June- Baby Birds and Labrador Retrivers…
A dog story… excerpted from “A Lesson from the Birds” The Old House by Curt Iles
It’s time for all of the rites of summer- It’s now warm enough for swimming in the creek, and ripening blackberries are ready to be found in the thickets. In gardens, purple-hull peas are ready, and watermelon vines are beginning to run, a reminder that the end of June will yield those famous sweet Sugartown Watermelons.
Early June begins a special time for me- Its summer camp! For the next twelve weeks we will have the joy of hosting thousands of campers of all ages.
Just like clockwork, this week of summer camp coincides with the first baby birds leaving their nests to fly. In the last two weeks I’ve seen several young birds hopping on the ground, old enough to leave the nest, but not quite ready to fly for any distance.
This is a dangerous time for any young bird. Due to their limited flying capacity these young birds are easy prey for cats and other predators.
Just last week our Labrador retriever, Ivory, trotted up to me in our yard. In her mouth was a squawking young mockingbird. She brought it right to me just as if we were in the duck blind and it was a mallard drake.
As I took the bird from Ivory’s mouth, I was relieved to see that it was not injured other than being scared to death. I thought to myself how this bird would have a story to one day tell its grandchildren: “The infamous day when the large white monster captured it, when it was just a young fledgling.”
I carefully placed the mockingbird on the limb of a nearby tree. It flapped its short wings but didn’t move from its perch. I went out at dark and it was still perched right where I’d placed it.
The next morning it was gone and I hopefully wished it was now flying somewhere high in the sky.
I wish it well and wish it a long happy life.