13 May 2008

It's a veritable baby factory around here!

Surprisingly, I'm not referring to the new MALE addition to the Slovick family. Instead, I'm posting the much-awaited photos of our first brood of Eastern Bluebird chicks of the year. Mama and Daddy bluebird persevered through the predation of their first clutch of eggs laid in March and have successfully hatched a second brood! Three of the eggs hatched on Mother's Day, and the other was hatched when I peeked in Monday morning. On my brief trip out there today to photograph the little runts I could only make out 3 mouths, but they're crammed in there so tightly that #4 might have just been hiding under her siblings. I'll keep you updated on their progress. Based on their hatch date of 5/11 I'm estimating that they'll fledge on or around Wednesday 5/28. I will do my best to get a progression of photos of the little cuties leading up to that time. Here's the family; Papa, Mama, and the kiddos.

Daddy had a grub in his mouth, just waiting for me to clear out of the area before he went in and fed the little chicks.

Mama had just come out of the nestbox in this shot. She was surveying the flower bed below her for more food for the chicks.

Their eyes aren't open yet, but their instinct is to look up and open their mouths when they hear sounds. I guess I sounded like I came bearing mealworms. I decided to leave that to the experts.

Some other yard visitors were feeling especially photogenic today, so I took advantage.

This frog (or is it a toad?) is a resident. I found him today when i was cleaning the bird bath.

The Chipping Sparrow is an unusual sight in my yard. This is only the second time I've ever seen one here. I can't even ever recall seeing one of these at the Nature Trail. I wonder where they hang out?

"I'm NOT Captain Obvious!"

Verbally, I think anyone who knows her would consider Lily advanced. She still has some moments of obvious toddlerdom though, and when she does she's fun to pick on.

A few months ago, apparently in an attempt to express her understanding of the events of the world around her, Lily uttered the following phrase. "When I was a baby in Mommy's tummy, I was a baby in her tummy". The quizzical glance that Mandi and I shot in each other's direction was comical to say the least. I think I actually shook my head unconsciously as if to jolt myself awake from whatever daydream I was having and ask myself, "What did she say?" These proclamations continued on at regular intervals, sometimes they were repeats of previous statements and sometimes they were fresh ideas. Yesterday, predictably, she said "If I have a baby brother, I will have a baby brother!"

Anyway, after the first few repeats of this pattern it started to remind me of a skit I used to love when I'd listen to The Bob & Tom Show on the radio in the mornings. Once a week or so they'd get a 'phone call' from a doofus who'd describe an everyday occurrence in comical detail, acting completely dumbfounded by what was going on. The recipient of the phone call was a character they called "Mr. Obvious". Mr. Obvious would mock the caller mercilessly as he listened to the description, and then he'd tell the doofus what was really going on. He'd say things like, "I don't think you've got a wild animal in your pipes caller, I think that's your garbage disposal." So one day when Lily spouted off one of her little gems, I retorted "That's great Captain Obvious". This did not go over well. Her immediate reaction was to convincingly demand "I'm NOT Captim Oveeous!" The fact that she got so close to pronouncing it correctly just goes to show how truly advanced her verbal abilities are. But I can't help myself when she opens the door for me to give her a little needling in the ribs. It's just too cute to see her get all bent out of shape about it, when she thinks she's saying something profound and meaningful and Daddy's calling her names.