|House finch nestlings growing rapidly and waiting for more food.|
|The head of the female house finch is finely streaked with brown but does not have a whitish eyebrow or moustache as the similar purple finch.|
|Five eggs on July 4th, 2012. This is the second clutch of the summer in this nest.|
|Just a few days old, this nestling has patches of fluffy natal down on its head. Note empty clothesline.|
|Hungry nestlings on left on June 18. Same nestlings on right with their first body plumage by 6/24. Photo on right taken with mirror held over the nest.|
|Porch with view.|
|Feeding grass seeds to house finch nestlings.|
|It's getting crowded in here!|
|If this nest was in a tree, the brave nestling to the left would be doing his tap dance on a branch.|
|Nestlings trying out their wings.|
|The first nestling takes off.|
The natural world frequently surprises me with its healing power. Is it possible to absorb these raw experiences and leach them out as a balm? If I could just find the right thing to say and so become a medicine woman of words.
How and when do we say "I love you" to a person when love has so many shapes and meanings like clouds? When do you look a person in the eyes and say "I love you" with the most sincere intentions and not lead to misunderstanding? Is it love of the lust form or love of family bond and decades-long friendship or love because you momentarily connect with their human vulnerability or courage? More and more these seem like the same thing to me but first I have to get beyond the gritty responses to that word.
I am confident that before the end of the short life of these newly fledged house finches, my friend will feel better, but I will still be learning the right words for the nest time and the next time and so on. Where are the writers, naturalists, and artists with whom I can apprentice as a medicine woman of words?
When you are ready, step out on the ledge. Do a tap dance, beat your wings, and jump.
Pajarito, espero que tu nueva casa sea cerca.
|Stepping out is always an act of courage.|
House finch, Carpodacus mexicanus
Purple finch, Carpodacus purpureus
The Birder's Handbook: A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds. Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin and Darryl Wheye. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1988.
The Bird Year: A Book for Birders with Special Reference to the Monterey Bay Area. John Davis and Alan Baldridge. The Boxwood Press, Pacific Grove, CA, 1980.
The Stokes Field Guide to Birds of North America. Donald and Lillian Stokes. Little, Brown and Company, New York, 2010.