This evening I sat outside from around 5 – 7pm as Queenie began the ritual of taking her kids to bed up in the avocado tree. First, she wandered around with them following her, digging into the ground with her big feet to give the chicks insects, showing them how to drink from a shallow bowl I’d put near the avocado tree, finding the wheat always there for all of the birds. At first I was a bit alarmed to find the little family out of the pen as early as 5pm but I guess they are now a bit beyond the pen and like to wander around the yard and back paddock freely. King (obviously the dad) stayed with them for ages, protectively.
I have maintained a respectful distance but they all come close to me anyway; they trust me and seem to rather like the flash of the camera. The photos I have put here show their long, but enjoyable, journey to bed but this is the first time I have seen the finale. I was amazed to see how the two peachicks can actually fly quite high now from branch to branch, up and up, and until they reach their mother. Queenie clucks until they get to her.
Of course the two peachicks are still extremely vulnerable; they might be taken by crows, they might drown in the pond (now that they are out of the yards), but I am hopeful that wise Queenie will prevent these possible catastrophes and King is right by her side for much of the time.
In watching this beautiful bedtime ritual, I remembered how much the birds helped me cope with the misery of Anthony’s illness, the nursing home process, Ming’s spinal operation and so many other things. Now the birds are helping me to cope with a whole new set of miseries which I blogged about yesterday, then trashed because it was all too sad. In trashing the post, I guess I also trashed the comments and I apologize for this and am grateful for those comments. Now I think the best thing is to get back to these beautiful birds for awhile.
Tonight, I would love to be one of Queenie’s peachicks, up high in the avocado tree, under her gentle wings.
But I am a bit too big!