Generations

The hope of any generation lies in that which follows.  It has nothing to do with today, nothing to do with us; it has everything to do with what comes after.

A juvenile monk parakeet (a.k.a. quaker parrot; Myiopsitta monachus) begs for attention(2009_06_07_022694)

Even as its parent watches me closely, a juvenile monk parakeet (a.k.a. quaker parrot; Myiopsitta monachus) begs for attention, for a nibble of nourishment.  Within that fledgling rests promise for a parent who may never see its child again.

A female river cooter (Pseudemys concinna) preparing to lay eggs (2009_06_07_022729)

Only a few steps from the footpath where so many people busy themselves without seeing it, this female river cooter (Pseudemys concinna) digs her nest and prepares to lay her eggs.  A bower formed of trees and brush gives her cover, keeps her from all but the observant.

Close-up of a female river cooter (Pseudemys concinna) (2009_06_07_022726)

How I want to wait, to watch, to salve my soul with the beauty of her work.  But the longer I stand, the more people who become curious.  Hungry eyes fall on her, look in her direction.

So before the first egg rests in earthen slumber, I walk away.  Several minutes I spend some distance along the trail so I can watch, feel certain no one returns.

Close-up of a female river cooter (Pseudemys concinna) (2009_06_07_022736)

The mother-to-be watches me closely as I retreat.  Her task set before her, she will never realize the success or failure of her endeavor, instead burying within the soil her own impetus to survive and leaving the future to the whims of nature.

Cliff swallow nest tucked into the corner of a concrete pavilion (2009_06_07_022782)

Cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) build their clay nests in every corner beneath the roof of a concrete pavilion.

Cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) peeking out from its nest (2009_06_07_022779)

Parents flit in and out of the structure, each returning to a nest with food, then checking the nest to ensure it’s clean and free of danger.  A face looks out at me, an adult watching me as it tends to its children.

Cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) perched at the entrance of its nest (2009_06_07_022771)

I see tiny faces and beaks agape when diligent parents return with food.  Looking at me with consternation for my nearness, one makes clear my presence is an unwelcome concern when the future is at stake.

4 thoughts on “Generations”

    1. Hey, Amar! Yes, the parakeets are wild. We have a sizable colony of them here at White Rock Lake.

      I’ve seen the wild parrots in your area. IIRC, they’re cherry-headed conures (a.k.a. red-masked parakeets; Aratinga erythrogenys)–and they’re quite dazzling!

  1. The sentiment that the ” fledgling rests promise for a parent who may never see its child again” sounds almost romantic. The reality is that the fledglings usually stay within 500 yards from their birth place unless there are extreme winds, like a hurricane, to transplant them. What we find in the wild is that the families might make several nests and trade them off during the year but the “migration” between the nests is a very short distance, 500 yards actually. The fledglings more often actually build a second “apartment” on the parent home or build very close. Quakers don’t migrate, they have a pretty heavy weight to wing lift ratio so they don’t fly very high or very long so they really don’t go far from home and when they do venture out in groups they will take pretty short flights from tree to wire, wire to tree, tree to ground. Then they rest a few minutes before taking off again.

    Love those Quaker Parrots.

    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting, QuakerVille! And yes, that remark was indeed a romantic notion, one based on a general sense of parents (of any species) sending their young into the world without knowing what would happen to them.

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