Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring has Sprung

.. and there are babies everywhere. It seems our house as become the chipmunk, ground squirrel, praire dog, dove and now quail sanctuary. There's not three yards you can walk without running into another nest or a momma carrying her babies around. The teenagers seem to be more interested in learning the ropes then rebeling and tattoos. In fact one only has to sit for a few minutes peeking out behind the blinds to see another pair of doves bring their offspring around to the small fountain to show them how to drink.
Next to our front door is the SECOND set of babies hatched in a row. About two days after the first left, word must have gotten around as we found ourselves with a new momma bird in nest.(Although I have to tell you she is a hundred times more pschitzo than the last which makes for much less wonderment.)

In the driveway is a wheelbarrow long left neglected which has found itself home to a 16-egg Gambel Quail nest. I have never seen anything like this and am still in awe that it was even able to be spotted. Apparently quail DO lay on their eggs contrary to what I thought which was the more cold hearted sceanario of lay and flee. On reading up, apparently they are also life-long monogomous birds to an extreme. The male is never far from her and is always keeping watch for predators while she is nesting.

Mid-script ps -> The plume on their head IS a bundle of feathers and not just one. A question I always needed answers to.

We tried to justify snatching just a few to hatch and form our own covey but that wouldn't be very animal-sanctuary of us. You better believe as soon as they leave the nest I will be snatching up the abandoned eggshells. At a minimum I will have about 45 so maybe I can make use out of them in specimen boxes or de-stashing.

Not a few days after stumbling upon this nest, did I find two others! (All 16 eggs, some sort of pact?) With such an unusual amount of babies abounding I have to wonder what circumstances provided for this? We recently built a coop to house chickens and discovered flocks of birds have regularly been eating their feed... which is specifically designed to promote and assist egg laying. If that's the case I just stumbled on to a well worth expense to feed the wildlife in the future.

As far as shop news, a new St. Francis set has hit the store front! I tried to calculate a fantastic price since the economy is so severely injuring us all. I settled on one that was not much more than the material cost yet drastically less than those I see around shops in town.

He's of good size, about 9" and comes with a print of a traditional Cuzco style painting with hood and skull. Right now he's only available in an aged finish but soon I hope to list more that are "skull-a-fied".

I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious. -Diego Rivera

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