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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Birds and the Bees
Gretchen over at Second Blooming shared her trip to the San Diego Zoo with her young son.  They were gathering data for a school project.  She posted wonderful pictures of the young manchild enjoying hippos, pandas and polar bears.  At the polar bear exhibit the group of children began shouting about the polar bears fighting.  Of course there were no fights only the rites of spring in the animal kingdom.

And it was going around.  We had gone to the nursing center to visit Edna, Gene's mom, this afternoon.  We decided to get Edna out of her room as some cleaning was being done and that had her upset.  The center has a small 3' x 6' x 6' aviary just down the hall.  There are nesting materials on the back wall with nests ready for use.  A couple of small limbs give the birds a place to hang out between feeding from the seed covered floor o one of the wall feeders.  When we walked up I had asked Gene if he thought the birds ever had babies.  He noted one of the nests on the back wall had an egg that was being sat on by one of its parents.

After some time of bird watching we moved across the area to a couple of easy chairs.  Gene placed Edna's wheelchair so she could talk to us.  Of course there is not a lot of talk with the Adcock family.  Lots of looking or just sitting and breathing the same air.  At some point we realized Edna needed a tissue so Gene went back to her room.  Making small talk, because all the non-talking can drive me crazy, I asked her how she was feeling.  To which she vehemently replied she wanted out of this place.  I mumbled something about we could not give her the care she is getting here just as Gene returned.   About that time was when we heard the singing.

Most of the birds in the aviary are in pairs.  One pair is possibly the small ground dove variety and the male was dancing and singing and strutting his stuff!  Oh, yeah, he was doing his best singing and swinging.  Tail feathers spread.  Really right here in back of Gene's mom.  Have you no respect?  And it was obvious nothing would stop that frisky little bird.  Eventually the pair flew up to the nearest limb.  Then the pair started necking, yes, necking.  They were picking the feathers off of each others necks.  And that is when it happened.  He began assuring the next generation of birds of the small ground dove variety.

We took a walk after that to check the status of the room cleaning.  It was not complete so up and down the halls to different windows to look outside.  Since the room was not ready, we went back to the aviary.  Things were calmer now with the doves cuddled together asleep on that tiny limb.  They eventually awoke and flew down for more food.  The male tried a little dance and song.  Edna saw it this time and laughed.  Out loud.  She laughed.  Somewhere in the fog of her mind she knew what was going on with the birds.  And she thought it was funny.

Once the room was ready we returned and watched a little TV.  She was not interested in much of anything on TV as Gene surfed channels.  He stopped on Dr. Oz and there were kids eating hot dogs.  Again, she smiled watching the children eat.  A fat guy helping Dr. Oz promote a "cut out the fat" campaign brought about a negative comment about fat people.  A little more channel surfing brought more pictures of children. We both noticed the only time she would be interested and smiling was when she saw a child on the screen.

This face Always makes me smile!
There is something about new life that gives us old folks hope.  Or maybe it brings back memories of our own youth.  The adults surrounding the children fearing the "fighting" polar bears were giggling.  Possibly new life and the acts of creation of life touch something deep within our souls.  Something that is close to our giggle boxes.  All I know is that today Edna smiled at the sight of a child eating and laughed out loud when the male bird strutted his stuff.  Seeing the smile and hearing her laugh was good.  So, thank God for smiles, laughter and the birds and the bees!

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