When I was asked to speak again this year for the St. Francis-inspired sermon of animals, my first thought was, “What if I said everything I had to say last year!” Last year's sermon of animals was a flow coming from multiple places of animals in the life of family and field, forest and farm, and it was very broad spectrum — all the species, all the roles, all the interaction between creatures and family and land. But there is always more about animals. So this year, it’s not the macro, but the micro — three short portraits. I want to
What does it say when you modify a LEGO house kit to include a rooftop loft complete with perches, breeding boxes, landing boards, scrub brushes and brooms, feed supplements, roof air vents, wind sock, water spigots, southern light exposure and a pigeon return viewing area with husband, flowers, lights, grill and chilled mugs? My son thinks I'm a hero. You could do worse than to build this loft. For real. Can I start a challenge? Lofts anyone?
Came out to close in the birds and found myself standing in the dark below the great horned owl perched up on the chicken coop. She was staring straight across at the open landing platform of the white homing pigeon loft. The coop was open as well and owls don't tend to wait for your invitation. She had taken several of our young racing pigeons a week back, waited until they flew up high and grabbed them from above through the more open wire mesh of one of the other loft aviaries. It was the first
They are here! Tiny ones the size of a walnut when they are hatched with noses as big as their heads. They will double and triple in size over the next few days, and will be flying in a month, but for now the weight of their noses still makes their necks wobble. At five days old I will slide the identity bands over their right legs, tagging them for life with the red of 2011. Each year's color is different, each band unique in the world. Any found pigeon can be searched online and
Qadaffi, Wisconsin politics, Lady Gaga, oil and New Zealand -- all becoming protective coverings for this year's tiny babies in their nest bowls. Temperatures are in the single digits and minuses, but the breeding birds are already nestling tiny ones under their breasts. We wrap each bowl in several sheets of paper, then add a handful of pine needles into each nest as it goes into the nest box. Twelve birds already paired up. And then out for a ski!