Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gertrude Dove

Have I mentioned Gertrude before? She’s a zebra dove (at least I think it’s a she) that flies over to greet me whenever I settle down in my reading chair outside.
It’s not out of love, I know that. It’s because she wants something to eat. She’ll walk around in front of me, looking up, then prance around me, sometimes even walking under my director’s chair.
A couple of times she’s flown up to the table next to me and given me the eye. Once, when I stared her down, she jumped down and roosted on my leg for a minute or so before heading down to the ground for her pick-n-peck routine.
She even flew up behind me once and settled on my head for a couple of seconds.
I thought I needed a picture of her the next time she landed on me, so I’ve been bringing my camera out with me. Unfortunately, she hasn’t repeated her “roost on Craig” performance … not even once. So I had to settle for a picture of her pecking away at the ground.
Two smaller zebra doves sometimes come around when she’s not there … I call them Hector and Victor. They’re both small, so I surmise they are much younger than Gertrude. Hector is the smaller of the two and cracked me up the other day.
When Victor was pecking at some cracker crumbs I’d left, Hector sidled up to him and began pushing him away with his “shoulder,” muscling in on the goodies, moving slowly to his right until Victor was out of the picture entirely.
That’s when Gertrude came running over from where she was foraging near my orchid plants, headed straight for the two and chased them away. You know what? I think Gertrude is her mother and she was letting them know who’s boss in these parts.
Boys, don’t mess with momma.

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