We're expecting!

Holy hatchery!

Donna the Dove has checked in to the maternity ward Chez Paul.

Mistaken identity. I originally identified the expectant mother bird as Millie the Mockingbird. It turns out that it wasn't Millie after all, but Donna the Dove! Mercy! I hope I'm not accused of identity theft.

For the past couple of days I've noticed a great beating of wings when I've walked out the front door. The first time, I thought I had just startled a bird from the palm tree by the door. The second time, I thought it odd that the same thing had happened twice in a row. This morning when I went out to set up the ladder to climb up on the roof, I finally figured it all out.

Donna the Dove is sitting on two small white eggs lying in a nest on top of the palm tree by the door! As far as nests go, it is not a very well-constructed nest. It consists mostly of grass loosely woven into a fairly shallow round pad, unlike the deep bowl shapes of many bird nests.

Donna on her nest

And it's an odd place for a nest. There are so many other trees around, you'd think Donna could have picked a tree less travelled by.

detail of Donna on her nest

And it does seem rather late in the season to be nesting. Although I don't know the normal body temperature of a dove, it hardly seems necessary for Donna to sit on the eggs to keep them warm. On the other hand, perhaps she sits on them to keep them from becoming hard-boiled.

Those who have been reading carefully may be wondering why I was climbing onto the roof in the first place. It's this way: Last evening I noticed a small puddle of water in the entry hall, apparently seeping from the base of the interior wall between the hall and the kitchen. There shouldn't be water there! The sink and dishwasher, obvious sources of water, are on the other side of the kitchen, and there was no water in between them and the puddle. This led my addled brain to imagine that perhaps a pipe on the roof had sprung a leak and that water was coming down inside the wall.

From reconnoitering the roof, I see that's not the source of water. Back on terra firma, closer inspection did reveal a small amount of water beginning to collect near the dishwasher as well as seepage on the living-room side of the kitchen wall. Then I recollected that there was a small cut-out in the cabinet wall in one corner of the kitchen. With my trusty flashlight I opened it up and peered inside. Water! Apparently there is water everywhere under the kitchen counters, on both sides of the room.

The plumber cometh! And it won't be a moment too soon.