Perennial Fountain Grass
The other day, I opened the back door to discover that a tiny chickadee had become trapped in our enclosed porch. The screen door, which is always propped open so the dogs can come and go in the summer months, meant that the chickadee actually had an easy means of escape. Instead all his attentions were focused on the freedom clearly visible through the glass windows.
I watched helplessly as he flung himself repeatedly against the panes of glass; wings beating furiously against the unyielding window. Something had to be done or he was going to injury his wings, or even worse, break his neck. But how could I catch him?
Our house on the corner is the last respite. The retriever would have to face the prospect of crossing a very busy road before she could wander further. Quickly, I hatched a plan to put her in the fenced back garden, until I could find her owner.
"Well, hello there!" I said in greeting. The tail started to wag. I have never, ever met an ill-tempered golden retriever.
"Aren't you a good girl! Come here!" I commanded in friendly voice. Obediently she trotted over, relieved to be rescued with a few kindly words and a gentle pat on the head.
Looking to gain her complete trust, I gushed further praise, and rubbed behind her ears, while sneaking my hand around to gently grab hold of her collar.
She did not object when I opened the back gate and lead her into the garden.
Annual pink cosmos and blue Salvia.
Do you have a personal I.D. and phone number on your pets?
The golden retriever had none; just a city dog license and a tag with her vet's contact information. The vet's number was long distance. How far had this dog come I wondered? Hmm...perhaps the vet's tag were old and the owner had moved. The only local number was the dog licensing offices. Would the owner face a fine for letting their dog run loose? Probably! But without a personal I.D. tag, I had no choice but to call the city's animal control offices.
"She's a repeat offender!", the woman on the other end of the phone declared after I read off the retriever's license number to her. Repeat offender? I looked over at the retriever's round, joval-looking face in dismay. Was she really suggesting this dog was a criminal of some kind?
"Will the owner face a fine before they can reclaim their dog?", I asked. In my head, I wondered just how grateful the owner was going to be for this rescue.
"Yes, but she's been warned several times to keep better control of her dog, so don't feel too sorry for her." I waited on the line while the animal control officer tried to get the dog's owner on the phone. No answer! Instead an officer was dispatched to pick up the poor retriever to take him to doggy jail until his owner came to pay the fine and claim him.
Had I done the right thing?
Feather Reed Grass and Perennial Fountain Grass
In spite of my trepidation, I ceased the opportunity to act when the exhausted bird slid down the glass to the shelf along the bottom of the window. For a brief moment, he was trapped between the little decorative bottles on the shelf and the window pane. I cupped my hand around his tiny body, taking care not to damage his wings...ah-haw, caught him!
Holding this little soul in my hands was like holding air.
For a brief moment, we regarded one another. Then with his black beak, the chickadee pecked at my hand just to let me know who was boss.
His beak was so tiny however, it hurt not at all. My grip remained firm. The poor chickadee grew still, resigned to his fate. I am sure he must have thought that he was lunch.
I walked to the door and opened my hand. Gratitude took wing and then was gone.
All the images in this post were chosen for their delicate, bird-like qualities.
The pictures were shot recently in one of the city's parks.