Monday, July 18, 2011

Birds know

It never ceases to surprise me that birds know when you will help them. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a pigeon with a string tightly wrapped around both his feet. He could hardly walk so picking him up was easy. The surprising thing is that he seemed to know that I would take the string off his feet.

He never struggled no matter how I turned him in an effort to cut the string. For a few minutes I had him flat on his back and still he was patient and didn't struggle to get loose. I finally freed his feet from the string and he flew away.

This evening just before dark I was shooing the pigeons into the pigeon house when a small sparrow landed about four feet from me. I said a few words to it, ( yeah, I talk to cats, dogs and birds), and it sat there and let me walk up to it. It looked up at me and even let me put my hand around it but before I could close my hand on it it flew about six feet away and landed. I went into the house and got the bird net and went out and simply dropped the net over the little bird.

I took it out of the net and carried it in my hand while I went looking for a small cage for the bird. During the fifteen minutes or so that it took to prepare the cage and put in food and water the little sparrow was sitting peacefully in my hand and not struggling. I think he knew that I was trying to help him. I put him in the cage and covered it with a towel. In a few days I will release him when a flock of his kind come by and hopefully he will join them .

I think it is a young bird that got separated from it's flock and with night coming on it was lost and terrified . Scared as he was, he still let me help me.

The photo above shows feeding time and some of the pigeons that live here.

Till next time,


Up-date on the little sparrow.

Next morning I checked on the sparrow. I guess daylight brought his courage back. He was flitting about the cage and rarin' to go. I reached in the cage to pick him up and the little devil bit me ! Guess he didn't remember how grateful he was the night before when I picked him up and brought him inside.

There was nothing wrong with him so no reason to keep him caged up. I took him outside and set him free. He joined a flock of his own kind and flew away with them.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Empty Chairs in the Hangar

How quiet it was in my hangar today when I went down to cover my gyro. Nothing but a half a dozen empty chairs and the gyro in there. Yesterday the hangar hosted several gyro friends , my two daughters and me. There was talking, laughing, sharing gyro stories and just a good feeling .

Yesterday my day had started at 6 AM, before I was out of bed even. I was awake and thinking of getting up but hadn't made the move yet when I heard a gyro coming our way. There was no doubt in my mind who was flying. It had to be my old gyro buddy, Dave. Dave, like me , loves the very loud un-muffled McCulloch engine on his gyro. Real gyro pilots are about the only ones who love the Mac. We like the light weight of the engine and the fact that it makes the gyro so nimble. Other folks just say it's too loud.

Sure enough, it was Dave. He he did his usual fly-by , some might call it a buzz job, but fly-by sounds more FAA approved. I went out on the porch bare footed and in my jammies and waved to him as he came by. After a couple of passes he signaled me to , " come on down", meaning come on down to the hangar where he planned to be.

I shirked my morning baby bird feeding duties and went on down to the hangar. To my surprise, Ben , a gyro friend from Arizona was there. After awhile, another gyro enthusiast came along. Ben had just had an unscheduled landing while flying Daves gyro. We stood around for awhile talking about Ben's exciting unplanned landing then we moved into the hangar to get out of the hot sun. After awhile my two daughters came down and joined us and we just talked the talk.

It wasn't anything special, just a few gyro friends and some of my family spending a couple of hours talking and laughing and sharing memories but it was nice .
After awhile, we pushed my gyro out to the run-up pad and started the engine. The gyro hadn't been flown or even started for several months but that Mac started right up and ran great. After awhile the guys had to leave and I had to get back home to take care of my responsibilities. The engine was too hot to put the rags in the ports and the carburator so I left that until today.

When I opened the hangar doors this morning to take care of the gyro I saw the empty chairs. It was a lonely feeling like the lake bed on Sunday after the fly-in when everyone has loaded up and headed home. It was a quiet and lonely place. The friends and family had gone home but the memories remain.
Till next time.
Marion Springer

Friday, July 1, 2011

Lookin' Out My Backdoor

This morning around 7 AM I looked out my back door and saw hundreds of sheep walking down the road that crosses our property.

They have been grazing in the area for several days. It is amazing that so many sheep are controlled in the large open countryside by one Shepherd and two sheep dogs.

They have been grazing about a mile or so north of us for several days being moved here and there until they were just outside my fence a day or so ago. My Doberman, Connie went to the fence and barked at the sheep but they paid her no mind and just kept on eating. Connie isn't used to being ignored when she barks at other creatures so she got embarassed and came back into the yard. Today she didn't even bother looking at the sheep as they marched down the road. I guess if they were not going to act frightened when she barks at them then it's no fun.

We have very little traffic out here but now and then a car or delivery truck does venture out this way. If the sheep are in the roadway, the driver slows way down but usually keeps driving while the sheep just kind of flow around the vehicle. It's wierd when you are in a car on the road and finally come to a stop because you are surrounded by slow moving sheep. It's like being stopped near the railroad tracks when a train is passing and suddenly you feel like your car is moving and you step on the brake which you are already stepping on.

I wonder about coyotes getting the sheep especially at night when they have so little protection from predators . Other night Linda heard coyotes barking and immediately she heard the sound of two shots . I would imagine the shepherd fired into the air and scared the coyotes away for all was quiet afterwards.

The shepherd has a water truck which he fills every day. When the sheep stop to drink, they all stop at the same time and drink then they all lie down and rest. After a nap they are on the move enmasse looking for food.

Living way out in the open country as we do we get to see some interesting things that you just can't see in metropolitian areas.

Till next time.
Marion Springer