped like a maniac. "Silver want down?" I try hopefully. He chuckles merrily. I have an urge to throttle him.
"Here Sweetie, come here, want up?" He turns around and heads for the other end of the branch. Bird you are pushing your luck.
I start to scoot along the branch and he gambols even further in the opposite direction. I look down at the branch. Wait just a minute. This branch isn't looking all the healthy. I weigh maybe 96 pounds in clothes and shoes. Which isn't all that much for a grown human but I'm thinking it's a LOT for this branch.
I stop. He turns around. Stalemate. As you can see we're pretty high up and I'd hate to ride the branch to the ground from here.
I wonder if my cousin Carol's grandson is out of school yet. Poor Carol, she's always getting the weirdest phone calls from me. I start punching numbers.
"Yes, we just stopped to pick up milk. Why?"
"Ah, well...I'm up in this tree..."
"You're up in a TREE???"
"Yes, up in a tree, Silver's up here too and I'm trying to get him down. Do you think that you guys could stop by on your way home for a few minutes and help me?"
Silver in the meantime is having a grand time in the tree comfortably preening his feathers. Pleased as pie with himself. He now has company, me, and life is wonderful.
Carol says it will be a few minutes and then they'll be over.
I ask Cole to go hunt around in the garage for something long to poke the branch behind Silver with in hopes of herding him my way. Cole heads for the garage and make another attempt at, "Silver up. Come on sweetie. Want up?"
He does a little more comfy preening. The stuff Cole can find in the garage is too short to get Silver's attention so we decide he'll take the ladder down, take it to the other end of the branch and see if he can menace Silver a little with it.
Cole starts bobbling the ladder and lo and behold Silver starts coming toward my hand.
Got 'em! I clamp my thumb down on the toes I'm holding, so he doesn't decide to hop off, and start scooting toward the spot where the ladder will reappear so we can get down.
The ladder clangs against the tree. Silver startles, pulls one foot loose, I've still got two toes but he's flapping madly. Then he leans down and clamps down on my thumb with his beak. He's momentarily hysterical not mean. He's frightened and freaking out. I let go. He flies down to the ground, settles his feathers, and takes a deep breathe. He's fine but my thumb is bleeding.
Cole foots the ladder for me and I take the slower than flying or falling method to the ground