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  • The Carolina Jasmine

    May 1, 2009

    So for a week or more now, I’ve had this mother dove nesting in the Carolina jasmine that is growing on the fence that runs alongside my driveway and just outside my kitchen window.  And I have to admit here, I’ve become involved with this dove.  I wonder if the dove is okay, I wonder if the dove is hungry, I wonder if the dove recognizes me, I wonder if the dove likes me.  I am obsessed with the dove.

    Multiple times a day, I run outside and check on the dove.  And multiple times a day I find the dove sitting on her nest staring straight ahead pretending that I do not exist.

    Early yesterday morning, we got a terrific thunder and lightning storm with some heavy rain and high winds.  It woke me up around 5am and my first thought was not “Is my child frightened? Does he need his mommy?” but “I wonder if the dove is okay.”

    So an hour later, after the storm passed, I went outside in my threadbare hot pink chenille robe and fuzzy leopard print slippers to check on the dove.   I realize as I leave the house that I look a little like Crabby Maxine and for a split second I consider putting on something less likely to frighten or offend the dove. Doves probably have very delicate sensibilities when it comes to garish fashion and other startling things.

    I stand on my tip toes to see her and yes, she was still there, sitting on her nest and staring straight ahead as usual.  I coo to her in a low and soothing dove-like voice.  I tell her how I worried over her.  I asked her if the storm had frightened her. I inquire of her health and tell her she is a pretty dove and that I am a kind person.  I continue our conversation along those lines and at one point she blinked which I took to mean that we were bonding.

    When I turned to go back in the house, I offered a feeble wave to the speed walker at the end of the driveway who had slowed down enough to catch me talking tenderly to the Carolina jasmine.

    25 Comments »

    1. Brigitte says:

      Ha ha! I talk to all kinds of animals (and the plants too) outside, but our driveway is long enough that nobody catches me at it.

      May 1st, 2009 at 5:44 am

    2. Shalee says:

      See now, this is exactly why I like you, AM. You’re tender hearted enough to care about all of God’s creatures and you’re not afraid to show it, no matter who might be walking by. Oh, and I really love that you’re real enough to walk out in your robe and slippers to give the whole effect of loving others where they’re at.

      Going to my life group in my fuzzy purple slippers isn’t odd at all. It’s all about being comfortable around others, including myself!

      May 1st, 2009 at 6:44 am

    3. Iota says:

      That made me laugh!

      May 1st, 2009 at 8:10 am

    4. Heidi says:

      A few years ago, a mourning dove built her nest on our wicker porch chair, right in the middle of our front porch. We had a front row view as she sat on her eggs and raised her babies; we got to watch from our dining room window. That mother dove also never moved an inch, even when we were on the porch, coming and going through the day. It was really a delightful time.

      We did learn that male mourning doves parent right along side their mates. They would take turns sitting on the nest while the other flew out to bring back food. Now every time I see a pair of doves near our porch I am hopeful they’re going to make their nest on our chair again.

      I look forward to keeping up with your beautiful little mama bird.

      * * *
      How long before I can get on with my life will she be on her nest?

      May 1st, 2009 at 8:18 am

    5. happy geek says:

      Hey AM, you are one giving lady. Not only did you comfort the dove, you gave the neighbors something waaaay better than the economy or the H1N1 virus to talk about:) What an act of community service and it wasn’t even seven in the morning:)

      May 1st, 2009 at 8:20 am

    6. Lisa says:

      You could just give the dove’s best friend a note to pass to her that says- “Do you like me? Check ‘yes’ or ‘no'”
      ; )

      I love the picture of your little dove friend, and I would wonder about her too, even if it meant frightening the neighbors.

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:25 am

    7. MommyJ says:

      I had a pair of cardinals build a nest in an azalea bush just in front of my house. We would spend so much time sitting in the front window watching the nest. We were sad when only two of three eggs hatched, then worried when one of the baby birds disappeared, then thrilled when we watched the pair of attentive parents encourage the last little baby to hop from the nest and flutter it’s way across the yard.

      Nature is so much fun. 🙂

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:30 am

    8. Paulla says:

      This is such a sweet story. Years ago, we had a dove build her nest in a hanging plant outside our window. It killed the plant, but we got to see the whole evolution of the nest, eggs, babies, and even the fly-away – – all from our bedroom window. It was precious.

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:30 am

    9. Shoe says:

      I like Maxine too. Thanks for the picture. Wildlife is fun. Now where do I send these kittens????

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:39 am

    10. Becca says:

      I raised doves at one time (when I was in high school). It was the coolest thing. They only lay two egg: male and female offspring. Doves mate for life. I had one that bonded with me. You can totally make a friend here. 🙂 Have fun with momma dove!

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:49 am

    11. rrmama says:

      You aren’t crazy by the way. We have two cardinals nests and one blue jay. I talk to them all the time. And I must be doing something right because they are still there flying about.

      May 1st, 2009 at 11:23 am

    12. Nan says:

      Whenever I try to talk to mama chickens, they attack. I need to learn your technique.

      May 1st, 2009 at 11:48 am

    13. Ann G says:

      And while you were cooing to the dove, I was trying to get That Other Kid to sleep a while longer! unsuccessfully, I might add! Sounds like she survived just fine…

      May 1st, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    14. Tater Mama says:

      Several years ago, a bird build her nest in my parents’ mailbox. My mother and the mailman worked out a Plan B. They exchanged mail by putting it under a brick on a table on the back porch. Once the baby birds had hatched and the mama finally convinced them to leave the nest, the mail service went back to normal.

      I’m sure your dove appreciates the attention. What nesting mama wouldn’t?!

      May 1st, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    15. The G-Ma says:

      Enjoy mama dove while she is in the brooding zone, oblivious to pain, gigantic strange pink things, eviction notices.

      But when those chicks hatch, beware the Wrath of Dove. If you approach the nest, you may get attacked by one badass daddy dove protecting his chirrens. While mommy dove cheers him on. Or maybe she’s the warrior. I was once dive-bombed by a viligent mourning dove while walking beneath their nesting tree.

      Or, as my own daddy used to say, “Horray, horray, the first of May/outside warfare starts today.” I think that’s a paraphrase of something more vulgar.

      Just so you know. . .

      * * *
      G-Ma, you make it all sound so romantic. Are you saying that after the eggs hatch that the dove will no longer have feelings for me??

      May 1st, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    16. mythoughtsonthat says:

      I talk to our turtle like this, too….

      May 1st, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    17. tom says:

      I’m not sure what I can possibly add… other than that I’m going to be chuckling all day pondering what the speed walker must have been thinking upon seeing you cooing to your Jasmine. “Note to self – take the other street tomorrow.”

      May 1st, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    18. Quirky says:

      I have a momma cardinal in my climbing roses. I was out clipping some of the buds for a vase and she came rocketing out of the foliage and scared the poo out of me! I stumbled backwards and almost fell down the embankment. Some not-nice words may have been yelled also.

      Guess we don’t have that same loving relationship as you and your dove.

      May 1st, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    19. Roxanne says:

      You’ve probably got the prettiest Carolina Jasmine on the block, too!

      May 1st, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    20. Colleen says:

      A robin has made a nest in the clematis climbing over our backyard arbor. The arbor needs to be re-stained, but we’ll wait patiently until the little ones fly away from the nest. I lost my own mother a little more than two months ago. Mothers are special, no matter what kind of wings they sport! I prefer my purple below the knee nightshirt as my “bird checking” attire, but I understand completely.

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    21. Minnesotamom says:

      Heck, they probably talk to their lawn to make it grow.

      May 1st, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    22. Renna says:

      What a great post. I was so moved right up to the end, when I burst out laughing! 😉

      May 2nd, 2009 at 3:19 am

    23. MM says:

      This reminded me of M, one of my hub’s best friends. M is a big football player of a man with big hands, a booming laugh, and shoulders wide as the sky. He’s a fisherman and escapes as often as he can to gather his mind on the water.

      That’s the point, not actually catching the fish.

      The first time I witnessed him fishing, was on a camping trip we took with he and his wife. I went to find him to tell him dinner was ready. As I walked up to him, he was excited because he had caught something. I stood and watched as he slowly reeled in a fighting 4 inch bass. LOL! As he tried to unhook the fish to throw back in the water, I heard these words, “Hey little guy. I know. I’m sorry. You’re too little, so I’m going to throw you back. You okay? I’m sorry you got caught. I know that hurts. You’re a good little fish…thanks for making my day.” As funny as it was and as much of a struggle as it was to watch and not laugh, I loved witnessing this moment in time. I never quite looked at M the same way. He might be manly and athletic and bigger than life, but he’s a softie and a lover underneath it all.

      I finally understood all the eye-rolling his wife gave to him when he was trying to act all macho. Yeah. I don’t believe it anymore either. 🙂

      May 2nd, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    24. Faerylandmom says:

      I’m so glad your dove is sticking it out. We had a robin nest on our front porch while we were camping for a few days last year. Poor little thing tried so valiantly to lay for about three days after we returned, but since we cannot avoid using that door in any way, he soon flew off, leaving us the most lovely nest.

      It still sits on our front porch…I can’t part with it.

      May 2nd, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    25. gretchen says:

      guffawing at that one…only because it seems all too familiar here. I happen to talk to (rabbits and deer)blackberry brambles a lot.

      May 2nd, 2009 at 8:04 pm

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