Wednesday, October 29, 2008

82 Dove Pick Up

Kristin & I are hunting out a log cabin with a green roof; this should be easy - we live in a log cabin with a green roof. I believe they must have had a sale on them in Collbran though. Suddenly Kristin sights an appropriate roof adorned with white doves, "Looks like our place!" and we start to climb the incredibly steep driveway.

Paul & Nancy's place is a veritable aerie. Two large flocks of doves are out exercising, or should I say, putting on a Broadway Review. We stand on the new deck overlooking a sheer drop to a vast basin with a pond. The birds fly below us, even to the deck, and then up above the mesas & mountains. White contrasts against greens, browns, and blues, the two flocks weave and warp. One flock has some grey feather markings that flashes nicely against the all white grouping. I've never seen so many doves flying all at once, so aware they are performing.

And it's okay that I'm coveting because we've come to buy a mess of young birds. 74 in fact. And 4 breeding pairs as well. That's 82 doves from this special and highly recommended loft.

Checking out other folks lofts is always fun - what are they doing better? We got some ideas we'll share later.

Loading was swift. Paul has some very agile hands. Both Kristin & I learned a new way to grip the doves so as to easily hand them off to each other. Paul shared so many tips & lore I had a hard time keeping my count straight. I'd mess up my count a hundred times over for each bit of knowledge shared. Kristin was the middle handler so she never missed a bit of information. I really wanted to switch locations with her, but I was handling the birds outside and was more familiar with the baskets we were loading with both hands full with doves.

After washing up Nancy treated us girls to a hand treatment from her BeautiControl® line - instant manicure & cuticle salve, and I'll tell you, my hands are still very happy. We also got to play Trick or Treat with a monstrous bag of candy. I'm so glad the servings were minute. We all got a good laugh about never getting T&Ters in the country...but still buying candy...just in case.

Getting late, never enough time to hang with new wonderful friends, we hit the paved roads hard and fast.

While we were gone Jim, with the help of Jared's step-dad, Keith G. tidied up the loft bay we need to off-load this wealth of birds. They mounted perches and secured doors & bobs. No one was here when we arrived but we were in awe. Sure we'd like to have everything all painted but that can wait until we are creating a cash flow - this is a sweet loft!

Enter the 82.

The Breeding Pairs were the first to venture out, and the first to pick the highest perches. The Young Birds, having never been out of their own loft, in a basket, nor having ever traveled, were baffled, and took some time to exit. Eventually we helped the last ones out. Only one bird sustained injuries in transit.

Then it was Musical Perches.

That's fine for Young Bird kindergarten but we humans were mighty hungry and weary. The new kids had plenty of food and water in their new quarters. We dimmed the lights so they would rest, but light enough so the boogeyman would stay away and they could keep flying & vying for their perches and bid them all sweet dreams.

But I did the math.

Jim said they put up 80 perches.

That means two will be sleeping on the nesting bench tonight. That's right, just a bench, no boxes there yet.

Life is so not fair.

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