Friday, June 10, 2011

The Lovely, Lowly Mourning Dove

When I was a young girl, one of the highlights of my life was visiting my grandparent's farm. It was located AT LEAST a quarter of a mile from the nearest road. It had a very respectable creek running through it in which we often swam in the summer. And it had quiet and peace and contentment.

I remember the wind in the pines windbreak on the west side of the homestead area. And I remember the birds. To me, the call of the mourning dove was haunting and mystical and, as a child, I didn't know what bird made that lovely call.

Finally when I lived in a house of our own and had birds in a much more chaotic environment, I recognized the sound and saw the bird that made it. It was the mourning dove and I loved it just as much as an adult as I had as a child.

Even with this history I've always thought of the dove as a mousey little bird - quiet, serene, and unassuming. Now I know better.

First of all this unassuming little bird is EVERYWHERE. When we visited Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago, I was pleased to see that a pair dwelled near my son's home apparently enjoying the view of Pikes Peak as much as he does. Then there was the story my other son told me about returning to his quarters in the wee hours of the morning in Afghanistan. He said there was a pigeon sitting above his door and it didn't move as he approached. Dave even took a picture of him which caused the bird to stare at him balefully but not budge an inch. I always wondered if it might be a dove and even if it wasn't, I think the pigeon must be a very close relative.

So this winter a lovely pair of doves was among our first visitors to our newly installed bird feeder and I found out that they're not nearly has mousey as I'd first thought. Just look:

They're so much more colorful than I'd ever realized. And they another attribute that I find most endearing - a loving devotion to one another. The never seem to be far apart.

Another quality trait is that they get along with everybody. They're completely unflappable when it comes to sharing their repast with friendly visitors.

During the unseasonably hot weather we experienced a few days ago, I thought to move the birdbath closer to the house where I could do a better job of keeping it filled with cool water. Guess who the first couple to appreciate it was. Yep, the sweet, gentle appreciative doves.

They enjoyed the coolness and each others company for awhile and then he thinks to give her some privacy - that special alone time that we all need once in a while.

She appreciates it and takes just another second or two before she joins him on the ground.

But not before she gives her feathers one more rumple - just to show how very good she's feeling.

And that's all I have to say about the doves. I hope they know how much we love having them around and that we know that, they're not only not mousey, but a sweet example of a devoted, loving couple.

1 comment:

  1. awwww, they are so sweet and cute and loving. I never really paid much attention to them. ...and I think I'll go fill our bird bath. You got some great shots of them! Also? You need to talk to your granddaughter and have he do he impression of a mourning dove, it's so funny!


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