I was starting to think I was living too close to downtown Tidewater! Don’t pigeons usually hang out in urban areas?
Okay, I can close my eyes and listen to their gentle cooing and make-believe it’s a dove. Maybe that’s how the Feral Pigeons got nicknamed Rock Dove?
But, actually, this is a Band-tailed Pigeon. The yellow bill and legs and dark eye are unique to pigeons and this is the “largest of our pigeons”; according to my bird book.
They live in tall coniferous trees in mountain areas. Okay, so they are right at home at my home!
Coming back from Newport yesterday, I couldn’t cross the Alsea Bay Bridge again without stopping to see if there were any seal pups.
They have one, southbound, lane closed for bridge maintenance. They are removing rust, painting and constructing a new walkway under the bridge. I couldn’t find an estimated completion date on the ODOT website.
So, in honor of our upcoming Mother’s Day…
I couldn’t see the size difference of these seals to be able to tell if it was 2 moms nuzzling their pups or if it was male/female couples. They weren’t splashing around in the water like they did in the pre-pupping behavior. They are just sort of twisting around each other and swimming with their noses touching each others head and neck; very graceful and loving.
No wonder people have to be reminded to resist the urge to “rescue” a seal pup! They look so tired and under-fed and helpless! The pups can swim immediately after birth but they are like any baby, they need a lot of sleep. They only nurse every 3 hours and mom still has to eat. So, if you come across a seal pup on a beach, keep your distance. If you want to help it, stay there to educate other people who come along and keep their pets away. Mom Will Be Back! But the pups have to rest. They are camouflaged, like any other baby animal, for protection.
I actually didn’t even see this one until I got my photos back home to the computer. What I do is zoom in and take successive photos from one end of the group to the other. That’s how I’ve found animals that are tagged or branded too.
I hate carrying too much equipment around with me. I don’t take tripods or extra lenses (much to Don’s disappointment because he is sweet enough to buy those things for me – sorry Sweetie). Nor do I even take binoculars with me. It’s just extra baggage. I like to travel light. I barely throw on a coat!
I am so grateful that my parents are in such good health in their early 80’s! I love spending time with them in East Texas. When I was a child, I think I was considered a “daddy’s girl”. I’m pretty sure that was because if Dad was around, I was his shadow. Thinking back on it, I’m sure it’s because he was outside more than my mom. I’d rather be outside doing ANYTHING than inside doing my favorite things. I have the highest regard and respect for both of my parents and they have been instrumental in my life. I have fallen short of their examples in many ways but I have learned many things from each of them and as a couple who have been married for 61 years this month.
But let me tell you about my mother. As Dad puts it, she “likes change”. I look more like my mom but I act more like my dad. Mom is always eager to learn. She reads a lot. When I was young I remember the hard-back Reader’s Digests books coming in the mail. She said she started reading those when she got busy with kids and had less time for pleasure reading. Today they are still on bookshelves and her clothes closet is full of books. She trades books with friends and at the beauty shop.
But, as I said, Mom is not afraid of change and is eager to learn. So, she also owns a Nook! Okay, so she didn’t buy it for herself. But the only reason is that she is also very frugal. She’d been trading books for so long that she didn’t want to spend their hard-earned retirement money on her “habit”. I asked her how she picks out books to read. She said, “whatever is free”. Barnes & Nobel has Free-Book-Friday.
Mom has always been on the cutting edge of technology though. She graduated from William & Mary College, in 1951, with a Math major and Physics minor. She went to work for NACA (precursor to NASA) as a “computer”. Seriously, they did not have what we call computers today. They had a pool of people who performed calculations for the engineers. Now, just sit back and think about that for a minute. She worked with the small wind tunnel. She (and others) wrote down readings from the sensors and then hand-calculated by entering the numbers into the formulas.
Mom and Dad met at NACA. Mom worked there until their first child was born. Dad retired from NASA after 30 years. I’m going to fast-forward to after they got their kids off to a good start. Mom always knew she’d go back to work after the kids were grown. She waited until the youngest was in High School (or 8th grade?). She went to work at the Jr High. Almost as soon as she started working again, she took some college classes in computers. When I graduated from High School she started encouraging me to go into that field of study in college. Mothers are very insightful into their children’s capabilities and my Computer Science degree provided a great career for me even though I was just an average student. Mom secured a job with an oil and gas company where she used many computer programs to excel in her 2nd career.
This week we have been helping Mom get her new computer set up, the way she wants it, and all her files transferred from her old one. Mom could do it herself but she likes to think that others know more than she does. But this is what got me thinking about the computer experience of my amazing 82-year-old mother. I remind you again that she is frugal. I think she thinks that each computer she buys will probably be the last one. She made the last computer (well, the last desktop) last for 10 years! So as I see her sitting in front of her new HP, I also picture her in front of her first PC.
It was one of the first “portable” personal computers; an Osborne. It might have weighed 40 lbs? The keyboard latched over the front which had a 6 inch screen and two 5 ½” floppy drives. The small, square, white thing on the front is the screen. The first thing she did was buy a bigger monitor to use when she had it at home (as opposed to sitting on her lap in the airplane). Hahaha – just kidding!
Mom owns more technology than I do. She has 2 desktops, a laptop to use as they RV, Verizon Wireless, a Nook, DSL, Direct TV/DVR, a Tom-Tom AND a Garmin, 2 cell phones and 3 printers. When one printer seems to quit working she buys another and then the other starts working again. I know that seems to contradict her frugal characteristics but I maintain that computers are wonderful – when they work – and incite violence, or at least insanity, when they don’t. It’s not like she just likes to own the new technology. She uses most of those things on a daily basis. As I am settling into my comfortable retirement-rut she is asking me what I think about “the cloud”. I really can’t help her there. Her advances in technology have overtaken me! One may wonder what an 82-year-old needs with all this technology? She uses it all to keep in communication with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as friends. She also spends a LOT of time keeping up with the stock market and her investments and doing her (and other’s) taxes. My mother is a pioneer who keeps on reinventing herself. She is an awesome role model!
As a child I loved to play with baby dolls. I wanted to be a mother. I loved babies. By the time I was a teen, doctors told me I’d never bear children. I have a genetic disorder called Turner’s Syndrome. I never gave up hope though. I believed in miracles. When I was a young, married, woman we looked into fertility treatment. It hadn’t advanced to the point of in vitro fertilization yet. And, since I didn’t have any eggs, fertility drugs would have no effect. So we looked into adoption. I was so desperate for a child that I asked how to speed up the process. A 2 year waiting list sounded like an eternity. I asked about adopting an older child. They told me that a couple should adopt a newborn as their first child. At the time I thought that was odd and wondered why. I could love a child of any age!
Fast-forward, new husband who has children. Two of his children were teens. The youngest was 6. They didn’t need another mother. They had a mother who loved them. Children need to know how important they are to the parents who raised them from an infant. I was perfectly fine being a step-mom. I would never compete with their mom for her place in their lives. The children have always been very kind to me. Mother’s Day is the Sunday before my birthday. I remember the first Mother’s Day that I got a card and gift from our oldest child (daughter). She came in and put the gift bag on the counter. I thanked her for the early birthday gift. She said, “That’s for Mother’s Day.” I don’t know if she noticed my eyes tear up. But I was really touched. My natural “motherly instincts” didn’t come until my first grandchild though (this same daughter’s daughter). I didn’t even realize it until I experienced the growth and development of a child from the time she was an infant. About the time she was 6 I realized that I’d been more of a 2nd dad to my husband’s children – hahaha – those poor kids!
I think the spirit of an infant awakens the spirit of a mother; and probably a father but I can’t speak to that. I don’t think it matters how that child comes to be part of your family. Race doesn’t even matter. I know several mixed race adoptive families. God creates families in many different ways.
Fast-forward again and I’m the grandmother of almost 7 beautiful children. The oldest is almost 17 and the youngest (from the same mother) is almost born. Not bearing children was hard on me until I loved our teenagers. That made me wonder if I could have survived the heartbreak of my own children becoming independent. The thought of those years still brings a lump to my throat.
Today, Mother’s Day 2012, I am grateful, not only, for my own mother whose love, support and example I still depend on. I am also grateful to the mother of my children for giving them birth and a loving relationship. I am grateful to the mothers of my grandchildren for the loving sacrifices they make each day to raise their children and love their husbands. I am grateful for my mother-in-law for accepting me into her family and teaching me about her son. 🙂 And I am grateful for my husband. Without him I would never have had a family of my own.
Although no one has ever called me “Mom”, I will always be called “Grandma” by (at least) 7 beautiful children.
I hope your version of Mother’s Day is as great as mine!
I’m spending mine on the beach with my wonderful in-laws! 🙂