Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Favorite Photo (How Can I Choose?)

I'd like to thank Penny at The Hen House for tagging me to show and tell about one of my favorite photos.  I had such fun seeing and reading about hers; be sure to pop over and have a look.

Mine takes some storytelling and understanding.  Mind if I start with that?  So better go grab a cuppa, because this is a tale . . .

(Please bear with me, a photographer, I am not.)

In early June, 2008, I was on my way to pick up my son from school when a terrible storm overtook our area.  In a few short minutes, the skies darkened and water poured down.  The winds tore through the trees, causing me to take stock of each one as I waited in the stopped traffic on the rural road . . . if it fell, would it reach me? 

Eventually, I made it to the school and the worst had passed enough for them to release the students.  We wound our way back home slowly, carefully . . . most of the roads had been blocked by fallen trees, the very roads I had just traveled to school.

We had been lucky.  No trees on our property were damaged, but most of our neighbors weren't so fortunate.  Trees were down everywhere.  Once everyone had returned home, everyone pitched in to help where help was needed.

As they finished helping our neighbor clear a fallen tree, my husband and son found a tiny baby bird in the grass.  No nest to be found.  No parents came for him.  Such a little, cold, wet heap, no one in the neighborhood thought he could be saved.  So they brought him home.  We made a clean, dry, warm nest for him and put him to bed on a heating pad; at least he would be dry and warm.  I steeled myself to find a dead little baby bird in that nest that next morning.  I made sure to get up before the kids and head them off, saving them such a sad sight.

This is what greeted me the next morning:

June 5, 2008

Such a precious little thing!

We had no idea what kind of bird he was, quite the odd face he had, along with a soft beak.  And try as we might, we could not get him to eat.  He was quite the going concern that morning as I knew time was passing without him having eaten.  Then it dawned on my husband, he was a mourning dove.  Yes!  That explained his face, his soft beak, and his refusal to open his mouth for food.  Doves are not gapers, they are force-fed.

So I fed him water-soaked cat food, prying his beak open and pushing food into his throat.  It worked.  I could just see it nourishing and strengthening him.  Those first few days, he needed to be fed every 2 hours. 
He stabilized and then strengthened and grew.

June 6, 2008

June 9, 2008

Eventually, he could stand.
By this point, we talked about him a lot, and thought he deserved a name.
We named him, "Lester."
June 11, 2008

And soon, he would pick up some seed.
June 14, 2008

And then he began to be a real mourning dove.
June 20, 2008

And soon, it was time to let him go . . . and he went.
And I knew I'd miss him.
June 30, 2008

He hung around the yard for a while, and I was thrilled.

July 2, 2008

And then he disappeared.
And I was heartbroken.

It was about a week later,
when I peered out the kitchen window and saw this . . .

July 10, 2008

My little Lester had come backl!
I was overjoyed to see him.

He hung around the yard all day and night,
Snoozing on my laundry line,
peeking in my kitchen window,
resting on the deck railing.

And one day, another storm began brewing.

As the wind swirled . . .

And the skies darkened . . .

And all creatures headed for the shelter of home . . .

Lester followed us right in the door and stood in the middle of the dining room.

And she's never left.

 (Favorite Photo)


Thanks again to Penny

Now to tag a few of you to participate:


Tag . . . you're it!

Post your favorite photo and tell us about it.  Then post a comment here at Tara Cain's blog to be part of the photo display.


Chickens in the Basement said...

Wow! Do you know how lucky you are that Lester survived! I find injured babies all the time and have consigned myself to keeping them as comfortable as possible until they soul's fly away. And to have him come back and be a part of your family...I love it.

Now, I'm going to scroll through my photos and see what story I can come up with!

I need a little educating...what's a meme?

sissie said...

This is an amazing story about Lester. He went out to discover the world and then came home to be with his real family. So heartwarming. It's great that you took all the photos of him so you could tell his story.

Bless you for rescuing the little guy.

Weza said...

What a wonderful story... Lester is one lucky loved birdy.

Now i have to think... my favourite photo. HMMM

seaside45 said...

I love your story and photos. I've "saved" two stunned sparrows on separate occasions after they struck our sun porch windows. They just needed to recover without being grabbed by hawks. I was thrilled to see them fly off into the trees. Your story has such a nice ending. Great story and the last photo is really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Renee, I remember you telling us about Lester when you first found her. Once she decided to be a part of your family permanently, I knew you would one day be a "chicken" family just like us! Thanks for sharing the story and pictures.

Miss You.


bad penny said...

I love this story & you told it so beautifully. Wonderful & the photo is lovely

Thank you - you've made my day xx

bad penny said...

PS - I've never heard ogf a mourning dove - beautiful colouring . We get a lot of wood pidgeons twhich look a little like doves and have a lovely "coo" calling.

Horrible thing happened yesterday -found the hens eating the leftovers of a dead bird one of the cats must have got. I suppose it's only nature & as DD tells me the hens are mini dinosaurs but it did make me feel a bit squeamish that they could be so violent.

Chicken Boys said...

Do you still have her/him? He's a beautiful bird. Glad it was a done, and not some ugly black bird or something! My dad did that once with some squirrels, but he climbed the tree and stole the babies out of the nest. He was a young kid, of course, but said he kept those squirrels for a few years!

Di in Indiana said...

Love it!

Mary said...

I came here via Anna. She named me to join in this meme so I'll have to work on that later, however I'm just in awe that the sweet dove made it with your help, and has become part of your family! What a delightful story and beautiful pics.

Tomorrow I'm posting on the sweet birds who visited my fountain this morning! Hope you'll stop by.


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