Yes, yes, I know you all expected reams of babbling about my precious Finches, but I have not yet adjusted to this newest infatuation and don't forget, I am old and tired. I have relocated them from the outdoor porch to the indoor sunporch figuring that I just can't trust the raccoon family with their agile fingers to live and let live.......better for the birdies to take their chances with several odd cats who seem able to ignore the new tenants with aplomb and a certain nonchalance. I have, thus far, achieved neither of those blissful states. But at least I can sleep at night.
Daytime hours are spent offering sliced grapes, lettuce tidbits and whole leaves of swiss chard which they attack wildly with their little orange beaks snapping and munching. Unfortunately I read in my research that they love dandelion leaves and blossoms. Hell, wouldn't you know it.......for forty years I have been coldly and mercilessly doing away with the dandelions in my lawn and now, all of a sudden, I need dandelions. I have found a few errant plants in my garden, but I fear I will have to secretly rob the neighbors in the dead of night or openly just beg in the daytime.
Meanwhile, I have ingeniously turned a cut down CoolWhip container into a Finch Swimming Pool and was tickled beyond words today to stand there with my nose 3 inches away while they cavorted and splashed and doused me with tiny drops of water from their antics and ruffling of feathers.
I know, I know, you want to see pictures.......well, I have been trying, I swear. Over the weekend I dug down through the mess that is my dining table/now my computer table and on about the fourth layer down I managed to locate both of my cameras.......both with totally dead batteries. I charged them up over the weekkend and installed them today, after printing out the directions on how to use the damned camera....it has been that long since my last efforts. Today I gathered up my courage (to face frustration) and took a few experimental shots. As I feared, I got great pictures of the white neatly spaced 1/2 inch apart bars of the cage with bits of bird barely visible within. This means that I will have to raise one of the sliding gates and figure out how to put the camera inside and position it to capture mostly birds and not bars, nesting boxes and perches. I WILL work this all out, I promise, but it may take a while.
Meanwhile, I have wisely decided I do not want to raise Finch families right now, and this involves my having to check the nesting boxes for eggs and remove and dispose of the eggs if any appear. If anyone dares to ask me why I do not plan to eat them I can only roll my eyeballs skyward and say they are too damned small to be able to peel if hardboiled and for an omelet I would need a production line of at least 400 female Finches so forget it.
I have found that these delightful creatures seem to like it when I sing to them.......sometimes they will intersperse a bit of harmony while mostly they seem mesmerzied by my voice. I have not decided if it is the exquisiteness or the awfulness of same, but it is fun to watch them all inch closer to me on their perches and half shut their little eyes while I croon. Once I master the trick of photographing them I plan a video with me singing to them......hopefully they will join in but I cannot promise that nor much in the way of harmony.
I had not planned to name them but I have noticed myself thinking of them with certain names. Now
you must understand that these are youngsters and I think one pair is slightly older than the other. They are a bit larger, more cocky (you should excuse the expression) and more vocal. To my shame I have found myself referring to the male as Frank (Sinatra) and to his blonde companion as
Doris ( Day). The younger pair has somehow become Mickey and Judy. I do not know if I can maintain these names and continue to hold my head up in respectable society........not that I really care what people may think, but I am sure some may whisper behind their hands that they thought I was better than that.
In addition to my adventures in Finchland I have been having to cope with a few thises and thats and consequently I am very VERY tired so I am going to sign off now. I will report further as soon as I am able.
Meanwhile, think good thoughts for me as I try pushing a camera inside the cage while filling the open aperture of the door with my arm and sleeve so no one escapes......and while you are at it you might say a prayer for a rsurgence of dandelions. Oy, what have I done?
The New Yorker covers: July 7 & 13, 2008
9 hours ago