Friday, September 11, 2009

Bye-bye, Bougainvillea

Paloma de alas blancas (Zenaida meloda)Image by pablo_caceres_c via Flickr

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, it's been a stressful one.

My mom Betty and my nephew Nick left after a 3 month visit. The house is very quiet without them, and we all miss them a lot. My mom has been a huge help around the house, and it's taken me a bit to get back on a schedule where I'm having to do all the housecleaning myself again.

Then, Thursday, we had a gardening crew come to 'trim' the bougainvillea in our back yard. A little background - we have a 2-story wall around our yard, and the bougainvillea grows up the very back wall. This plant had been growing untethered for several years, and was gorgeous, but out of control at a good 30 feet high (10 meters). It was also growing well forward of the wall, and was in danger of falling forward onto the house. The only recourse was to have it cut way back.

The bad news is that the plant was just full of bird nests, mostly doves. It really broke my heart to drive all these birds out of their home, but it just couldn't be helped. And I can't stand to think of how many little eggs may have been destroyed. Fortunately, it's early enough in the spring that I don't think there were too many actual fledglings, although I'm sure there were a few. There were doves flying all over my back yard yesterday, cooing and crying, in a panic, looking for their nests and offspring. I shed quite a few tears.

The good news is that these birds are resilient. I'm amazed to see them out here today, searching the yard for sticks and twigs, looking for materials to start all over again. I can already see one completed nest, down in the lower branches of the bougainvillea. I've also seen quite a few of them up on the upper branches, doing what it is that birds do to make baby birds. It's a good lesson for us humans. To see these birds that have lost everything - their home, their families, everything - bounce back; to get up the next day and just do what needs to be done to succeed, to thrive. They aren't quitters, they don't give up. They aren't looking for revenge, they aren't looking for someone to blame, and they didn't sit around waiting for a handout. They just got a good night's sleep and got up and started over.

And I think that's a good lesson for all of us, especially on this day.
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