Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bird Baths and Bats

Yesterday afternoon we had a warm, soft rain that seemed to last forever. As my husband and I stood in garage gazing out at the mist rising up from the ground, we noticed a mourning dove sitting on a nearby branch. She was doing something rather odd with her wings and it took us a few minutes to realize why she was lifting them in the air. First, she lifted one wing and let the rain drip down onto her body. She pointed the wing straight up into the air, as if she stretched out an arm, then she slowly lowered it to her side. Then she lifted the other wing and let the warm, soft rain drip onto her body. As we watched her, we gradually realized that she was taking a shower! This glorious, gray bird was bathing in the rain! She stayed on the branch, pointing and stretching, until the rain stopped. It was a wonderful thing to watch this precious creature enjoying God's gift of rain.

Late last night I heard a banging sound against the window. At first, it was so loud it frightened me, then it calmed to a mild fluttering sound. I slowly raised the shade on our large picture window and found a small, brown bat sitting on the window sill. It was fluttering its wings at the window glass. I'm not sure if it was confused, or if it was attracted by the light. After awhile, it flew into the bush. Niblet, my large black attack cat sat at the window growling deep within his throat, but the bat didn't seem to be particularly intimidated by the sound. He stayed in the bush, watching us through the glass. I finally lowered the shade and went to sleep. I didn't hear him banging on the window again, but Niblet stayed at the window for a long time.

It was a rather cool morning after all the rain last night, but I noticed it was still very dry beneath the tree in our front yard so I turned on the sprinkler very low. Sure enough, a flock of small, brown birds landed nearby and hopped in and out of the water. After awhile all their splashing formed a small pool on the nearby sidewalk and one of the birds landed in the pool and sat in the water, enjoying her own private bath.

One of the tiniest baby lizards ran across the front ledge this morning while I was cleaning out one of the ponds. I stopped to speak to it, and the lizard also stopped and cocked its head to the side. I don't know why, but this seems to happen often with lizards. They run if I have the dogs with me, but if I am alone and speaking to them in a soft voice, they pause and turn their heads as if listening to my words. I think they must like the sound.

I am out of squirrel corn so the squirrels have been raiding the corn from the bird dishes. The birds don't seem to mind sharing. They will eat around each other as long as they don't get too close. However, there are large, blue birds with gray heads that have made an appearance in our yard this year and these birds are a little more aggressive. They also eat the corn from the cob holders in the trees and I have seen them chasing the squirrels away. They just don't like to share!

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