what of the mother phoebe?
Sunday, June 5 2005
There are three baby phoebes in a new nest built just this Spring atop the east deck's outdoor light. They've grown rapidly and now barely fit within the parabolic confines of their tiny residence. For awhile it seemed that only one of their two parents was tending them, leading me to suspect that the female had either died or gone off to start a second nest with a different male (this is common among phoebes). But today I saw both parents were busy fetching the babies plump green insects. There are three possible explanations: the female has been feeding them all along and I hadn't noticed, the female started another nest which failed, or the female is now taking a brief vacation from incubating her second nest so she can attend to her first batch of young during a crucial phase of their development. Why, after all, would she want to miss their nest graduation, their first flight? Oh, that's right, an intelligent designer would have never placed such a desire inside a non-human head.
Unlike in past years, I've seen no cowbirds this year at all, and so the babies being raised by the phoebes are all actually phoebes. Perhaps a rainforest where the cowbirds overwinter has been converted into pasture for the production of all-beef patties.
This evening Gretchen and I attended a big party at the Eagles Nests' place up on, well, Eagle's Nest Road. It was the 30th anniversary of the day the two met. He was 23, she was 35, he was a hitchhiker, she was a seasoned professional photographer. They've lived on Eagle's Nest for most of the ensuing years. Part of tonight's activities consisted of a slideshow from their early years, up to but not including the birth of their daughter. I found myself being unexpectedly moved.
Later in the party I Gretchen and I randomly met a couple in which he's a computer database developer with a strong interest in speed metal and she's a writer. They both live in Rosendale. Later, though, we learned that they're in the process of breaking up because she's 40 and wants a kid while he's 32 and doesn't.
For linking purposes this article's URL is:feedback
previous | next