Saturday, June 28, 2014

Thirteen Years with our Sweet Little Chile Pepper

I always assumed the universe was smirking at me, just waiting for the day my child turned 13. 

"Payback time!"

And here it is, and here she is, and how did I get so lucky? 

(I won't thank the universe for sparing me until Acacia is done with her teens however, because the smirk is still there and I think I know why...) 

Happy Birthday Cayenne. We celebrate your birth - and the beautiful soul you are.

June 24, 2001


Monday, June 23, 2014

Flying Fledglings

Magpies would be startlingly beautiful birds if they weren't such asses. I was attacked by a few in New Zealand once. Just walking down a country lane minding my own business, when three magpies swooped down and dive-bombed my head à la Alfred Hitchcock.

So initially I was worried about our little robins, because other birds were the main threat I couldn't protect them from. But then Acacia and Nicolas noticed a huge nest way up in the Ponderosa pine and we knew that the magpies were going to be busy with their own newbies.

All four hatched and very swiftly the parents cleared out all the blue shells.
(Photo: June 1st)

(Photo June 2nd: Hints of feathers appearing)

But while they were housekeeping, I think they may have thinned the brood. The babies weren't moving enough to fall out of the nest yet, nor kick each other out. So I'm assuming the parents could sense something was wrong with this little one and hastened her fate:


The feathers grew so fast we could almost watch them sprout.
(June 3rd)

 This is exactly what our kitchen looks like about 5:30pm every day... "Mama! Feed Me!!"
(June 4th)

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Growing Super Hero capes is hard work.
(June 5th)

It's getting a little cozy in here.
(June 10th)

Pick me! Pick me!

Such pretty feathers

"Oi! You're sitting on my head!"

"I'm a teenager. I don't need to stick around this dinky nest. I'm outta here!"
(June 14th)

(And off he went. Acacia and I watched him go. SO COOL!)

"Hmmmm.... so now what do I do?? Mom!!?"

And Mom was there, not holding his hand, but putting herself in between her fledgling and the magpie who'd flown in and perched at the top of the tree.

"Omigosh I can't believe he did it."

"Okay. I'll go if you go."  

"You first."

(And he did, hovering over the white fur branch like a helicopter, unsure how to land. We were all laughing, poor guy. But he did great.)

"Just kidding!!! WooHoo! I have the nest to myself! Ahhhhhh...."

But eventually (a couple of hours later), he flew the coop, too. We missed that flight, but what a treat to watch the rest of the show, pre-eggs to first take-offs! 

  Thankfully the magpies, pretty-looking but ugly-squawking head attackers that they are, would still be preoccupied with their own hungry mouths for nearly another week.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Sometimes parenting feels like this...

... but mostly it's like this: