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The Mourning Dove Tale

I know that I should like all Gods creatures and what not, but I gotta tell you, I don't! I don't like creepy crawlers - frogs, lizards, snakes - I don't like rodents, possums, raccoons, armadillos; I don't like birds, especially pigeons, they are rude and intrusive. So, if I dislike critters so much, why do they keep popping up in my designs? Well, may be it's because the little buggers are kinda adorable form afar. Anyway, this is a story about a family of  mourning doves (aka turtle doves) and how I was inspired to create something beautiful.
I recently became a condo dweller. I figured, living in a condo will keep certain creatures out of my garden - I mean, if you live in a high rise, you should not have to worry about animals bothering you, right? Well, if those animals are birds, you are gonna just have to deal. I have a kick ass condo container garden on my balcony. I practically live on that balcony, next to crossfit, it's my happy place. One morning I was chilling with a cup of coffee in my garden and I noticed that a pair of Mourning doves were paying particular attention to the shaded portion of my sanctuary. But I did not notice that they were building a nest. This became clear when I tried watering the plants and I had the bejesus scared out of me by a panicked mourning bird. Once my nerves were calmed I investigated and found a nest with 2 eggs. My first thought was to fry them up and make an omelet - after all, eggs are a huge part of my paleo diet, and these are organic - but, I decided against it. Some how meeting your meal's parents made earing it less appealing. Instead, I commenced operation bird watching! I was gonna embrace the squatters in my garden although I was a smidge irritated because I was unable to adequately tend to that part of my garden. Thankfully, most of may plants are drought tolerant, so they did not need watering. I watched and I witnessed the birth of the hatchlings. I kept watching, and witnessed their eyes opening and their feathers growing in. I watched them being fed and I watched the nestlings grow. But there was something peculiar about one of the babies, it seemed a little lazy. It was not thriving, its movement was minimal and it was not as enthused about eating as its sibling.

Soon, the parents were leaving them for longer periods of time and while one baby bird strutted around eagerly, the other just kinda chilled – occasionally attempting a wobbly stance. One afternoon I was tending to my plants and I saw something that was no less than amazing, if not a little disturbing. The more robust nestling seeming kicked the weaker one out of the nest. It bounced off a few of my planters eventually stumbling to the ground. It tried getting up, but its frail neck just flopped to the side and after a few minutes it stopped moving.

I kept watching, hoping against hope that it would be miraculously revived, but no such miracle. Talk about sibling rivalry. I felt a little less guilty about the whole omelet thing. Then, I heard a faint cooing behind me. I looked towards the sound and saw the parents. They did not come up to the balcony, they stayed in the parking lot and softly cooed all the time gazing steadfastly at the nest. I looked at the surviving fledgling and it was flapping its wings excitedly. It kept flapping until it built up enough momentum and it flew to the parking lot to meet the parents.

One of the parents wondered off a few yards (I am guessing it was the dad); but the other parent - clearly the mom :) - kept looking at the balcony, cooing ever so softly but incessantly. She kept at it for about 20 minute, then she was joined by ‘dad’. Junior was exploring (quite unconcerned) close by.  They kept cooing until it was dark and I could no longer see them.

The following afternoon I was getting out of my car and as I stepped out of the vehicle, an obviously freaked out fledgling hurriedly flew out of the path of my size 10 feet. I was happy to see that it had made it through the night without the feral cats in my complex making a meal out of it. That same afternoon, the parents stopped by my balcony and hung out for a little while. I imagine they are still hoping to find the baby. I wonder if they blame me for its demise. Each time I see the story in my minds eyes, I do not see my balcony, instead, I see rolling hills, grassy knolls, babbling brooks, the beach...I started sketching and came up with this:

I've been in a coaster making phase lately - they are easy to whip up and with my friends and family scattered all over the world, they are easily shipped when I need to send them a hand crafted gifts. [caption id="attachment_1779" align="aligncenter" width="400"]
Coasters[/caption] I always carry around a notebook - just in case I get inspired. I can sketch, journal or take notes. So I whipped up a few of those as well. [caption id="attachment_1780" align="aligncenter" width="399"]
Notebooks[/caption] This morning two morning doves stopped by my balcony. I hope they know that I am not accepting any squatters this year. IJS

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