Sunday, May 25, 2014

Life is a Zoo

It's been quite a month for animal antics. We have a nest of three robins growing outside our window. The mama bird is fiercely protective, chirping and flitting from branch to branch when she detects us in the window. Despite her protests, we have managed to get some baby bird pics and footage. Gracie has been delighted with oohs and ahhhs as she checks on them everyday. See how they grow! Today, the nest is quite full and they stand up to meet mama's meal and stretch their wings. We'll see how soon they are booted out of the nest.

If birds weren't enough, Gracie discovered an alligator snapping turtle, an endangered species here in Illinois, while riding her scooter today.
Likely a she on the move to lay her eggs, the snapper was about 12 inches wide and 14 inches long. She had a pile of mud on her back about 7-8 inches thick.  At the urging of some FB turtle lovers, we found her in the ditch and rinsed/pushed off some of the mud from her back so she could move easier.  However, she did quite well crossing the road and getting into that muddy ditch. She had quite a powerful lunge and snap on her! OUCH!

Right along with the animal antics at home, we had a duck parade at school last week.  It seems that a mother duck nests each spring in the courtyard at my school.  The staff outfit the courtyard with a pond and all the corn the duck and her brood can eat.  However, after some time, the ducklings must be allowed out of the courtyard to find food on their own if they are to survive. Sure enough, the mama duck led her ducklings out of the courtyard, through the school hall and outside to find a new home. There was a complication as the runt of the brood was hiding behind the door and was separated from his 11 brothers and sisters, as well as mama.  The trusty custodian had to bring him out by hand. You can hear him the loudest and finally see him catch up to the others once released by the custodian. In fact, he is in such a hurry to catch up, he passes them up speedy quick. I love how the kids, especially my kiddo, gets a kick out of watching the ducks. Their giggles make it even more delightful.

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