Day 215: Grab the Kleenex

When I left for work yesterday morning, I was a little worried about Nemo, the aptly named runt of the baby barn swallows living on our patio. He had managed to get out of the nest and was lying on the concrete. I put him back in the nest with the others, but he was having trouble even standing. I hoped he was just “playing dead.” But when I returned that evening, I could tell immediately that he hadn’t survived the day. I don’t know if he was injured from falling out of the nest, or if he was just too small, and mama bird only fed the stronger ones. Either way, I felt horrible. When I removed his body from the nest, the strongest baby – the one that flew into the pond – flew off. His mom followed him, so I hope he was strong enough to survive on his own. The fifth bird was nowhere to be found. After having a proper burial (hey, I even buried my pet fish as a child), we found the missing baby bird laying dead just off the edge of the patio. He must have died a day or two before without us realizing it. The two that remain in the nest are getting stronger and stronger, and I bet they’ll fly off soon. I guess 3 out of 5 is pretty good odds in nature, but I still wish I could have saved them all.

The burial site for Nemo, the baby barn swallow.

Day 63: Letting go

February 17 would have been my aunt Jill’s 52nd birthday. She died of pancreatic cancer on July 3rd. In honor of her birthday, we served a meal at the hospice house where she stayed at the end of her life. It just so happened to be the same hospice house my grandpa passed away in two days prior to the meal. Because I was focusing on Grandpa, I didn’t get a chance to post anything about it. These are the flowers we displayed at the meal. They were once pretty and pink, but I think it’s finally time to discard them. Sometimes letting go of simple things is so hard. I miss Jill every day, so I can’t even imagine how hard it is for my cousins and my mom. At least we never have to let go of the memories.

1/20 sec., F2.8, ISO 200
55 mm wide-angle lens, no flash fired