Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hummingbirds. They were around quite a lot, in the week after memorial day, and then i say less of them. Until the end of July, when I think the babies fledged. Suddenly there were at least six around at any given time, of whom one was identifiably male, and there was no peace among them. Just being in one another's sight was too much. No matter how much sugar water there was, how could anything drink enough to have that much energy, or that much IRE packed so tight? tiny, TIE-fighter mayhem, zooming past too fast to watch, up high into the sky, stall down together maybe thirty feet before breaking apart and zooming off either in different directions or after one another. How did the eggs ever get fertilized? Both of them must have been drunk.

And then just as we began to find it too scary to sit on the porch (without eye protection, anyway), they calmed down. Last week they suddenly thinned out and now I will see one, once in a while. don't expect to see any after this week, if last year was any indication.

(If you are perverted a Nature-red-in-tooth-and-claw psycho biology fan, you may find this link from Birdwatcher's Digest interesting, but it's not for the faint of stomach.)

Coincidentally, it's no longer too damned hot.

I have returned from taking Ellie to Smith. She got into her room early, with the first-years, so she could get unpacked before she trained for her computer-consultant work-study. It seems pretty heady for a Humanities girl, but cross-specialization is a good thing. A day or so before we were to leave, Wednesday or Thursday, we found Ellie's cat staring fixedly under the couch. So I went to see what helpless creature she was stalking and pulled out a couple of pieces of paper (somehow they not been detected and removed by my cleaning frenzies, I have them ALL the time, really), expecting to see farther under the couch.
Only there was a baby mouse on one of the pieces of paper. Really a baby, furred but its head is only just slightly smaller than its body and its little ears were still flat and I wasn't sure its eyes were open. It could skitter very well, though. So I put it in a Tupperware with a toiletpaper tube to hide in and some provisions. We didn't think it would make it, but it continued to live. I assumed it was eating. I was going to put it back outside but it was too obviously just too vulnerable, we didn't know where it had been caught, even if its mama would have taken it back. Ellie agreed we didn't need to stick it out for something's lunch. Not that I had been looking at too many pictures of refugees or anything.

So I upgraded the MouseGuest to an empty aquarium with some birdseed and some oatmeal and a dish of water, in which it did not drown.It was running around when I left on Friday. I got back last night, tired, fed the cats, and went to bed. This morning I intended to go for a health-giving walk and not read anymore hurricane coverage (I was hitting it too hard Wednesday and Thursday and Friday morning and having trouble not starting an armed insurrection out of anger and sorrow and disappointment and general pique. Even though I do believe the fault may be spread back a couple of presidential administrations; nobody seems to think all that stuff about wetlands really matters except those weirdoes in the Audubon Society, anyway, and aren't jobs more important than birds? Particularly since I have buddies who want to build those bridges, etc....(go read the novels of Carl Hiaasen, he does it much better than I do).

I go to check on the mouse. It is obviously Not In Good Shape. This is unusual; most mice are either fine or dead. But he was moving, somewhat, only weakly, and he was cold. So I dripped milk into its mouth with a knitting needle and it washed its face and I popped it into my bra to get warm, and then I fed it a lot more milk off the edn of a pencil and then it could lick it off a corn chip (I keep hoping it will nibble the corn chip, but not so far). Its left eye is open but not the right, which I suspect may be consequent to the intereaction with Mena. Now Mouseguest can wash and walk around and skitter and drink lots of milk and tickle my neck and nibble the T-shirt. I still want to go for a healthful walk and plant perennials, but I have a mouse asleep on my shoulder.


Laurie said...

Laura - 1 Mouse - 1 Mena - 1/2

Helen said...

Next time you come down to 'Hamp, please let me know. I'd love to see you and perhaps we can have a cup of tea and a visit. :)

Kristen said...

my heart just smiled for the first time in a few days. thank you.

Juno said...

Ah yes, that pesky long term thinking about the much hard work and trouble.

Much better to just build plastic living modules out of tissue paper on top of vital natural resources.

And you are right - tempting as it is to blame the current incumbent for Everything, the Gulf disaster is the end result of long-time short-term thinking.

My best to your mouseguest. Sometimes the best thing to have is something smaller and weaker than one self to worry over, yes?

Anonymous said...

HAving now met MouseGuest, I must say that it is one of the quietest Guest's Laura has had in some time. Even on the scale of her hummingbirds, this Litte could ride the backs of those hummer's. I hope it survives more days. Proof positive that LEJ is quite the care giver!

When one speaks of the environment, the area around Laura's is so vital with things that go crawl, fly, hop, walk, hop...did I mention that there ARE frogs, aah yes, well, there are!

Then there is the ever increasing Flora! Florabundance!


Ryan said...

A woman who will put a mouse in her bra to keep it warm... I am in love.

Sheila said...

ditto what Ryan said. All creatures deserve a chance.