Thursday, June 19, 2014

Welcome to the Zoo (literally)

On Monday, we were a normal suburban family with five kids, two minivans, and a dog.

On Tuesday, things got weird fast.

 First thing that morning we got a phone call that it was time to pick up our new  baby chickens from the post office.   We're only taking care of them for a few weeks, but my kids were grinning ear-to-ear at the cuteness that lay within that little chirping box.

FYI this is what chicks look like when they get sent by mail.  Three of the four survived the trip.

Our kids immediately claimed and named them, except for poor Emma who happen to be the last one home that day and by default ended up with the dead one being named hers.

Meet Rose (the yellow one, named by Ellie), Stripe (the tan one, named by Adam), and Felix (the black one, named by Cami)...our temporary pet chickens.

We don't have enough yard to keep them when they're older, but our friend, Shelly, was nice enough to let us "foster" them for a few weeks for her.  They're all females and will eventually grow up to be free ranging egg-laying hens on Shelly's mini farm.

The kids are in love....

Most of the kids anyway...

We are keeping them in our bathtub with a heat lamp, which explains the inordinate amount of time my kids have been spending in the bathroom the last couple days.   Whenever I don't see them for a while, I can guess where they've ended up.   

Well, we thought that getting those baby chicks  was the end of the excitement at our house, but today my friend Lillian dropped by with a few more additions to our little zoo.

We've got a pretzel jar hosting luna moth caterpillars.  They eat only sweet gum and hickory leaves, so our first order of business was locating a suitable source of food for them.  Luckily we found a sweet gum tree about a half mile walk from here.  They will turn into gorgeous moths eventually.  

Lillian also brought us some Cope's gray tree frog tadpoles....

and a praying mantis egg case (of which I took no picture of).   

I figure that now that we've got a regular zoo going on here, I may as well invite the whole world to come visit.  If you happen to live locally and want to come see our little menagerie of wildlife, give me a call.  

Speaking of wildlife, our adventure with animals continued into the evening time.  While we were at the pool, we suddenly started noticing a little brouhaha with a teenage boys and a bird going on at the fence line.  When we  went to investigate what all the commotion was about,  we discovered a poor little parakeet who was clearly out of his element in the great outdoors.    He seemed disoriented,  skittish, yet oddly drawn to all the people.  I called my friend who had a parakeet and she informed us that he would certainly die if left in the wild. 

Thus began our mission to save the poor little thing.  

It took a lot of finagling and several prayers, but eventually we got the little fellow into a box (with the help of some teenagers)....

and for the second time in two days, we got  into our car with a box containing a live bird...

we brought it to my friend Julie's house,  where they are fully decked out for a pet bird.

Julie placed a FOUND ad on Craigslist and my kids are making signs to hang around the pool, so that hopefully we can return him to its rightful owner.

With up close experiences with six different animal species (including our dog) in a two-day period of time, now we are wondering what kind of animal adventures tomorrow will bring.   A pet unicorn?   Maybe a flamingo?

Whatever it is...we are ready!



annalisa said...

Those chicks are so cute! I didn't realize you had caterpillars and tadpoles at your house too.

I hope you are able to find the owner of the parakeet. That's a pretty awesome crazy story!

Oh and that picture of Spence is a little disturbing ;)

Jennifer McArthur said...

Mark (my 3-year-old) adored this post and looked at all the pictures over and over again. I think he's ready to come live at your house! He was a little alarmed by the picture of Spencer 'eating' the chick, though!

R said...

Quite a menagerie at your house. Did anyone claim the parakeet? How are the chickens doing? Has the moth hatched?

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