We’ve been extra blessed this spring with feathered creatures bursting forth from their eggs. Just recently I wrote about Mama Quail and her patience in sitting on the eggs, waiting in trust for them to hatch. After 12 days from when we spotted the eggs with our friends, these downy heads were pushing up from under Mama Quail’s belly.
Of course I grabbed my camera and returned to the warm, homey scene. Remembering how steadfast Mama was the last time I appeared with the big black box in my hand, I assumed she would continue her protective stance. But in moments, she squawked at me in squalls, flapping her wings and hopping off the flower pot. I was frightened for her fledgling fluffs. Although I had read they could survive out of the nest within hours of hatching, my anxiety rose as I watched the mother scurry away with no seeming intention of returning.
Through my worry I kept snapping photos. One by one the fledglings were hopping out of the nest and running faster than I could press the shutter.
“Where would they go?” my mind whirred. “Where did that crazy Mama Quail run off to? Doesn’t she know her babies need her?”
More downy fluffs appeared, seeming to emerge from the dirt. “How was I going to keep them in the pot until she returned?” Some scooted across the threshold of our front door while others found shelter under stucco ledges.
After having nursed a baby bird to health a month earlier, I began to feel that I had just destroyed this fine feathered family. “I should have waited longer,” I chastised myself.
Then I glanced across the yard to our neighbor’s bushes. There was Mama Quail, strutting toward the bushes. And trailing behind her in single soldier file were here charges.
“Phew. What a relief,” I thought. “I should have trusted in what I read and Mama Quail’s innate ability that had been placed in her by God.” She knew what she was doing. And so did God. I was the only one confused.
Still there was a handful of babies left in the flower pot. I prayed their Mama would return or they would hop out and find her. Some were just as bewildered as I was, so Hubby gently lifted them back into the flower pot-a place they–and Mama–knew as home. Eventually, all downy fluffs were gone. With all the quails around our home, I trusted one of them had been adopted.
“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:20 & 21 NIV
“How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures….These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.” Psalm 104:24, 27&28 NIV