Monday, May 25, 2009

Productive Memorial Day Weekend!

We took advantage of the 3-day weekend to get some projects done around the house.

Today, Mark (with the help of Mark, his friend) replaced our old, yucky ceiling fan in the family room.



And, after!

Much improved I think! We still need to clean off the ceiling where a dirt ring of sorts has been left behind where the old fan's base was. Overall, I'm very pleased! The guys really did a great job! There were a few setbacks, but I'm VERY impressed!

Also, this afternoon we found a tiny little baby bird on the ground off of our back deck! He was just laying there, actually we were worried that he was dead, but then we noticed he was breathing and as we were standing there talking he struggled to lift his head and started crying! It was the saddest little thing!

I dubbed him Peep.

So, we consulted the web for what to do. First, we attempted to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center, but unfortunately (probably because it's a holiday!) no one picked up. After more research here is what we found.

- The rule about not touching baby birds because their mommas will abandon them if they smell like humans is just a myth. Apparently birds have a terrible sense of smell and rely more on their hearing when dealing with their babies. They know their baby's cry and if they hear them they will come to feed them and care for them.

- The best thing to do for a displaced baby bird is to put them back in the nest they came from. Unfortunately, we were unable to figure out exactly where he came from and were unable to locate the nest, which brings us to the next point.

- If the original nest can't be located, it's best to get them up, off the ground and place them in a makeshift nest as near to where you think they came from as possible. If the momma's still around, she'll hear the peeps and bring food for her baby. You're supposed to watch for the momma to come back and if not move to the next point.

- If you know the momma is gone, or it's evident that the baby has been abandoned you should take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center. If that's not possible, you can keep the baby fed (every 15 to 20 minutes!), dry, and warm for the next several weeks until it's strong enough to leave on it's own, but they won't really get the proper education that they need as far as how to survive in the wild, find food, housing, avoid predators, etc.

So, I built Peep a nest

an old flower container (for proper drainage), dry straw, and a shredded paper towel, with some twine to hang in from a branch.

Mark put him up in the nearest tree

And he's been there all afternoon. I didn't really see the momma come back, but there were birds around. Maybe she'll show up later tonight? Other than putting him back up there, I'm afraid there's not much we can do. It doesn't sound like he'll really survive without his momma. Even if we do feed him and he makes it the next few weeks, I don't think he'll survive after he's back out in the wild. So, I'm going to keep an eye on it, maybe well try the wildlife rehab center hotline again tomorrow and see what they say.

Yesterday we put in a garden! Well... it's more of a vegetable patch really because it's pretty small, but I think it'll get the job done while being an easy size to maintain for our first try!

We decided to do a 4' x 4' raised-bed design - and by "we" I mean "I"! I made the plans, Mark then helped carry out my ambitious plans while grumbling a bit, but he did a wonderful job figuring out what I had going on in my head! - and planted a variety of plants.

I planted 4 tomato plants (2 large, 1 medium, 1 cherry), zucchini, butternut squash (which was SUPPOSED to be yellow squash, but it seems this butternut was hiding with the yellow and I grabbed the wrong thing. Ah well.), yellow squash (which I picked up today!), red and green bell peppers, jalapenos, and eggplant. I can't wait to see how things turn out!

I also potted some herbs separately - mint, basil, italian parsley, rosemary, and cilantro.

Yesterday, I also gave the outdoor patio cushions a good cleaning. I'm very pleased with how they turned out, I'll give more info on this later.

Last but not least, my hydrangea bush is blooming! I love it, the little blooms are so cute!

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