Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I became a mother...for two days.

Meet Baby!

Last Friday, I had the pleasure (and panic) of becoming a Mama Robin for two days. I found a helpless, hungry, motherless fledgling robin in the yard chirping up a storm. He wasn't scared of me at all and we bonded immediately. He followed me around and even let me feed him. Poor guy was starving and so weak. I dug up a few worms, mashed them up, put them on my finger and dropped them in his wide open mouth. Cuuuute. I also fed him some wet pieces of bread, which he gobbled up quickly. Turns out, you're not supposed to feed them worms or bread...whoops. Their digestive systems can't handle it. Dry cat or dog food mixed with water until it turns into the consistency of yogurt is the way to go. What would we do without the internet and chat rooms? I also learned that it's a myth that humans shouldn't handle birds. They don't have noses, so the idea of birds rejecting their young because they have a human scent on them is completely false.

I spoke with the Toronto Wildlife Centre and they directed me to Dianne, a woman who lives in Stayner (2 hours north of Toronto, close to Collingwood) who rescues and rehabilitates baby birds, raccoons, possums, and yes...even squirrels! The Wildlife Centre has a limit of how many baby birds they accept because they don't have the manpower to look after them. During the spring months, they are inundated with calls about abandoned baby birds. So I had two options, drive to Stayner or have the bird euthanized. Obviously it wasn't a difficult choice.

It's true, baby robins are A LOT of work. They require feeding every half hour to an hour for the first couple weeks!! Thankfully not at night though. Baby (my very original name for him) slept in our bedroom, in a box filled with paper towel and a towel in the shape of a doughnut to act as a nest. I put a heating pad under the box so he would be warm enough too. Best sleepover ever, though the little bugger woke up at 5:30am...and the feeding cycle started again.

But Baby was looking so much stronger and healthier the next morning. It was night and day actually. He was much more alert and even tried to fly a bit, though it was more of a hop fly. And still so hungry. The whole 'eats like a bird' expression, completely false. They eat. A lot.

Saturday afternoon Jean and I drove Baby up to Stayner to meet his new mama, Dianne. What an incredible woman she is, a total Godsend. She is the only one doing this kind of rescue and rehabilitation, because "you have to be crazy to do all this work for free," she says. Dianne doesn't get paid or have help and relies heavily on donations. And trust me, it is SO MUCH WORK to take care of baby birds, let alone coons (she currently has 20 babies), possums, skunks, squirrels...etc.

If you'd like to make a donation then please get in touch with me. Any amount helps! Thanks so much!

Baby will be released in two weeks and will go on to live as a country bird. Until then, he'll be chumming around with another baby robin that Dianne rescued a few days ago. They're the same age and everything. Love it.

Here are some...ok, A LOT of photos of my Baby. And yes, I miss him very much.

This is how I found him. Not alert and very lethargic. Couldn't very well turn my back on this now could I?

So very hungry.

Feeding time. One of many.

Bath time.

Nap time.

A little grumpy.

More food now please.

Food! And head stroking.

Time for bed.

Saying my goodbyes to Baby.

To the beautiful country! Where Baby will now live out his happy life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The garden grows!

Well our little garden isn't so little anymore. All this rain has made it explode into abundance. These shots were taken a couple weeks ago and it's even bigger now. The tomatoes are really going strong, as are the sunflowers, climbing sweet peas, herbs and squash. Pics of those to come next week. For now, it's all about the arugula, spinach and pretty flowers.



RIP to our beloved Black Locust Tree. Sob. Our landlords had it planted last fall and we all waited patiently to see what it would do come Spring. Well, just when we thought she hadn't made it through the winter, she started growing cute little leaves and we all rejoiced! And then she bloomed beautiful, white, sweet smelling flowers that wafted through the air and into our house. So sweet in fact, that a big fat coon thought the flowers were fruit and decided one night to climb it and investigate. Well his fat ass snapped our tree in half and we awoke the next morning, in horror, to find the top half, blooms and all, lying on the grass. Devastating. Surprisingly, the bottom half continues to flourish. That Black Locust..she's a fighter! So we'll see what happens and if she doesn't thrive, then another tree will be planted in the fall.

Here she is, in all her glory. Jean took the beautiful macro shots.

Michael Jackson: 1958 - 2009

I'm still in shock that MJ is gone. Like millions of others, I grew up with his music. My sister introduced me to The Jackson 5 and Michael (thanks Steph!) when I was a very little person. Billie Jean, I Want You Back, ABC, The Way You Make Me Feel, Thriller (amazing how that video still creeps me out), Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Bad and the list goes on. There were routines with friends, lip syncs, mixed tapes and many failed attempts to moonwalk. The Jackson 5 will always remind me of summers at my cottage and Michael Jackson will always remind me of being young and thinking I had the coolest sister in the whole world who listened to the coolest music. I remember staring at his poster on Steph's bedroom wall and thinking wow, that guy is awesome. Found a picture online of that exact poster..oh the eighties.

Say what you want about him but let's remember that Michael Jackson was a musical genius and universally inspiring. King of Pop indeed.

“If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with."
- Michael Jackson