A View from the Futon

Finches in the Window

Finches in the Window, from the futon perspective

There’s a lot to be done around here and I am doing absolutely none of it.

View from the Bridge downtown

View of the Jackson Blvd. Bridge from the Adams Street Bridge downtown, with the cell phone

I was improving Tuesday with my right knee when that same night coming home on the train an unfortunate move put me out of commission, so I was forced to take Christmas Eve off from work, which produced little on my end except for a lot of indoor bird observation, reading the paper online, accepting sympathy from friends and succumbing to naps. I did play a little piano.

As I’ve been sharing a lot of time with the indoor birds lately, listening to the begging sounds of new baby birds has been the highlight of my existence. A reminder that I have to get better because I have birds to take care of. And I will do anything for my birds. Even if it hurts.

Zebras 12-21-14-9064 Zebras 12-21-14-9059

We were promised a break in the clouds for Christmas, after the promise of rain turning into snow did not pan out. The sun did manage to peek out from the clouds this afternoon, which greatly improved our moods. It has been so dismal and gloomy (or “glismal” as my mother used to say), I think we broke the record for days in December without sunshine.

So I listen to the baby birds: the Society Finches, who sound like you would imagine baby birds to sound, and the Zebra Finches, who sound like someone shaking a box of pins, that grows gradually louder day by day. I have taken to calling them The Pins. You can hear them helping me read through a little Bach D minor prelude (the last English Suite, finally). The next time you hear them they will be twice as loud.

And the songs and personalities of the new finches are starting to reveal themselves. I have decided to name the two male Zebra Finches Arturo Toscanini and Ricardo Muti, seeing as how their songs have yet to be formed enough for me to write them out and provide lyrics. Arturo has been working diligently on his song and it is the most developed. I suspect he is the alpha male. The clip below is of Arturo singing with a little Mozart.

I am also feeling a little better about my Zebra Finch matchmaking, it seems to be working out. At first I thought it was stupid of me to throw two males and two females together and expect them to get along, and they seemed to be out to prove me a jerk, but now they seem to be getting along more than they chase each other.

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Tina in the nest

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Trevor

 

Things were not so rosy with the Society Finches either. I had Phoenix and Rikki, the two hens from before, and introduced Trevor and Tina. Phoenix and Rikki abducted Trevor after a while, and at one point Phoenix seemed to be taking over Tina’s brood, but I think everybody is together for the common cause now. Tina is back in the nest, although when she does come out she proves to be a beautiful bird. I am looking forward to seeing the offspring. I have not been able to determine whether Trevor has successfully mated with either Phoenix or Rikki although I thought I caught him trying once with Phoenix. Phoenix and Rikki are finally over the shock of realizing that I am not throwing out eggs, as I did for months before with their previous crowd, but that’s a long story. Now I have all young birds and they should reproduce while they can. Below is a clip of Trevor singing with a little Mozart.

Blue, the Budgie, and Dudlee, the Diamond Dove, take refuge from the finches together. Dudlee manages to find new hiding places, and she throws her voice when she coos. I have a hard time locating her, especially when I’m less mobile.

Dudlee

Dudlee

I have simply decided that the only approach to the knee, besides seeing a surgeon for his opinion in a couple weeks, is to get as much rest as possible, do whatever physical therapy exercises are feasible, and walk as carefully as possible. Stairs are now a terrific challenge and I am trying not to mess up my other knee by asking it to bear all the weight. I suspect in part getting a shot in the right knee was a gamble because I now have pain at the point of insertion. But as bad as my memory for it is, I got through all this once before and so I should be able to do it again. And embrace the reminder that I am not invincible. There’s much to be done, or not done, while prone.

Lastly among other things I have had to give up since this incapacity took hold, I regret not making traditional food gifts for the holiday. I used to do a million cookies, but in the last few years I have tailored the baking effort to several loaves of cinnamon oatmeal raisin bread, but this year if I manage to get to it at all it will be for the New Year’s Day instead.

The only time I got behind a camera lens that wasn’t my cell phone was last Sunday, when I managed to get a few pictures of regulars who visit the yard.

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Downy Woodpecker

DOWP 12-21-14-8996

I hope to be back soon with something more cheerful than a bad knee report. Hope your holidays are much merrier!

Squirrel 12-21-14-9037

16 thoughts on “A View from the Futon

  1. I’m sorry to read that you’re still hurting with the knee problem. Be extra careful if you go out because you might slip or trip and cause more damage. Happy Holidays, May G-d give you a healthier and prosperous New Year! 🙂

  2. I hope some rest does you well for the holidays, and I’m sure the cinnamon bread will be just as welcome as trays of cookies.
    You have quite the drama and intrigue going on there around the nests! Nice that it’s so lively, but Dudlee really looks like he would roll his eyes if he could!

    • Thanks, Jason! You don’t look like your knees give you a hard time. I haven’t been able to kneel/squat for years! I am already feeling better, I just have to resign myself to staying slow for a while. 🙂

    • Thank you. Trevor thanks you too! I’m not too proud to use a stick, indeed, the TrekPod should fend off anyone who wants to mess with me. I am already improving, I managed to walk, albeit at 1/3-1/2 speed, my usual 4 miles (broken up by train rides and work) today and I’m getting my strength back. But I haven’t given up the futon.

      • It’s my workday reality, and it’s broken up by train rides and work, but one mile to the train, another into the office, and back again. And now that I’m starting to feel better I am realizing just how much the ability to walk is tied up with my identity. It’s wonderful to feel like I can do something, anything, however small it is by comparison to normal. Walking will be a dream when I don’t have to think about it. 🙂

  3. Lisa where did you get Dudlee? I’ve been searching for diamond doves for ages! I’m in your area. (commented a few weeks ago, love the blog!)

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