Our Friends Have Been Arriving By Mail And By Air
man, how do you like that subject line? i wish you could send yourself by mail. although, with the new postage rates, it would probably cost just about as much as an airline ticket...and no complimentary bag of pretzels. but it would be kind of fun to ride around with the mail carrier and make them carry you to somebody's door. oh wow. i'm derailing. so anyway, our friends that arrived through the mail are of the insect and amphibian nature. first, my son finally received his tadpoles.here they are in their "travel jars" while they get used to the temperature of the water.and here they are after being freed from those jars. we are waiting for them to turn into frongs but as of yet we haven't even seen front legs.
my son also received his "praying mantis pagoda" in the mail. i swear that i took pictures of this thing, but i can't find them right now. so, you'll just have to take my word for it that all we have right now is what looks like a chunk of brownish styrofoam or something lounging in a makeshift japanese swing in a mesh and plastic pagoda...on my kitchen counter. this is also another one that requires waiting. the instructions say that it will take three to six weeks for them to hatch. when they do hatch you have to get one out that you would like to keep for awhile and then release the other ones because if they are held together...they'll turn cannibal. i just keep hoping they don't hatch some day while we are gone and we come home to a hatched egg case and nobody left standing. but actually, i guess there would have to be one still alive even after that. so hey, we're good.
remember i also said our friends have been arriving through the air. well obviously these are of the feathered variety...eastern bluebirds and robins to be exact. remember the bluebirds i said were checking out the box in the backyard. well, to our initial excitement they moved in...built a nest...laid eggs...hatched the eggs...and turned into demon birds. yes, we are assured that bluebirds usually are docile little creatures that aren't that territorial but we got the renegade ones. we weren't able to check the box very often since every time you got with fifteen to twenty feet of the thing one of the adult birds would dive bomb you. we weren't sure how much damage they could really do to a person's head so we took to wearing bide helmets (obviously backward as denoted by this picture) if we had to get anywhere near the box to mow the lawn or anything. here is the only good picture of the nest or the babies we got before they flew the coop. the father bluebird actually stayed around a few days after the babies left and still terrorized us and the tree swallows that tried their best to move into one of the other boxes. he would pick them right out of the air and send them crashing into the ground. i never thought i would say this but...i'm pleased to report that the bluebirds have now left our backyard.
but now, we have robins. we have a large tree line only about a block or so from our house. so you would think that it would be the perfect place for a robin to make a great nest and raise babies right? well, it must be wrong because we have a robin that definitely prefers our backyard...on the roof of the kids cozy coupe.we were rather surprised to look out one rainy afternoon and see them building this. i guess they figured it was a dry place to stay. the kids at first were upset they couldn't play with their car but now they love that the robins are there. they, unlike the bluebirds, are very tolerant of us being around and sometimes even stay sitting on the nest while the kids swing. having them under the swingset has also given us a great opportunity to monitor them. first they laid four eggs and then we could see the mother sitting on them every day, moving them around in the nest and sitting on them some more. and then this weekend they began to hatch.this (taken through the floor boards of the slide platform) is after the first one hatched. i thought it looked rather like something out of the exorcist. looking closely we could also see small cracks and peck marks in the other three eggs. in about a days time they all hatched and by yesterday they had already grown rather big.we like to sit back from the nest and watch their little heads bob over the top of the nest while the mother and father feed them.
well, that's what has been going on with us. we're just trying to relax now that school is "officially" over for a little while. there's definitely not a lack of wildlife...that's for sure.