Monday, May 10, 2010

The Tragic Weekend

Dear Amy,
Happy Mother’s Day yesterday! I hope your day was filled with fun with Pat and Tom and lots of special gifts and favors from the kiddies. Oh, and good food. I know what you were planning for dinner…and YUM! We had a very relaxing day and even enjoyed some sunshine…a marked difference from the rest of the week. It was nice to get a break from the rain and wind.

With leads me to a story…a tragic heart-wrenching story. Brace yourself. A couple of months ago, we noticed a small hole in the ground next to my studio. I was confident that we had a renegade gopher on our hands…a destructive, little rodent hell-bent on wreaking havoc…possibly the very same furry mammal that moved on from our neighbor’s yard just last year.

So, we watched and waited, trying to catch sight of the occupant of said hole. I even lightly covered the hole to make sure that there was something actually residing there. Yep, the hole was uncovered and groomed by the next morning. Huh. Still we watched and waited…watched and waited…waited and watched. Nothing. Then my mind started to race with the possibilities of what might be living in the hole…other unsavory rodents…and right beneath my studio! Eek!

Then I saw him. I was glancing out the back door one evening when I saw the cutest little body working its way around the periphery of the grass. I cracked open the door and off he shot toward the hole. I’d finally met my downstairs neighbor…a chipmunk. He wasn’t wreaking any havoc at all. In fact, he was helping me clean up after the birds under the bird feeder. I became quite fond of Chippy. Otto would chase him occasionally, but of course it was all in good fun and they both enjoyed it. Of course.

A few days ago, I put up an old ladder to use as a trellis for my monster clematis that is overtaking the side of my studio. In doing so, I accidentally brushed some dirt over Chippy’s hole. No big deal, I thought. Chippy will clear it out by morning. But he didn’t. And it wasn’t cleared the next day. And yesterday I started to panic a little. I was gearing up to clear out the opening to Chippy’s abode myself, when Rit delivered some tragic news. She had found Chippy…belly up in a 5-gallon bucket filled with rain water from the storms.
My heart sunk. Poor Chippy! What a horrible way to die! I had left the bucket right side up on the other side of my studio. I know better. I think this was the bucket I was stood on to see over the fence to make sure our neighbor kids weren’t starting our cedar fence on fire AGAIN. I’m racked with guilt. And poor Chippy is gone…cut down in the prime of his life…or so it seemed as if he was at his prime. Sigh. Sad. So sad.

Many, many animals have met an unfortunate demise in our yard. I understand the whole circle of life thing, but this is too much! As an animal lover, it pains me to bear witness to it EACH AND EVERY TIME! The dogs have killed bunnies in our yard (read about one such instance here), occasionally a hawk makes a quick meal of the birds at our feeders, birds have fallen from nests and baby bunnies have jumped to their deaths (read about the Georges here and here).

And now, to make matters quite possibly worse, we have a robin’s nest on our front porch. It’s built directly on top of our porch light to be specific. It has four eggs and we are keeping a close eye on things. And by we I mean all of us, including the boys. DeAngelo is obsessed with seeing the nest every time we leave the house. But I can’t help but feel that our yard is like one big death trap for small, innocent animals. I don’t want to expect the worst, but I’m struggling to hope for the best. Please, please, please, little robins, LIVE AND FLY AWAY!

So, yep. That’s our house. We seem to be magnets for animal misfortune and parquet flooring. I try to make an happy, healthy abode for our animal friends, and yet disaster always seems to strike. We hate our parquet flooring and yet we cannot escape it. The awesome house we have an offer on? Yep, you guessed it! PARQUET FLOORING…and lots of trees…a haven for wildlife…that can’t be good.

Love, Kate


David, Hillary, Ethan, Jefferson, and Samuel said...

We have a robin's nest right under the eave of our deck, so we can sit at our dining room table and see the little birds quite clearly. Of the 4 summers we've been here, this is the third time they've nested in our deck. It's awesome...but a bit stressful. Once they get big, I swear they're going to fall right out of that nest and splat on the concrete slab where I'll have to clean up dead baby robin. But it hasn't happened yet. In fact, our babies are stretching out right now. Let's hope they don't accidentally wrestle one of their siblings onto the ground. :s

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