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Incoming BYTES
contains highly variable subject matter including commentary on the mundane, the extraordinary and even controversial issues. At Incoming BYTES
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weather, Pinfeathers and Foxes

We observe. 

The sun is shining brightly in a mild morning breeze. Dry winds. It is warming.   Finally. After a week of heavy rain, it was getting to be a bit much.  Overcast, chilly and hardly springlike. Even T.T.T. and E.T.S.  (loyal readers know that would be Tilly the Tall and Ebony the Short,  the resident pups extraordinaire ) were getting tired of being wet and  traipsing through endless muddy puddles. They began walking around them.   (They like water, but not that cold dirty wet kind apparently.)
With weird, severe  weather, lives are disrupted and economic costs can be staggering.  Here the Trans-Canada Highway is still closed and supposedly will be for a couple more days.   Recent flooding in Thunder Bay, Ontario is expected to cost  $50 million in Thunder Bay alone--or perhaps a lot more with thousands of insurance claims.  It is no longer news.  Flooded basements. Ruinous loss. Big cleanup.  Official Disaster. Geographically we didn't quite dodge the bullet this time. We thank our lucky stars for our higher elevation and observe.  

 It didn't take a quantum leap to recognize that some of Mother Nature's own little critters out there-- in the same quirky weather- inevitably end up in challenging circumstance too.  The robin in our temporarily  untrimmed cedar tree hunches down into her nest, staying perfectly motionless if anyone gets too close. The nest had two  blue eggs.  A pair of robin baby blues in their perfection,  imagine that.
A couple of days ago a judicious look revealed a single,  naked chick,wrinkles dried off, homely as only a hatchling an hour old can be. The tiny one was sporting only a pinfeather or two.  Let's go with the idea that early birds get the worm.  Was hatching a day early smart, wearing only two or three less than adequate pinfeathers? Somehow it seems not.
 The second egg was still unhatched. Maybe a genetically superior, wise egg?  Was that yet-to-be born chick waiting for warmer weather?
 Was  that natural selection in a hurry, or just a thinner shell?
 Mother robin returned to keep the nest, the remaining egg, and the naked little one warm. She came right on time too.
   The temperature dropped to -5C the same night.  It made me question how anything as tiny and helpless --and buck naked-- can survive.

How does anything in nature survive?  Two red fox pups, barely bigger than small domestic cats, try  to cross the highway, playing chicken with highway traffic.  They race across the road to join a very anxious adult, waiting helplessly,  watching them gamble with their very lives.  We gamble with our lives for the same reason as foxes do don't you think? Crossing the road of life to get to the other side. 

1.0   Baby Foxes
Nature does play games with us, whacks us sometimes, surprises us once in a while-- but always challenges wildlife that seemingly cannot provide itself with the most basic protection at times. 
Are we better off than animals and birds when it comes to Mother Nature's whims? Have we grown our own feathers and learned to dodge traffic?
That's a good question.





What were we complaining about?   Oh, nothing... it was raining. Cold. The sun is shining to make up for it now. It's one of the reversals we can expect in life.    Let's do something else.  In the garden we planted cabbages first. They appreciate life. They don't mind cold and wet, they don't need feathers either.  Trenched the peas in.  Besides, it really is warming, little by little.  It's also drying out, bit by bit.  Rain, shine, rain shine!   We survive, by contrivance, with rubber boots if necessary-- but will the little ones out there survive too?
  
           2.0  Baby Robins   June 07 2012           

A couple of days later back at the nest, mini- robins display big, open yellow beaks and equal amounts of ' fashionable-minimalist outdoor feather-wear'-- for adverse weather and flying trials soon to come. Small wing-feathers are already visible, clearly preparation for the next big test. That was fast.
In observing, -- what is the bottom line?  What is the big hurry for?  A test of life itself?   
 Oh, wait....I was in a big rush to have coffee and get out and  plant the garden even though it was still cold and wet, wasn't I?  
Perhaps we are in a hurry to grow in thought process too, another  lesson in survival.  At Incoming Bytes we're learning to go around the puddles.


Is that incoming I hear? 


photo credits
   1.  baby foxes     www.sodahead.com
   2.  baby robins    (c) r.a. kukkee

22 comments:

  1. Love this post, Raymond. It's so refreshing. And those baby foxes are just too cute.

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    1. hi Mandy! Great to see you! Those little foxes sure are cute aren't they? Those little ones like the baby robins are so vulnerable--it makes one wonder how anything survives in nature at all-- including us. Thank you for your kind words--they are always appreciated so much! ":) ~R

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  2. This is a great post Ray. Pics of baby Robins soon?

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    1. Hi, Mike, thanks! I HOPE to be able to catch a picture of the little ones awake, soon, beaks up, without upsetting momma too much. She`s out and about scouting for earthworms off and on, it`s all a matter of timing. I will add one soon as possible. As you know if they are disturbed too much, they will abandon the nest and young too. Thanks for commenting! `:) ~R

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  3. I like the comparison of nature to our own lives. Cute!

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    1. Hi Christyb, that is a great observation on your part. I wonder how people fail to see that our lives are very much entwined with nature and every little creature in it--and we are subject to the same vices of Mother Nature, wouldn't you say? Thanks for commenting, Christyb, it's always good to see you! ":) ~R.

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  4. Seems like we have been sharing the same weather RK...Cold, miserably wet and not like June at all. We are finally getting sun in between continuing bouts of showers. Supposed to go on for days. Ah well...Nothing to do but go with the flow. Loved your observations! So far I have baby swallows and bluebirds, one bear and several deer. Country living at its best :) Hope you maybe can snap a pic of the robin babies? My boxes are too high to photograph...I can just hear the peeping...Hope you continue to stay dry and warm....VK

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    1. Hi Vk, it WAS pretty cold, a lot of rain, but it warmed up yesterday, and today was actually HOT...which was a nice change. We do have to 'go with the flow', opening our minds to nature and working with what we have.
      I just snapped a photo of the baby robins, and will add it in the next little while, you should be able to see it later today!
      Thanks for commenting, and we ARE staying warm now...Good things eventually come around don't they? We have seen deer, foxes, partridge, bears, Pileated woodpeckers,and even wild turkeys this year! Nature is really good to us. Thank you so much for your positive comments on this post and life itself. Have a wonderful evening..~R

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  5. Your mud-puddly yard sounds like mine-squish-squish-squish. What is it with all this rain??? My birds have a safe home in the couple of birdhouses we hang on the porch and by the cutting garden. We sometimes have to help the wildlife as best we can.

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    1. Glory, most of those mucky puddles are now going away, we are finally starting to dry out; believe it or not it was HOT today!
      Our little robins have nested in thick cedar foliage adjacent to the wall of the house but amazingly, only about 4' from the ground. I guess that says something for the peace and quiet around here. We've been keeping an eye on this hatch, just in case, because it did freeze the same day the first robin was hatched. Amazing they survive! We try to help wildlife along as much as possible too, I think it's the right thing to do...
      Thank you so much for commenting--and I still don't know what your latest plant is! I've been looking. ":)) ~R

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  6. Great pic of the babies Ray. They often decide to build on a light just outside our back door. Usually, if you move slow, Mama does not fly off once they are hatched. Of course, we try to use that door as little as possible when that happens.

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    1. Thanks, Mike. It was hard to get them synchronized. Our robin has a sort of back door to the cedar tree too. Not too shabby, these birds are smart! We try hard not to disturb them, they seem to be quite contented. That's what it's all about isn't it? Thanks for dropping in again ":) ~R

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  7. Got to love 'em all. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, and you bet, Mac, 'ya gotta love'em all! There's nothing like wildlife--those little ones are always so cute aren't they! Those baby lynxes you posted recently were the cutest kitties, makes everybody want to have one! ":) Thanks again! ~R

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  8. It seems that we too now have got the Cold and Windy weather Raymond... Gales in fact as storms sweep across the UK.. I too was thinking how those tiny birds manage to keep warm in their nests as they are rained upon and blown about by the relentless wind that is chilling to say the least in our so called 'Summer' month of June..
    Loved the photo of the Robins..
    Nature seems to carry on regardless as our wildlife does battle with the eliments..
    Loved reading this post and yes Cabbages will enjoy the rainy days... I cant say the same for the humans.. Who would like just a little Sun on their bones again..
    Take care and enjoy the weekend. ~Sue

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    1. Hi Sue, sorry to hear you now have the cold and windy,--gales yet! Nature has a way of keeping everyone on their toes--maybe that's why we are constantly placed outside of the 'comfort zone' and actually survive? Is that our 'learning process' for the physical experience?
      We do need sun on the bones, and we're certainly not going to get much today--we're back into thunderstorms and rain today.
      Regardless, we shall undoubtedly persist, just as our baby robins and foxes will do. Have a wonderful weekend, Sue, and thank you for visiting ":) ~R

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  9. It is always amazing...what we consider a major disaster today will pale in comparison to what comes next. And still, we relish the memories for comparison later, even the less-than-stellar ones.
    Red.

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    1. Hi Red, everything is relative isn't it? Sometimes, relative gets worse. Hm..I did say that before, did I not? WE know not how fortunate we ARE. Sooner or later we shall realize it. Thanks for dropping in Red! ":) ~R

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  10. Too many do not survive. Ever thought of turning some of these tales into children's stories? Angie

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    1. Angie, you are so right. So few survive,and when they do,it's almost like luck itself--because there is so much danger out there for the innocent. WE are the same out in Nature--even with our 'ingenuity' and contrivance --at times we survive by sheer luck alone.
      Children's stories? I do write some already, interesting idea to turn some of these into the same genre. Thank you for suggesting that-and commenting. ":) ~R

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  11. Animals are no fool to Mother Nature, but US....Well, we are just big babies sometimes.

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    1. Hi Lorre, nice to see you! yes, we can be pretty woosie and big babies at times, can't we..animals deal with what they get, we complain about it...too funny! ":))

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