Monday, July 26, 2004
bird brain
Allow me let you in on a little tidbit about me; I am a nature freak and an animal lover. Bigtime. I have had all kinds of pets from spiders to salamanders to sugar gliders and I have a hard time killing anything living. If I find a spider in my house I will leave it alone even if it's crawling across my keyboard. At worst I will pick him up (no I'm not afraid to pick these things up with my bare hands!) and escort him outside. There are a few exceptions, and they mainly involve insects who insist on getting in my space (ie: flies and mosquitoes, but bees are captured and released outside). I cannot STAND a fly near my food, and I certainly won't tolerate a bug sucking my blood. Other than that, I have the patience of a saint for most living things. Don't bother me and I won't bother you.

Now then, keeping that in mind...imagine me as I was driving down a nice quiet road in my neighbourhood this morning, on my way to work. The sun was shining, the birds were was a beautiful start to the week. As I was driving along I noticed a couple of birds up ahead, hopping around on the road, hunting for crumbs (gee, where could this be going?). As I got closer I noticed it's beautiful pair of gold finches, a male and female (the male is a bright yellow).  As I got even closer I thought to problem, they'll move out of the way. Birds always do. And sure enough...the female flew up onto the grass. The male did not. I quickly tried to position my car so that if he managed to stay still he would be fine because he would be away from the tires. I heard myself gasp as I passed over him and then my eyes darted up to my rearview mirror to look back.. Much to my horror I saw a little birdie body in the road with a wing sticking up. I was mortified. I slammed on the brakes and turned around to go back; I was going to save him or kill him, if that was the humane thing to do (I wasn't sure yet just how I would bring myself to do that). As I doubled back I found.....nothing. He was gone. It seems he might have hit the bottom of my car when flying up and was maybe just stunned for a moment? I can only assume, since he wasn't there. I was relieved.

But the story doesn't stop there! I continued my drive into work and 30 mins later I was taking the exit off the highway when I noticed something dead ahead on the road. Having the uncanny ability that I do to identify mashed animals on the flyby, I noted it was a duck and thought it was the damnedest thing; what's WITH these birds suddenly being so stupid??  I waited at the lights on the off-ramp to turn onto the street near my workplace and continue on. The light turned green and as I made the turn I noticed ....yes, that's right, a duck sitting at the side of the road. There was a feather sticking up, perhaps a fractured wing, and it's head was up as it sat there facing the wall (it was on a bridge/overpass. not exactly somewhere I can pull over and stop). What? did the whole flock decide to play in traffic or something??

I continued on to work (I was less than 5 mins away at this point) all the while feeling terrible for the duck. Was it still alive? Could I be sure? Am I in the Twilight Zone???  Am I suddenly a magnet for wounded birds?? WTF??
Once I was at work I started feeling guilty about the damn duck. No one was gonna save him, and he was going to die a slow terrible death while people just drove by. Finally I made up an excuse to leave the office...and yes...I went out to look for the damned duck. LOL. I'm a sucker, what can I say? Always a bleeding heart..

So off I went back up the road. And guess what I found? That's right...NOTHING. Ah, I get it now...I'm not in the Twilight Zone at all...I'm on Candid Camera and somebody MUST be fucking with me this morning. *sigh*

Now you may be asking yourself....just what was I planning on doing with the duck if I found him? Well, it should come as no surprise after hearing this story that I know of a wildlife rescue place where you can drop off wounded animals. I am of course familiar with this place after a previous time in which I chased a seagull with a broken wing out into traffic in order to scoop him up and take him there. The chase actually started in a parking lot where there weren't cars zipping by at high speeds, but the little bugger ran away from me and out onto the road. Finally I tossed my jacket over him and nabbed him  and took him to the rescue place. Unfortunately his wing was beyond repair and they had to put him down. But hey! I tried. And I'll keep on trying. :-)

In a completely unrelated note,  go check out my photoblog, Dreaming In Blue; I put some new pics up. This one is particularly cute.