Sunday, June 2, 2013

My favorite kind of gift (is not something that I hold in my hands)...

009 Killdeer nest (aka "wacky bird") 015 019 028 024 killdeer Trying to lure us away with her "broken wing act"072 074 080 Tah-dah! All better. 101 Can you see Mt. St. Helens below? 109 153 206

Kevin knows me all too well.  While I do adore some delicious yarn or buttery soft fabric, he understands that my favorite kind of gift is not something that I hold in my hands (except my children, of course!) but rather memories and experiences that I will carry in my heart, always.

For weeks now he has been telling the little ones and I about a new bird he sees on his morning bikejoring trips with the dogs. We always enjoy hearing his stories about the wildlife he sees. He dubbed this new bird "wacky bird" because of the strange behavior it displays whenever they run past it. It took us a couple of weeks to figure out what kind of bird it was, as Kevin's description didn't seem to match anything in our bird books. We never thought to look in the water birds section because we are not near the shore. But then one day, by chance, we happened to open up to just the right page and there it was. Kevin's "wacky bird" is a type of plover called a Killdeer. I knew at first glance I had to see it with my own eyes. I think Kevin read my mind because next thing I knew we were on a little trip to see if we could find it.

Not only did we find the bird shortly on our arrival but also it's nest! The workers at the cemetery had it flagged so that no one would crush the eggs. I just couldn't stop smiling over this find. We observed the nest from a distance and then I asked my little ones to stay behind with Daddy so that I could try to get a little closer for pictures. Little L tried to follow but K kept him near him. He loves his big sister so.

When I came a bit closer to the nest the Mama bird hopped off and ran away from it. Then she began exhibiting the strange behavior Kevin spoke of; the "broken wing act".  The Broken Wing Act (also called a distraction or deflection display) is intended to lure a potential enemy away from the nest being protected. It is quite a delightful strategy to watch, in my opinion, but I didn't want to upset the poor little Mama, so I stepped back to where my children were. We observed her for a few minutes more and then went off exploring. The girls gathered wilted flowers to place on graves that didn't have anything left by loved ones. K says that those souls need to know they are loved, too. I couldn't agree more. I am so smitten with that girl of mine.

On a side note - Can you believe that the girls strawberry dresses still fit?! This is their third year wearing them.

p.s - I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your response to my last post about Sara's daughter. Your words, love and support mean so much. Sara wanted me to pass her gratitude on to you.
"If you could please let your readers know that their kindness and willingness to open their hearts to us leaves me speechless with awe and gratitude. We are so blessed to have so many people give of themselves, particularly at a time when each family quite obviously struggles with their own hardships."

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