But as I happened to glance up at yet another collision while I was hanging out the washing, I realized something. There wasn't just one pigeon. There were two. And the second was sitting on the ramshackle collection of twigs that passes for a pigeon nest (they're terrible nest builders). The pigeon's repeated crashing into the same tree suddenly made a lot more sense.
And because I'm the kind of girl who will happily climb up trees to check out a nest, I went up there. The sitting parent flew away at my arrival, revealing two tiny chicks (or squabs, as baby pigeons are called) lying very still on their precarious twig platform. Aww! (BTW, the parent bird came back). Photos are taken later when said parent became more tolerant of our intrustions.
|One chick using parent as a backrest. The other is underneath.|
|Is it me, or does it look like a dodo?!|
|Both chicks looking maybe a smidge cuter? 19th June|
My youngest is an absolute wildlife fanatic, so when we collected him from school I told him about the nest and pointed it out. Quick as a flash he shinned up the ladder. Fortunately his smaller size apparently made him less of a threat because the parent bird stayed put. Despite that, he was still able to see one of the chicks, which impressed him no end.
But when he came back down, he looked awkward. I asked him what was up. He gave me a quick glance before staring at his feet again.
"Pigeon chicks are really ugly," he ventured uncertainly.
I laughed. "Yup, they really are."
This seemed to relieve him. I found it cute that he felt bad about saying they were ugly, but got up the courage to say it anyway. They really aren't the cutest of chicks, though I've no doubt their parents think them beautiful...
Right now, Keir's Shadow is a chick of indeterminant species, adult feathers slowly and painfully emerging but as yet no swan, that's for sure. I just hope it isn't a pigeon.
Despite my best efforts, I'm still struggling to get past 36% on Keir's Shadow, though I have made progress. I'm having to write new or rewrite old sections to fix the improbably plot lines and expand what is staying. So far it's now up to 93K (having started out at 75K and scenes being deleted). I expect it to grow past 100K despite more needing cutting. The half-hearted secondary romance also needs working into shape. So, it is moving ahead, just very, very slowly.
Reunion is still untouched after coming back from my editor, while Unexpected is still with my editor.
Although the 99 cents promo officially finished yesterday, you may still be able to pick up some of the books listed HERE. My book Tethered will remain at 99 cents until the end of June regardless.
|A SciFi Romance Novella|
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There's excitement in the chook department! I've wanted some more chooks for a while, and youngest has been fascinated by the idea of hatching chicks since they incubated some duck eggs at school. Because we don't have a cockerel (too noisy, and you only need a cockerel for chicks, not to get eggs), I've had to buy hatching eggs.
Of course, coming through the post isn't an ideal way for them to travel so there's no guarantee any of the six will hatch. One benefit of Pekin bantams is they make good brooders regardless of who the eggs came from. The downside of this is they go through periods of being broody - a bit like a phantom pregnancy. They'll sit in the nest, even if it's completely empty, not eating or drinking, and also not laying. This generally means that throughout the spring/summer, one of our girls is in this state. Fizzgig was kind of half and half, while Effie was completely broody (to the point she will scream at you even opening the nest box and will peck savagely at anything coming near her. So I moved them off to a separate coop to become mums for real (if the eggs hatch), only for Fizzgig to abandon hers, so Effie is going solo. But the separate coop means she won't get disturbed by the other hens and I can give them suitable chick food and supplements. If all goes well, the eggs are due to hatch around the 4th of July, or possibly as late as the 8th). Fingers crossed!
|Nominated mum-to-be Effie|
|Pitch enjoying the sun...|
|...until Kyru decides to get in the way...|
|...and a disgruntled Pitch is forced to move.|