Monday, April 27, 2020

COVID Cockatoo

For science and physical education today we took a very long walk and made some more observations in our field guides. Beyond "The Loop," our walking options jump from manageable to very, very long, so that was the length of today's walk. But we needed something new and seeing anything beyond our little block was so exciting for the kids that they hardly complained about their legs getting tired.

That doesn't mean there wasn't every any complaining; there was just hardly any complaining.

We found some interesting plants like lyeleaf sage and moss phlox we also saw a patch of buttercups. Miriam made a buttercup ring for Zoë, which Zoë was thrilled about.

On our way back to our neighbourhood when Sister S.—the nursery music leader—rushed out of her house, which we happened to be resting in front of after having walked up an incredibly long and steep hill. "I had to come out to say hello to my little Alexander!" she crooned from across her lawn. "Hello, Alex! Hello!"

We chatted a bit together...and by chatted I mean that we basically yelled at each other from a healthy distance apart...for a little while and then her neighbour stopped by to join us, making a little social triangle (with a perimeter of at least 18 feet).

"Are you new in the neighbourhood?" Sister S's neighbour asked.

"Oh, they live the next street over, but I know them from church."

"The next street over?!" the neighbour gasped. "That's quite the walk. And you came up that big hill!?"

"We needed a diversion this afternoon," I said with a laugh.

"Then follow me!" she said. "I know someone else who needs some diversion as well!"

So we followed her down the road to her house. She popped inside and brought out a cockatoo who really was in need of diversion.

"Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello!" the cockatoo greeted us.

This sweet neighbour showed off her bird's little tricks and then invited the children to break the 6-feet apart rule* for a quick little minute to stroke its feathers. I didn't get a picture of Alexander, but he was in heaven. The cockatoo is used to having ever so many more visitors than she's been getting recently and her pleas for attention have been driving her owner a little crazy.

* Social distancing is hard even when you're trying to be 100% committed to such a thing. But surely half a minute of closeness in the fresh air won't be our undoing!!

We left with a fistful of feathers (that the bird had plucked out by herself over the course of her preening and molting and so forth and which her owner had collected, not that the children plucked out) along with a couple of cockatoo eggs (which I really don't know what to do with (I'm not very adventurous when it comes to protein); Zoë suggested we simply raise them up into cockatoos for ourselves, but we explained that there was no daddy cockatoo involved so these eggs are duds (she doesn't often lay eggs, so seeing them was a treat). We took them home and compared them to our chicken eggs:

Perhaps with that (long (did I mention it was long?)) walk under our belts we'll be content to stay home for a few more weeks without any adventuring. 

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