Sunday, September 02, 2007


The ongoing saga of the (sick?) or perhaps just worn out and terrified spider continues. She crept from her hiding place last night after dark to hang in the upper left hand corner of the window, but did no spinning, and by daylight she was gone.

I checked after breakfast and she was once more holed up between the window frames, curled into a tight little ball. I gently nudged her with a blade of grass, just to see if she was alive, and she extended a front leg and pushed the stem away. So I let her be.

Tonight she is once again hanging in the upper corner of the window, no spinning, no movement, just hanging there. I really do wish she'd get busy and start work on her web. I have no idea how long spiders can go between meals. She ate very well two days ago, but she had a very difficult experience night before last, and I don't know about spiders, but being stressed out makes me want to eat! She needs to get better before I gain five pounds!

Today I was watching the birds at the feeder. There was a busy little throng of six or seven kinds of sparrows and finches, plus the rusty blackbirds, probably 40 birds total. I could hardly believe my eyes when suddenly a brilliant green, blue and yellow budgie landed on the feeder! A little out of its natural range (Australia), this sassy little jewel is obviously an escapee. This is not a good climate for budgies. They don't tolerate cold, or even cool, weather.

I thought I might try calling it to see if it would come to me. I've had a couple of well-loved budgies and they will fly to a human's finger if they are tamed and bonded to a human. But this one was wary. It flew away as soon as I opened the door. No hope of catching it. I hope it finds its way home, but it looked like it was enjoying its freedom. Reminded me of something Ecologist Ianto Evans wrote, "Even our domesticated animals are more prisoners than guests."

I refilled the seed tray and the budgie returned to feed, flying away several times but returning again within a few minutes. In between it wheeled and soared with the rusties, who appeared to take no notice of its bright plumage.

The sparrows and finches fight constantly over space at the feeder, even when there's plenty of room for all of them. We have a saying, "Two sparrows are a fight, three is a war!" But the budgie had the feeder all to itself. If a sparrow tried to land on the tray he put the wind up it pretty quickly. The smaller birds seemed intimidated by the budgies almost neon colors, or maybe it knew the right things to say to a sparrow to make it go to ground and stay there.

In the middle of all that a huge flicker landed on the trunk of the cherry tree by the feeder. It was enormous! Flickers are usually 10 - 11 inches long, I swear this one must have been 13 inches. I've never seen a flicker of this size before. We had a pair of yellow-shafted flickers excavate a nest in a tree and raise a brood of chicks not 12 feet from the kitchen window a few years ago, and they were no where as large as this one. I think this is a red-shafted, which tend to be a bit larger, but he hasn't read the breed standard or he wouldn't be as big as a pterodactyl!

And to round off the "beastly" report, a picture of the Red Chief, taken by Zak when he was here in July. Ian spotted this little massage unit and thought it might help my chronically stressed-out neck muscles, which it does. But the Chief was curious about the buzzing noise and came to investigate. As a joke I slid it over onto his neck and rolled it around. I expected it to freak him out, but he loved it! So much that he started asking for spa services, thank you very much. Just there, no a little to the left. Ahhhhhhh! Perfect!

I was holding the end of the leash while he had his daily stroll this morning when a couple approached to remark on his size and his beauty. The woman noted that he is clipped and asked if he is a "show" cat.

Yes, I said, He shows me what he wants, and I get it for him. Ianto Evans wasn't thinking of me when he referred to the domesticated prisoner, but he hasn't seen the RC sitting at my bedside at 3:00 am, patting me with extended claws because he wants a cookie, or a bit of conversation. But the RC isn't looking for freedom. He wants his Mama, on the end of the leash. Just in case he wants something he can't reach alone.


Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

The budgie must have been a surprise, it needs to get inside before the cold weather arrives, hope someone catches it

Susan said...

Was this taken before the shave? If so, the hair sure grew in nice. He is absolutely beautiful!
I just enjoyed your spider posts so much. I hope lacey recovers.