Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Ain't Buying Nobody No Damn Diamond Ring.....

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Hush, little baby, don't say a word. Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird won't sing, Mama's gonna buy you a diamond ring.... * *

("Hush, Little Baby")

Now let me ask you....

Is that the RUDEST look on a mockingbird's face that you've ever seen? It's actually FROWNING at me!

I think it's a terribly rude frown---and uncalled for. And so I'm going to admit here that when I first viewed it that I had a fleeting thought of wanting to ....er....slap that particular mockingbird upside its sassy little head---or snatch him bald.

Now, before you get mad at me, just please.... hear me out.

It all started out so innocently.....

As some of you might know, it all started with a pair of mockingbirds who built a nest in one of the hanging pots of flowers on my balcony. I didn't really want the nest there because I have a veritable FOREST across the street from me as I live in an isolated area (just off a very small exit of the Interstate, really). And so there are fifty-leven-umpteen places for a mockingbird to build its dang nest besides my balcony in a $20 pot of pink impatiens flowers.

But I allowed them to build the nest anyway, thinking that it would be kind of neat to have a mockingbird family on my balcony. Nice little birdies---cute, sweet songbirds and all.....their lovely, wistful warblings the joy of a neighborhood, right?

However, I was heavily advised by all who know me to LEAVE THE BIRDS alone, as "people shouldn't mess with Mother Nature."

In fact, Warrior Knitter commented in my comments section that mockingbirds were mean things---and I realize NOW that I definitely should have LISTENED to her...

Okay, okay, but listen....I LOVE animals and birds. I LOVE them all. I figured, WHY CAN'T I see the mockingbirds that live on my balcony? I mean, I gave them a safe home, didn't I? No cats, dogs, children, or other bird-botherers to annoy them, right? I mean, the only thing the mockingbirds would ever have to worry about is a hawk, and the hawks don't like to get this close to the Interstate.

And also, HOW could anybody who knows me expect me to just sit around nonchalantly while KNOWING that there's a nest of little cute birdies on my balcony? Especially since I have a digital camera. (I mean....you guys are all well-acquainted with my incurable habit of snapping pictures of animals and birds against their wills, right?....)

(I once almost caused a 6-car pile-up on the highway while trying to snap a picture of a soaking wet donkey in the rain. I mean, that stupid donkey looked so wet, miserable, and bedraggled that I just HAD to humiliate him....)

(I hate donkeys....)

Okay, and so anyway, I got CURIOUS about the dang mockingbirds on my balcony.

In fact, I was DYING of curiosity. I HAD to see what was in that nest. And so, as I told you in my last blog entry, I LOOKED. And there they were!!! Cute little mockingbird eggs! And then LO AND BEHOLD, 3 of the 4 eggs hatched into little baby mockingbirds! They were so cute! I couldn't resist snapping pictures....

And then....it happened.

Like Alice in Wonderland, I got curiouser and curiouser....

I COUDLN'T HELP IT, I SWEAR.

I HAD TO SEE THEM AGAIN! I HAD AN UNCONTROLLABLE URGE TO SEE THEM AGAIN!!! I WAS DRIVEN TO SEE THE LITTLE BIRDIES AGAIN!!!!!!

But please believe me, PLEASE---I truly attempted to behave myself and not think about those litle baby birdies.....and I really tried in earnest to "leave Mother Nature alone" as I had been advised.....but I succumbed to temptation. I succumbed to my own, stupid, picture-snapping obsession----I JUST COULDN'T STOP MYSELF, aaaaargh!

And so I began taking even more pictures of them, carefully snapping the camera quickly, not touching the plant or the birdies, and then leaving them alone as quickly as possible. (I even threw breadcrumbs out there one day but the parent birds didn't seem interested.)

And then the darling little hatchlings started to grow! Gradually they got to where they could open their beaks and eat, even though their necks weren't yet strong enough to pick their little heads up. But their momma fed them anyway.

And then they grew so much that the day came......when they finally COULD stick their heads up out of the nest and call for food---and it was ADORABLE, I tell you, ADORABLE!

But then....disaster to my picture-taking plans occurred.....

The parent birds got MAD at me! They got a little mad at first. But then they got A LOT MAD as time went on. In fact, they turned into the Mockingbirds From Hell.

And now....there's a veritable MOCKINGBIRD VS. ROAD NURSE WAR currently being waged----on my own balcony.

In fact, the parent birds are "on" to me. They anticipate my arrival and wait for me.....just like some kind of Mockingbird Death Squad with me as its prime target...

And they have begun attacking me!!! ME of all people! A lover of birds and animals who can't even step on ants without getting terrible guilt.

I mean.....could it be? Could it truly have happened? Could it be that after all this time of successfully sneaking up to snap pictures of donkeys, cows, horses, roosters, goats and other animals----that I am finally being bested and humiliated by a dang pissant mockingbird of all things?!?!?......

And if it isn't enough that these rude mockingbirds have begun to stare me down and give me the most VILE, EVIL, and MALICIOUS looks that I have ever seen on the face of any stupid bird in my life, much less a mockingbird, they have begun to attack me in earnest! And NOT JUST by simply the way they first started out, by swooping down on me in a very annoying fashion--but now they've actually begun PECKING ME!

One of them is so mean to me that I filled out a complaint report at the Podunk Bird Police, with who the Message Goat just happens to have a good buddy. (The wheels of the Podunk Animal Justice System move slowly, but I sorely hope that Podunk Bird Law can protect my human rights and fix his little red wagon...)

(Unfortunately, the Message Goat also informed me that since the mockingbird is the State Bird of Texas that it is "protected"--- and thus it is illegal to slap a mockingbird upside its head or snatch it bald.)

(Or even to box its ears.)

(I'm not even sure it's legal to cuss at one...)

But GEEZ---the damn NERVE of those birds to look at me with those expressions on their faces! And then to try to PECK ME TO DEATH? I mean, it is just simply Bird Criminality is all I can say. See the look on the face of that mockingbird in the picture below? TELL ME that he isn't just BEGGING to get his ears boxed....

But today I finally got the bestest picture of the babies that I was most longing for!---the one where they're finally strong enough to stick their little heads up over the nest edge while opening their adorable little beaks for food.

BUT....both parent mockingbirds suddenly executed a horrible double-whammy attack, flying around my head together, wildly trying to PECK ME TO DEATH! They actually forced me to run for my life into my apartment! God, it was terrifying. I had to flap my arms over my head, flailing about wildly, trying to beat those damn birds OFF of me--- and I had to run as fast as I could, screaming my head off hollering "AAAAAHHHHCK!!" like a maniac, trying vainly to get into my apartment---because I first ran smack into the closed glass door like a panicked idiot---and then falling flat on my ass (thus getting PECKED even more)--- until I remembered to unlatch the dang door to get in. But at least I got the picture I wanted (HAH, BIRDS!) without losing my life or my digital camera in the process.

And once I finally got my stupid idgity self into my apartment, I locked the glass door behind me. And I certainly hope that doing so will be sufficient protection....because now, dammit, I'm paranoid and keep imagining that I hear "pecking noises" on the glass, just like in that movie "The Birds" ......

I was so incensed about this incident, since I not only got much pecked but also suffered a nice goose-egg (no pun intended) on my forehead from hitting the apartment's door, that I'm thinking seriously about notifying the Message Goat to see if those birds' violent offenses can also be prosecuted under the jurisdiction of the Animal/Bird Civil Laws of Podunk--- making it possible for me to force the mockingbirds to pay for the Bandaids I had to put on the cuts and scratches on my head---plus adding in a claim for some money to compensate me for my "pain and suffering" like they do on the "People's Court" and "Judge Judy" on TV, ya know? Yes, yes, I know the mockingbird has that special "exempt" status as being the Texas state bird and all, but that doesn't mean that they should be allowed to PECK ME TO DEATH, practically knocking me off my own balcony in the process. ( I definitely don't want to end up like Tippi Hedren in that horrifying movie "The Birds", ya know what I mean?)

What's worse is that I was utterly mortified with humiliation in front of all my neighbors. They saw the whole embarassing thing from their own balconies. In fact, the fracas was so loud that the lady downstairs was traumatized, wondering bewilderedly WHY in the WORLD I was screaming my lungs out right on my own balcony in broad daylight.

But I tell you, it's become a sickness with me!!! I can't stop myself!! I've simply GOT to photograph the progress of the little birdies. I've got to--- I can't stop NOW. I've got to try to do it to the bitter end---when the little darling things get their full feathers and learn to fly! I want to know that they made it safely to adulthood!

Thus, I have been looking around for a helmet to wear when I go out there....because although I'm stubborn as hell, now I'm frightened that my sister's warning will come true and they'll "peck my eyes out". GOD, that gives me the damn shivers......

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15 comments:

Alabamama said...

Oh my gosh, your photos are priceless - esp the bird in flight! I know, I know. I've done the same thing and tried to keep the plant watered/living so the babies nest would be hidden and safe and mama trying to peck my eyes out every second. Another time the birds used a birdhouse within feet of my then-4 year old's play area. We tried for the longest to get her to see the babies being fed. One day she came running in to announce she had seen the babies eating but "didn't know they were going to be nekked." Find the helmet-and some protective glasses. We've GOT to see the first flights!

Lisa said...

oh my god....that was the funniest entry!

Yes Mockingbirds are just plain spiteful. We have had blue jays and mourning doves nesting this season and the mockingbirds have tried their best to force them out of their homes, not to mention us our of the back yard.

I would have loved to see the whole thing transpire too, but I very relieved that you were not injured. Perhaps a bike helmet would be a good idea for those pictures in the future....

BTW - those are the greatest animated pictures of mockingbirds I have seen in quite some time!

Shauna said...

I, too, was going to suggest protective glasses. animals can be so, well, animalistic about protecting their young from the paparazzi (or however you spell it).
My dad once left a ball cap on the light next to the patio door and it had a nest in it one spring...sparrows raised a family before letting Mom and Dad back out through the patio doors.

Love the blog, by the way.

LesleyD said...

Oh my goodness hun! You've had me rollin this morning! Your pics are awesome and worth nearly gettin your head pecked off.

RN Someday said...

LOL - OMG - too funny - tag you're it over at my blog

girlvet said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing them. Be careful.

Taueret said...

those pics are worth getting pecked to within an inch of your life for.

Janet said...

What's the focal length on your lens? Obviously your camera has a zoom feature. I'm wondering if there is a way for you to take their pictures without having to get so close. Mockingbirds can be fierce. I'm glad you weren't hurt any worse.

Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Believe it or not, Janet, I haven't been using the zoom feature on my camera. I really do get that close, almost. My picture editing program (a free program called Picasa2 that I downloaded from Google) does let you crop a picture, which causes the cropped section to "zoom up" a little bit for you--but not much. I've tried cropping pictures a little more, zooming things up a little more, but I found that doing that caused the pics to lose some of the clarity.

Belinda said she's going to come over tomorrow to "cover for me" while I get another picture. I don't want to miss them growing up---as they're getting bigger and stronger every day...and cuter! They're starting to form some youngish-looking feathers on their winglets.

I sit in my knitting chair and watch the mama bird bring them worms and feed them from the inside of my living room!

Beth in MN said...

I absolutely LOVE the one of the babies with their mouths wide open; almost looks like flowers!

However, I now have traumatizing images in MY head of you looking like that dead body with the eyes pecked out ... The Birds was a HORRIBLE scary movie when I was younger! EEEEUUUUEEE ... helmet, glasses, whatever it takes ...

Medblog Addict said...

Great pictures! And after hearing about the mockingbird attack, I am no longer going to complain about the doves in the hanging basket on my patio.

Cyndy said...

Whoa! Those pictures are awesome, Bo! The colours are just fabulous!

I'm looking forward to some more of them. While you're looking for a helmet, try a bucket or a plastic icecream bucket.... and glasses would be a good idea.

Watching from inside is good.

You write a damn good story, Bo. Thanks ;0)

Runs With Scissors said...

OMG! This story has me laughing out loud, and your photos are awesome! The one of the bird on the balcony railing is priceless - the defiant little mofo! I'm surprised it's not flipping you the claw.

I, too, have been pecked in the head. Of course, it involved getting too close to a nest. Never mind that said nest had been stolen from a dove. Mockingbirds are some meanass thieving birds. I don't know how they ever got to be our state bird!

I anxiously await the next set of photos. By the way ... have you heard back from the Message Goat on this incident? Certainly he has some insights into this travesty.
~RWS

Warrior Knitter said...

What a terrific post!! I could hardly read it out loud to my husband I was laughing so hard. A helmet, goggles, a coat and maybe gardening gloves (seriously) would to protect you when you take your paparazzi photos or water the other plants.

They ARE terrific photos.

Anonymous said...

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF THEM, I DELIVER MAIL AND GETTING ATTACKED BY THE BIRDS WHAT DO YOU DO, ORTHER SWING AND LOOK STUPID AND DROP ALL OF MY MAIL------HHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPP