So—the weather is finally getting colder and everyone around me knows how much I hate cold weather. It makes my back hurt, my knees hurt, and I walk around stiff and all old-lady-looking bundled up in scarves and thick socks, but stop! There is one advantage to cold weather. Something I see that is beneficial. A light at the end of the tunnel, pot of gold, rainbow, all that jazz…
The birds are leaving.
I know this is weird coming from a recovering bird lover. If you’ve been in my house, you’ll see a surprising amount of bird cages. Heck, right now I’m at my desk and can see 5 without turning my head!
But my bird cages are empty. And so are the cute little bird feeders I hang from my porch and on the tree down by our pond. It’s so mean. I’m like, come on wittle birdies….see what I got…
And what I got is nada. Nothing. For them, anyway. No more spending my hard-earned dollars on their skanky little beaks.
Why, you ask? Because I’m still not over my bird trauma. Two years later and I still shiver and sometimes have nightmares over my ‘experience’.
So this is the way it went down.
I loved birds at one time. L-O-V-E-D them, I tell ya! So much so that when one sassy little bird mama built a nest under out porch, I was tickled to death. All I had to do was get on my knees and look through the crack and could see the tiny speckled eggs! I was in heaven!
Then we went on vacation. While away, I worried about the little eggs and the sweet birdie mama. Were they okay? Did a snake get them? Would they survive?
We arrived back from our vacation and the next morning I realized I hadn’t checked to see how the eggs were doing. I went out to my porch, knelt down and put my eye to the crack between the decking boards.
Baby birds! Oh my—they were so freaking cute!
They sensed someone only inches from their nest and opened their tiny beaks at me. Feed me! I wished I could! I was so thrilled and felt so lucky that I had a front row seat to watch the baby chicks grow up and leave the nest. I wondered if they were as thrilled as humans when their young fly away, and if their young, like humans, come back when they are hungry and broke? But I finally got my fill of staring at the birds and got back up. It took me a second to get my aching knees under control but when I did, I felt something crawling on my neck.
That was just the beginning.
I reached up and felt lots of somethings crawling on my neck. On my face. In my hair!!
I screamed. Bird lice! Holy crap! I was covered in bird lice!
I ran across the porch screaming like my head was on fire and stripping out of my clothes. I slung open the front door and ran across the living room, losing articles of clothing and screaming until I was bare naked and hysterical—wiping the little suckers off of me.
Straight to the shower I went and stood under scalding hot water until it ran cold, sobbing and clawing at my hair. I poured shampoo, conditioner, Lysol, then more conditioner until my hair resembled something you might see on a Halloween scarecrow. I even considered hooking up electricity and frying the little suckers!
But that was just the first scene.
I got out and did what I always do when I’m freaked out and need to be educated about something serious.
I googled it.
Hmmm…bird lice comes up with quite some terrifying stories. Tales of humans losing their homes, money, and even sanity in their war against bird lice that has invaded their bodies and lives. Tales that had me shaking in my chair and dialing my husband at work to tell him life as we knew it was over. There was no outrunning it, I was doomed.
To see what I mean, you can go here. http://birdmites.org/nightmare.html
But I wouldn’t give up easily. I was taking back my life!
First, Ben was called home to remove the nest of mangy, lice-infested varmints. I wouldn’t let him touch it with his hands, I stood guard while he used a shovel. Because of Peta, I won’t tell you where the birds were relocated but I can say we didn’t hurt them. /snicker
Then I cleaned like nobody’s business. I vacuumed, mopped, scrubbed, scoured, disinfected, you name it. To me and the house. And for weeks I never relaxed. Ben had to check my head several times a day. He never found a single one after that first shower, but oh, how I tortured him with my pleas to ‘just look one more time!’
I surfed all the nightmare stories online and sympathize with all those who were victims of the horrible disease of bird lice. I kept myself up at night worrying, scratching, checking, cleaning….
But I finally stopped.
Now I just worry about something else.
But I am glad the cold weather is here and our bird population is dwindling.
And honestly, I still have a soft spot for birds. As long as they stay far, far away.
The End–you can go back to your productive day and stop reading the ramblings of a crazy woman now.