Tuesday, May 31, 2016

TUESDAY…The younger bird was left alone in the nest from the middle of yesterday.  It has been flexing its flying muscles.  I don’t believe it had tried its wings before it was left alone in the nest.  I don’t know if it was hatched one day after the other… or perhaps two days after the older bird had hatched.  It is definitely smaller than the first one, but the Mother bird has been back throughout the afternoon to feed the one left on the nest.  I haven’t seen the other young hummingbird, so I’m assuming it has gone off to make its way in the world by itself.  I didn’t see it at the moment it left the nest, so I don’t know if the Mother bird was there to encourage it to leave.  I have been paying attention to the one left behind.  I’m assuming it will leave the nest Tuesday or Wednesday. 


This morning the mother bird is feeding more often the single baby left in the nest.  I am wondering if she is getting ready to show the bird that today is the day to leave… or perhaps that she is getting the weight and strength up for tomorrow.  This little chick was hatched perhaps two days after its sibling.  Perhaps it’s only my imagination, but this little chick seems less mature than the one that left yesterday.  Sitting on the nest, testing wings, knowing it must leave soon, it seems much less secure to face the hazards of living in the big world.  Its feathers are not as well developed.  I'll watch carefully tomorrow.

Monday, May 30, 2016

MONDAY:  O.K., O.K, ENOUGH ALREADY…  Either the Google source of information can’t be trusted, or these birds have adopted (or accepted our adoption)us.  All morning the Mother has been making two or three trips every hour out to gather food for her chicks.  She knows I am standing by with the camera.  She flies to a foot in front of me, looks at me, and then flies off to get more food.  

The older chick has been testing its wings all morning.  It stands on the edge of the nest and practices flying without going anywhere.  I expect to come to the nest sometime this afternoon and finding it empty or with one chick left in it.  All over the ground near the nest there is Rosemary growing and blooming.  I’m trying to be on hand for the leave-taking.  I’m wondering if the new Hummingbird will spend some time on the Rosemary near the nest.  Of course, I will worry.  It’s a big world out there.

Midday… the older sibling has gone...a few minutes before I found the younger chick in the nest alone.  I’m sorry I missed the leave-taking of the older bird.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

SUNDAY:  When we got back home at 12:30 lunchtime there was a lot of activity at the nest on our back porch.  The Mother bird had apparently just fed the two babies, and she was fluttering around the area.  The larger of the babies was sitting on the edge of the nest flapping wings fast.  I thought we were about to witness the leave-taking, but the little guy just settled back into the nest next to his sibling and stayed that way for the rest of the afternoon.  We went out again for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and I expected, of course, the bird to have flown the nest by the time we came back home.  I was wrong again.  The older sibling seems to be caring for  the younger one.  We’ll see what happens in the nest tomorrow.  The older baby is clearly ready to fly away.  It can flap its wings with as much strength as an adult bird does.  This afternoon it sat on the edge of the nest and demonstrated its strength by flapping its wings vigorously

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday.  Again today I’ve watched the nest, and I’ve been wrong again.  I must have miscounted.  By my reckoning the older bird was born 21 days ago today.  Three weeks of nesting doesn’t match what I learned on the Internet.  At the end of the day, the two baby hummingbirds are still settled in the nest.  They obviously like being close together.  The smaller one snuggles up close to the older sibling.  The Mother bird comes to feed the two of them.  She seems not to be encouraging either of them to leave the nest.  I’ll continue to watch the rest of the day.  I’m beginning to think they don’t want to leave the nest.  

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday:I have watched the hummingbird nest since early morning, and I’ve been wrong... Again.  I thought the older chick would have flown the nest by midmorning.  There are still two hummingbirds in the nest... a very crowded nest.  The younger is definitely not the leader.  It is smaller, and it sits under its sibling hummingbird that is at least one day older.  The Mother bird has been back to feed them off-and-on all day.  We’ll see if the older one is gone by the end of the day.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Both baby hummingbirds are still in the nest.  I expect the older one, the one farthest from the camera in the first picture, to fly away tomorrow.  I expect them to stay around after they leave the nest because we have lots of flowering plants.  Tlhe Mother bird will participate in helping them to learn to live outside the nest. The Father bird has nothing to do with raising the babies or seeing them settled into the five-year life of hummingbirds in the world. In the second picture, the older bird is closer to the camera.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

This is the week of hummingbirds.  The two “baby” birds are outgrowing the nest, so I expect them to be gone by weekend.  I’ll take a picture every day until the nest is empty.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

After lunch I went with friend Tom Fagan over to Fiesta Island to sit in beach chairs beside Mission Bay and look at water and clouds… and to be glad to be in good health and out beside the water in San Diego.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Today has been one of those very good days of sitting and watching (until mid afternoon).  The hummingbird nest has become so crowded that Mama Hummingbird doesn’t sit on the nest at all during the day.  I’ll watch tonight to see if she sits on it at night.  I don't think she will fit into nest.The chicks are over two weeks old, and I’m thinking this is the week when the nest will be empty altogether by Saturday.  The older chick is bigger than the younger… considerably bigger, so I’m thinking the smaller may have hatched a couple of days after the first one.  The younger one is smaller now, and I am concerned that there isn’t enough room in the nest for two  chicks fully developed into adult hummingbirds.  

The process isn’t completely new to me because I've checked the Internet for information and I watched another nest in front of the apartment last year; but today I’ve decided to watch the nest to see how often the mother bird comes back to feed the chicks.  She has come back every twenty to twenty-five minutes.  The chicks hear her and put their beaks up open and she puts her beak into the open beak of the chick.  She feeds both chicks every time she returns to the nest.  It’s an amazing process to watch.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Oregonian friend Jerome Garger send me this reminder from The Writer’s Almanac.   I think it is important enough to build a BLOG entry around it.   Of course, it’s a few days past the actual birthday of Malcolm X, but the writing makes important statements about a remarkable man.  Thanks, Jerome.

May 19 is the birthday of Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska (1925). When he was four years old and living in East Lansing, Michigan, white supremacists set fire to the family's home. The East Lansing police and firefighters -- all white -- came to the house when called, but stood by and watched it burn. When he was six, his father was murdered. Police declared his death a suicide, which invalidated the family's life insurance policy. Little's mother never recovered from her husband's murder, and entered a mental institution when the boy was 12. When he was 14, he told his high school teacher that he wanted to be a lawyer. The teacher told him to be realistic and consider a career in carpentry instead. Little dropped out of school the following year.

He was arrested for larceny in 1946, and while in prison, an older inmate encouraged him to use his time to educate himself. Little began checking out books from the prison library, and when he found his vocabulary too limited for some of them, he copied out an entire dictionary word for word. He also began a correspondence with Elijah Mohammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, and once released, became one of their most prominent organizers. He took the surname "X" to symbolize his lost African heritage.

But in 1964, Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam when he learned that his mentor was having multiple affairs, contradicting his own teachings. Seeking clarity, Malcolm that year made the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Here, for the first time, he related to people of all races, and returned to America with a new message. He stopped preaching the rigid separatism that had been his trademark, and instead called for people to work together across racial lines.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Last night Margaret and I went to hear the San Diego Symphony play Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, Schubert’s  Symphony in B Minor, and the Strauss Don Quixote (Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character), Opus 35.  While I waited at Intermission and Margaret talked with a friend, I wondered why I found being at Symphony Hall watching and listening to these magnificent pieces of music more enjoyable than listening to good recordings in the comfort of my home.  I decided that at Symphony Hall watching and listening at the same time I was more deeply engaged with the music.  I was brought into the heart of the music.  As I watched cellist Johannes Moser and Violist Chi-Yuan Chen play with the whole orchestra, I was drawn into their performances and into the music they played.  I connected with the music when I saw Moser and Chen connected with it.  

This afternoon, I read the 13th chapter of Mark Labberton’s The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor, and I found the language I needed to think about why I easily avoid becoming involved in expanding my “neighborhood” to include people who don’t fit my cultural and educational background, my gender and race, my class and position in community. I listen to information about “need” in the larger community with the same kind of involvement that I have with music when I listen to good recordings of good music. I intellectually understand the need of at the homeless man or woman or child in Balboa Park or Downtown San Diego, but I don’t get it at a level that makes me want to do something that will actually change his or her condition.  Of course, I write checks, or I listen to Margaret tell me about writing checks to support needy causes in the community, but I don’t have to smell or touch or even really see them.  I give a Macdonald’s card to a homeless person with a sign asking for help, but I don’t have to follow the person in the search his or her search for my cultural and educational background, my comfortable gender and racial situation, or the comfort of my class and position in my community.  I can ride along without being deeply involved with the suffering of others.  I don’t honestly know what to do about the suffering of other people who are outside my cultural class.

Today the mail brought this month’s Atlantic Monthly magazine.  The cover piece of writing inside this month’s Atlantic is “The Mind of Donald Trump” A psychologist’s guide to an extraordinary personality.  My first response to the article, which I haven’t read yet, is fear.  I’m afraid I might learn something about Trump that will make me begin to understand and to like him.  A big part of my response is that the Atlantic wouldn’t print a piece that would paint Trump in a positive light… but what if?  In any case, I will read the piece, maybe even today after I have sent away this piece of BLOG writing.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Margaret and I went to a lecture at the San Diego Museum of Art, and the first painting shown on the screen was One of my favorites.  It is the still life by Juan Sanchez Cotan painted in 1602.  You may know the one: Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber.  It’s definitely Cotan’s masterpiece… long before the time of photography, this painting looks like a photograph… a good photograph… a very good photograph… We are fortunate to have the San Diego Museum of Art… Every visit to the museum is a gift.  

Yesterday... I got busy... and the BLOG posting happened on the 20th of the month... pictures from a bicycle ride.  You'll excuse the thumb in the third picture.  I'm not yet accustomed to iPhone photography.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tonight we will see the Lamb’s Player’s production of Dinner with Marlene.  It’s a play by Anne-Charlotte Harvey.  The play will take us to Paris where we’ll see Marlene Dietrich and other famous people at a dinner party a few days before the beginning of World War II.

Friday Margaret and I will go to hear the San Diego Symphony, and I will watch the flute section.  It’s an old habit that I don’t wish to break.  This week’s concert will include Schubert’s Symphony in B minor, D. 759: Unfinished and Strauss’ Don Quixote. 

The Flute

The flute in a concert hall or on a lonely hill
Makes the music that most exactly
Matches the creature who played it.
Can the silver pipe really have such a throat
That trills and runs and floats and calls
Up and down and around the mind?

No wonder the player’s eyebrows rise
When a note touches his heart.
How can his shoulders not bounce
When the call from his pipe recalls
Calling birds and running brooks?
And his head goes up and back
Affirming beauty and sorrow and life.

Flute music is exercise for the soul,
Food for the spirit,
Rest for the mind.

Saturday, March 24, 1990

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

More BarkFor a long time I’ve been seeing bark on trees and trees as whole living things and roots of trees as somehow related to my being alive on this earth.  Today was one of those days when the bark on trees, especially Eucalyptus trees, seemed to me to be related to my existence.  I came home from the gym and a conversation with a special friend keenly aware of the importance of friends who are special.  The trees scattered throughout the condominium community (334 “units”) all belong to the community.  The trees belong to each other and are somehow related to all of us. Life is good.

Monday, May 16, 2016

We’re near the end of the annual peeling of the bark in our backyard.  One of the Eucalyptus trees has peeled away outer bark until only raw naked skin is left on the tree…  The first picture is of a scar on a Melaleuca Tree.  Of course, it’s not an eye; but I like to think the tree is looking at the world.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

DOWN BY THE POOL AND THE GAS GRILLS while I was waiting for the grills to get hot enough to cook our supper, I wandered around for a few minutes with my camera and found these flowers.  Some of them were fresh and new, and some of them were dead.  Asi es la vida.