Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Second Chances

It's not often in life we get second chances, and in reality we never really do. We just get "another" chance--if we're lucky.
This is the bird that hit my window. I thought he would most certainly die, as he fell to the ground in a diminishing series of somersaults, ending in stillness. These things happen, large windows being a curse for the avians on this planet, but I couldn't help thinking it was my window, my bird feeder nearby, and therefore my fault. The cold of winter would kill him if the collision didn't, so I hurried out to collect the unconscious bird in a towel. Being pragmatic, I tried (not very successfully) to continue to paint while I held the bird next to my body under my jacket. Occassionally I would peak at his head, and see his eyes flutter or his beak twitch. None of this looked very hopefull. After half an hour, however, the eyes opened and the bird made weak attempts to move. I took him outside, and carefully unwrapped the towel. The bird blinked and stood and turned his head about but made no attempts to fly even as his brethren flitted by twittering. I wrapped him up once again, and started the process over again. I finally realized only a longer convalescence would allow me to really assess the situation. I was terribly afraid the collision had crippled him and he would hover between life and death for many hours. "Make him comfortable" was the term that came to mind--so I emptied a box, placed a warm water bottle within, and placed the bird into it's warm dark and hopefully restful interior.
By this point, I was tired of what I had come to think of as a deathwatch, so I loaded the top with books (lest the cats get curious and try to pry their way inside) and went for a walk. Upon my return, I removed the books, to the tune of a most god-awful shriek. A horrible sound, I'm sure born of pure terror, but it brought joyful news to my ears. The bird was alive and lively. No more peaking--I took the box outside and I had barely parted the lid when a golden dynamo exploded outwards, executed a perfect sharp u-turn and straight as an arrow flew into a nearby pine. Judging by the speed and grace of this one's exit, I'll assume he had his second chance. While the collision was my fault (my window) I was glad to facilitate his second chance.

PS. I have no idea if the bird was male, but 'it' just seemed to cold and impersonal.

Image: ACEO 2.5" x 3.5" on 140lb watercolour paper. Inktense Pencils. This is one of my first experience with the brand. They seem to be fine pencils, and produce a fine paint when water is added, but I don't see them as different from any other water colour pencil I own. Possible, they are a less powdery in their pencil form, and the washed in colour is more permanent.


Cat-in-a-Box said...

Hooray for you!!!
Your story really warmed my heart today!

Six years ago one of my patients unexpectedly had a single kitten. Cold, motionless, slow heart beat, 50 grams - there was no way it was going to live. But where there's life there's hope, right? I stuck him down my shirt and me and my buddies took turns tube feeding him. Now I have a 13lb dork of a cat who has an affinity for beer and is the heart of our household. You just never know!

~ Pam

Michelle (artscapes) said...

I love these stories! and the art is beautiful!
There was a terrible windstorm one July about 8 years ago. This baby bird was struggling to fly and crashed into the porch railing. It lay there motionless, but it's eyes were active. Worrying that the cat would get it, I did exactly what you did - EXCEPT - I opened the box in the house to check and ended up cleaning a very active baby bird's poop off the walls! :-) We got her outside and all was well.

Jennifer Rose said...

put little shadow cut-outs of raptors on the window? Dad's front window is horrible to birds :/ There had been many times were I would be sitting there reading and the bird would come flying into the window. I would have thought I would have scared them off. Glad this one was all right :)

I find the Inktense easier to layer then my watercolour pencils. Other than that haven't noticed any other difference between them.

kaslkaos said...

I love the shared rescue stories. Thanks so much for telling! I'm very lucky I didn't end up with a lively bird trapped in my house too.
The birds seem to know the window is there (i have snowflake stickies on it) but sometimes they make mistakes, usually when startled by something.
Jennifer, yes, I feel the Inktense act more like a regular pencil crayon, so I don't regret the purchase, I just don't feel they fit the hype.


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