Do you know what dogs, birds and mice have in common? My unconditional love of all creatures, great and small.
This last week I encountered all three.
Dark Eyed Junco
In late March I wrote about my amazing discovery, a small dark-eyed junco nest. Mama junco built her little house in a Nandina shrub growing on my client’s patio. She lined the nest with fur from the resident Lab.
Mama junco ‘posed’ for pictures a week ago Friday from a nearby tree. I left with a bounce in my step, looking forward to seeing her again the following week. When I returned Tuesday there was no sign of her. She’s either abandoned the nest or met with a darker fate. It’s been a full week since any of us have seen her. Perhaps the recent commotion around the front door sent her packing.
I’ve wondered if she registered the potential for trouble and simply decided to start again elsewhere. My client generally enters the house from the garage, so the front door, near a sheltered patio and elevated from the street was probably a good spot. Now realtors, inspectors, potential buyers and garden bloggers are traipsing past her tiny home. My hope turned to sadness by weeks-end as I passed the lonely collection of tiny speckled eggs.
Field Mouse/Cat Mouse
Thanks to the milder weather, I opened the back door early as I went about the start of my day. Rounding the corner to our entry way, I heard a tiny squeak in front of the neighbor’s cat. The cat, named Mighty Mouse, brought in a tiny field mouse, alive but obviously stunned. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a small plastic tub. I shooed the cat, covered the mouse and called my son for help. He isolated all four cats in different rooms while I tried to figure out what to do next. I could see tiny feet poking out and hoped she wasn’t injured. I placed a weight on the tub and ran for my crafting mat. Slowly and gradually I slid the mat below the tub until the mouse was completely trapped between the layers. I released the mouse at the edge of the deck, hoping she wasn’t someone’s mother. She was wet from the grass and stunned, but seemed unharmed. I went inside for the camera, reasoning that if she was gone when I got back, all was well. Much as I wish I had her picture, I’m happy she moved on.
A Lab Named Rosie
I finished my week in the company of Rosie, a gorgeous sweetheart of a dog. Her loving ways and sounds of contentment when you give her a scratch are endearing to all. Rosie is perhaps too old to chase mice, but several strands of her lovely fur line the now-abandoned nest of the dark-eyed junco. She’s still in the game.
How about you? Do creatures play a role in your life? Do you have a story to share?