Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Slice of Life: Cowbirds? Seriously?

Today I'm joining Tuesday's Slice of Life event at Two Writing Teachers.  Stop by.  As always, thanks Ruth and Stacey.  

Today when I returned from school, I grabbed my heavy bag of paperwork out of the car and began to walk up the sidewalk.  It's a busy time of year so I try to notice the small things that keep me going.  After a long weekend working in the yard, I smiled to myself as I paused long enough to notice the new hakuro nishiko willow shrubs we planted last week.  I took a moment to enjoy the irises in bloom around the sidewalk.

Then something unusual caught my attention.  A nest in our rose bush?  I hadn't noticed that before.  The nest was small and would have easily fit into my hand.  It was carefully made with small pieces woven tightly together.  How could I have missed it?

When I glanced inside I noticed four small eggs.  The eggs were lightly speckled and blue.  Though robin's have blue eggs, this nest seemed much too small and I don't remember robin's eggs being speckled.

As I opened the door later this evening to water plants I noticed the bird in the nest.  I walked closer to get a better look, but the bird flew quickly away.  I couldn't examine it, but would guess it runs in the sparrow family.  I decided to research a bit and found this conversation about a similar nest with one dissimilar egg.  It sounded a bit like the nest I had seen in our rose bush and upon closer inspection I found the nest in our yard to also have an egg that, though speckled, did not seem as blue and looks a bit larger.

Do I have a cowbird egg?  I didn't know anything about cowbirds until trying to identify this nest this evening.  Now I'm wishing I would have just walked up the sidewalk, my busy list racing through my mind, and hadn't taken the time to pause to notice this small nest.

Nature's Tricks
Mama sparrow 
you left your nest for only a moment
but a moment is too long

seconds is all
the cowbird needs
to swoop in
take one of your eggs
and leave her own
for you
to care for
to feed
to keep safe

Mama sparrow
didn't you even

© Cathy L. Mere

Ohio Department of Natural Resources:  Brown Headed Cowbird
Cowbird Eggs in Nestboxes
New World Sparrows

Friday, May 10, 2013

Poetry Friday: June Bugs

Someone tell the June bugs it is only May.  Ughhhh!  They gross me out!  I was telling my students today about the way the June bugs have started showing up outside as dark approaches.  I'm even finding signs of them in the morning around our house.  I'm not a fan of the June bug.  I don't like the way they look.  I don't like the sound they make when they fly.  I don't like the way they erratically move from place to place.  It sounds like a poem in the making I assured my students.  So here it is...

It's Poetry Friday!  I'm joining the fun with this poem about June Bugs.  Stop by Anastasia Suen's Poetry Blog for links to more poetry.

June Bugs
Brown beetle,
your young life
behind you.

Now older,
you sneak out
late at night for food.

Yet, you often find yourself
in spaces not meant
for a beetle.

Now older,
you clumsily fly
in the night air.

Yet, you are not silent.
The sound of your wings
gives you away.

Now older,
aren't you supposed
to be wiser?

Yet, you crash
into windows
racing toward the light.

Brown beetle,
when will you learn
to not be fooled?

I've Noticed
six legs
hard shelled
fly toward light
land on screens
bounce into windows
make terrible noise when flying
appear May-June
out at night

Facts About June Bugs
.5-1 inch
eat plants and flowers
each female lays 50-200 eggs (NO!!!!  Say it isn't so!!!)
larvae are called white grubs
larvae live in soil
larvae eat plant roots
larvae live about 3 years before becoming adult
adults (the beetle) live less than one year

June Beetle:  Encyclopedia Britannica
June Bugs:  Yesterday's Island

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