Coffee in My Garden – Weekly Photo Challenge – Work of Art

This was blooming in our driveway

The Art of Survival – This was blooming in our driveway

My intention was to take a picture of the lone vinca blooming in the driveway between our two cars, but we were sidetracked by a rescue mission. Son and I were on our way out to pick up some ribs at 4 Rivers (the Art of Excellent Barbecue) when I caught sight of the tiny vinca flower blooming in our driveway and Son caught sight of one of our cats getting hammered by two mockingbirds in the front yard.

As it turns out, Xena and Petey were closing in on a baby mockingbird that had fallen out of a nest we didn’t know existed in one of our trees. Son and I had a good laugh at how our military training comes in handy when we least expect it. He (a Marine) simultaneously cleared the area of felines and rescued the baby in a flash. The baby was unhurt but puzzled and squawked for identification. I covered him by keeping the annoyed but determined cats out of range and brought the stepladder so he could redeposit Junior back in the nest.

The mockingbird attack on the cats was a work of art as well. Mama and Papa Mockingbird wheeled and dove flawlessly. Xena and Petey are big cats and Xena in particular is an adept hunter. The birds did not attack me or my son. Our yard birds know us and knew we were trying to help.

Xena on Squirrel Watch

Art of Observing Nature

Even with Mama and Papa Mockingbird showing us roughly where the nest was, it was practically invisible and took us a minute to find. I wish I had been able to take a picture of it. It truly was a work of art. But yesterday was cool and windy, the parents and baby were stressed, and I didn’t have my phone or camera on me, so Son tucked Junior back in the nest, everyone settled down and peace returned to our garden.

Dove and Mockingbird early morning flyby

Art of Patience – Doves and Mockingbirds pre-breakfast recon of our feeder

Except for the cats, who were pleading their case in Cat Court indoors.

Xena: What? They offer me a snack and I’m not supposed to eat it?
Petey: Aren’t you always saying we should help each other? I was helping Xena, til you showed up.
It’s the one time in their lives that Petey and Xena have ever agreed on anything.

Can you move the cat please so I can get my peanuts?

Art of Asking for Help When Needed – Would you move the cat please, so I can get my peanuts?

It feels more like December than May in my garden this morning. It’s 64, which is wintertime weather for central Floridians (north Florida actually does get a winter). My original plan was to wait until it got to be at least 75 before Bean (the parrot), Gizmo (the Pomeranian) and I ventured out. Our little short-haired dogs, Li’l Bit (miniature pinscher) and Tinkerbell (Chihuahua) don’t do cold weather unless we’re on a walk and there’s a treat involved. Gizmo loves the occasional cold snap we get so he is braving the garden with me. Princess Miyuki (Japanese Chin) has a long coat, but is getting her beauty sleep.

Gizmo enjoying the cool snap

Art of Living in the Moment – Gizmo enjoying the cool weather

There was no wind when we came out. There is now. I thought about taking the parrot back inside and she let me know if I touched her cage she would rip my fingers off. She is friends with Mr. and Mrs. Blue Jay who come to the feeder and as long as she’s happy I’ll leave her alone. She’s been missing her outdoor time as well. (Believe me she will let me know when she’s not happy). I never thought I’d have “slave to a parrot” on my resume, yet here I am. And it isn’t even my parrot. It’s Daughter’s parrot. She just lives with us (the parrot lives with us. The daughter does flybys).

Art of Camouflage - Doves on the Ground

Art of Camouflage – Doves on the Ground

My photographing birds at the feeder skills are rusty and I’m not getting many good ones this morning. Blurry blue jays, blurry doves, blurry squirrels. The cardinals pose for me.

The Art of Enjoying What You Eat - Lady Cardinal having a leisurely breakfast

The Art of Enjoying What You Eat – Lady Cardinal having a leisurely breakfast

The Art of Vigilance - Lord Cardinal looking after his lady

The Art of Vigilance – Lord Cardinal looking after his lady

Don't worry - he got breakfast too

Don’t worry – he got breakfast too

For more on this challenge, go here.